Education

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Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Four months ago, hundreds of students across Maine walked out of their schools, joining others across the country in memorializing the victims of the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. and to advocate for gun control.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

As Maine's population has grown older, the number of school-aged children has declined, forcing some communities to close schools that have been social anchors for years. One recent school closure may serve to reflect the challenges faced by Maine's rural communities.

UNE.edu

Most students applying for admission to the University of New England will no longer need to submit standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT, beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Biddeford-based school follows in the footsteps of dozens of others that have adopted "test-optional" admissions policies over the past four years.

Dean of Admissions Scott Steinberg says UNE has found that high school grades predict college success far better than standardized tests.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Over the course of the past school year, we've followed the implementation of Maine’s proficiency-based diploma law through the lens of students and staffers at Oak Hill High School, near Lewiston. 

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The University of Southern Maine has received a collection of nearly half a million maps — an estimated $100 million gift that is believed to be the largest in the history of the University of Maine System.

The collection of more than 450,000 rare maps comes from Dr. Harold Osher, a cardiologist from Portland. The Osher family has previously donated many maps to the university and helped establish the Osher Map Library in 1994.

Family spokesperson Glenn Parkinson said the Oshers hope the collection is used to enhance educational opportunities for local students.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Three years from now, high school seniors in Maine will have to demonstrate proficiency in math, English, science and other core subjects in order to graduate. 

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Across Maine, thousands of high school seniors are graduating and preparing for the next chapter in their lives. But for many, particularly students in rural Maine, the future is uncertain. Graduating seniors in the western Maine town of Rumford told Maine Public how they imagine their own futures, and whether that future might include returning to their hometown.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

More high school students in Maine are graduating today as compared to 5 or 10 years ago, but many are still being left behind — some are teen parents, others have been bullied, have experienced trauma or struggle with anxiety. One central Maine charter school is trying to reach those students by bringing school into their homes.

Maine Public

Officials from Portland Public Schools are telling the community that they will not report students to immigration enforcement officials, and say their schools are a "safe haven" for children and families.

In a written message to families last week, Portland Supt. Xavier Botana said, "We want your children in our schools. We don't care what their immigration status is. And we believe that that's not just the right thing to do, but that's also the law."

Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

A growing number of parents in Maine are opting against having their school-aged children vaccinated against disease.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The number of young people in Maine has been declining for decades. The trend concerns many independent and private town academies in the state. Some have lost up to a quarter of their students over the last ten years. 

Pygoya / Flickr

Tuition and room and board at Maine's public universities could be going up by almost 3 percent next fall. That's according to proposed budget numbers reviewed by the University of Maine System's finance committee on Tuesday.

Under the new budget, in-state students would pay almost $18,000 in tuition, fees, room and board, about $500 more per student than last year. University spokesperson Dan Demeritt says the proposed increase is needed to maintain programs and keep up with inflation across the university system's seven campuses.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

This year's class of high school freshmen will be the first to graduate with a new kind of diploma three years from now in Maine. To get it, they will have to show proficiency in a number of subjects. We've been following the transition to this new system at a small rural high school near Lewiston in a series we're calling, "Lessons from Oak Hill."

One of the most controversial changes has been replacing the traditional A-through-F grading system, and pushback from critics has already led some districts to respond.

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