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

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.

Rachel Morello

With the end of the year comes reflection, and plans for the months ahead. And 2016 is a big year for Milwaukee Recreation supervisor Carmelo Cortes. Cortes came to Milwaukee without many plans. He was just 21 when he arrived, coming from Puerto Rico to visit a cousin. He expected to stay a few weeks.

Things did not go according to plan.

“A friend of mine asked me if I wanted a part-time job, and since I was going to stay for a month or so, I figured, [I’d] work and make a little bit of money,” he remembers.

Michelle Maternowski

Updated December 23, 2016:

The Milwaukee School Board approved Thursday earlier start dates for all district high schools, International Baccalaureate and year-round schools for the 2017-18 academic year. 

It's one of several changes the district will pursue, as part of a rigorous reform agenda from Superintendent Darienne Driver.

Bill McChesney/Flickr

The relationship in Milwaukee between public schools and private choice schools has long been a contentious, or at least a competitive oneState funding comes attached to thousands of students who can attend either sector at public expense. Now, the concern is transportation.

The results are in, but last month’s presidential election still leaves many questions unanswered, including what will happen with undocumented immigrants.

Pewaukee Insight Official Website

Business casual. Handshakes. PowerPoint presentations, pitches and customer surveys.

You would think you’d just walked into the boardroom in a downtown Milwaukee business. But, in fact, you’re among a group of upperclassmen from Pewaukee High School.

Pewaukee juniors and seniors have the opportunity to sign up for a capstone class called “Insight.” The program is basically a real-world equivalent of the television show “Shark Tank” – students create, design and pitch business startups over the course of semester.

Rachel Morello

President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t the only divisive political figure to visit Wisconsin Tuesday night.

On the UW-Milwaukee campus, an outspoken member of the so-called “alt-right” movement drew heightened security presence, as supporters and protesters alike rallied for free speech.

ADELIE FREYJA ANNABEL, FLICKR

Updated December 8, 2:08 p.m.:

The UW Board of Regents voted Thursday to increase employee salaries, as well as bump up tuition for out-of-state students.

Both decisions come as deep state budget cuts continue to impact public universities across Wisconsin.

The move to increase tuition would add $2,000 to bills for out-of-state students. It would also affect some graduate students in programs like medicine and business.

Rachel Morello

Milwaukee is home to the longest-running school voucher program in the country. And even though it is more than a quarter-century old, the system still generates plenty of division.

Before the election, Marquette Law School planned to host a conversation about lessons the city has learned about vouchers. Now the topic is even more relevant, because the nation may head down the path Milwaukee has followed for more than 25 years.

Rachel Morello

In college, students might joke about living on ramen noodles, or popcorn. But for some, hunger can be a real problem.

According to at least one study, today’s college students suffer higher levels of food insecurity than ever before.

So as a more diverse population of students works toward higher education, some campuses are figuring out how to make sure those young people have meals, including in Milwaukee.

Rachel Morello

 

For some families, Thanksgiving means turkey or football. For others, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without Black Friday shopping.

Amelia Frankum falls into the latter camp. The Whitefish Bay resident makes a pilgrimage to the stores every year -- but it’s not a solo mission.

“My daughter and I have been Black Friday shopping together since she was about 4 years old, and she is 18 this year,” Frankum says. “It’s kind of our thing! Nobody else can come, just she and I every year.”

pressmaster / Fotolia

There are plenty of parenting books out there. Each touts its own tips and tricks, "secrets" to raising the most well-rounded, best-behaved children. 

What if we told you, there is no one secret?

That's exactly the message author and educator Kim John Payne wants to spread to parents.

Algonquin Publishing

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you drove past your exit on the highway, instead of going home to make dinner after work? Or what your destination would be, if you could just drop everything and head out on the road?

That’s the fantasy-turned-reality for the main character in Leave Me, the latest novel from bestselling author Gayle Forman.

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