Rachel Morello

Education Reporter

Rachel joined WUWM January 2016 as the station's first education reporter.

Thanks to her Midwestern upbringing, Morello has been able to strike up a conversation with people all over the country. She has lived and worked in Chicago, D.C., Miami and London, interviewing anyone from politicians on Capitol Hill to farmers in rural Indiana.

A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Morello most recently covered the education beat for StateImpact Indiana, a collaborative radio and television reporting project operated by public media stations throughout the Hoosier state. She traveled the state covering school-related issues, policies and trends from standardized testing to high school diplomas. Her work helped garner StateImpact its third national Edward R. Murrow award in 2015, for excellence in web-based journalism.

A lifelong cheesehead, Rachel likes to spend her weekends cheering on the Packers and Badgers. In her free time, she also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts (Pop Culture Happy Hour is her favorite), learning to knit & spending time with family and friends. She recently took up running, and plans to take advantage of Milwaukee’s lakefront to keep the streak alive.

Ways to Connect

Rachel Morello

Concern over new federal immigration policies has spread to local school districts. 

Incumbent Tony Evers and former Whitnall Superintendent Lowell Holtz will continue to vie for the job of Wisconsin's Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the general Election set for April 4. 

Rachel Morello

If you think about it, an election is sort of like a job interview: candidates present their ideas, hoping the public will hire them.

The three men campaigning to be Wisconsin’s superintendent are nearing the end of the “first round interview,” ahead of next week’s primary.

But rather than surveying voters, we assembled a “hiring committee” – of students!

On February 21, Wisconsin voters will narrow the field of candidates for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Three men are vying for the job.

So, let’s get to know them.

Tony Evers says his work is a long way from finished.

“Have we solved every problem? Absolutely not,” says Evers, who has led Wisconsin schools for the last eight years. “We still need to make sure that we bring people together.”

Rachel Morello

Six months after violence shook Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood, it’s pretty much “business as usual” at a couple local schools. Leaders there aren’t sure if being at status quo is a good or a bad thing – or perhaps both.

Rachel Morello

When you were in school, did you comprehend math?

It’s a subject that doesn’t come easily for everyone. In fact, in Milwaukee, there’s a big achievement gap in math among students – one of the widest gaps in the country.

But the city does have bright spots – individual schools and classrooms where teachers are approaching math in a new way. And they’re seeing results. 

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

Gov. Scott Walker revealed part of his upcoming budget Wednesday morning, as he announced increased funding for rural schools. 

Rachel Morello

To kick off the new season of Bubbler Talk, we’re going to revisit a question we pursued last year, from listener Patricia Mousseau.

She asked: Why can’t the clock tower at the corner of North Avenue and Prospect Avenue keep good time?

Patricia was right: the clock’s three different faces each showed a different time – and only one was accurate.

But we didn’t know why, and we weren’t able to track down the owner of the clock tower building in time to find an answer

Rachel Morello

A new player enters Milwaukee's booming school choice landscape this fall: St. Augustine Preparatory Academy – Augustine Prep, for short.

Over the next five years, the private voucher school is expected to accommodate up to 1,700 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. That will make it the second-largest private school in Milwaukee’s Parental Choice program.

Rachel Morello

Gov. Walker has declared this week “School Choice Week” – and if there’s one thing that characterizes choice in Wisconsin these days, it is competition to attract students.

Schools are working to distinguish themselves through marketing.

Steven Lilley/Flickr

One of the big unknowns under the new presidential administration is what will happen with education. What we do know is that both Donald Trump and his pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, support school vouchers.

Milwaukee boasts the longest-running voucher program in the country. Could that make the city’s initiative a template for the country over the next four years?

Rachel Morello

Hundreds of people in the Milwaukee area spent part of the weekend demonstrating their concerns about the new Trump administration, by taking part in rallies.

Saturday morning, scores of people marched through the streets of Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. Organizers billed the event as a "Femme Solidarity March," as it coincided with the massive march that took place in Washington D.C. and in other cities around the country and world.

Rachel Morello

The term project-based learning is a buzzword in education these days. Teachers are constantly looking for ways to make learning more fun and engaging, through hands-on experiences that show students how to apply academic concepts in real-world situations.

A pair of science and technology teachers at South Milwaukee High School have found a way to do just that. They’ve started a “Fab Lab,” or “Fabrication Lab” on their campus. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a place where students create with their hands.

Rachel Morello

It’s not uncommon to see UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee named among the nation’s top research universities.

State schools regularly appear on industry-compiled lists. And just last year, UWM joined an elite group of “R1” institutions – schools recognized for their research output.

How do undergrads contribute to the research work their campuses are doing?

Rachel Morello

Some of the biggest education stories in Milwaukee this year dealt with decisions elected leaders made in the statehouse.

2016 marked a year of uncharted territory for both public K-12 and higher education in Milwaukee.

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