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, Washington, 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. 

A lifelong cheesehead, Rachel likes to spend her weekends cheering on the Packers and Badgers, and taking advantage of the Milwaukee lakefront. 

Ways to Connect

Rachel Morello

What does it take to get students college and career ready? Milwaukee Public Schools is finding that preparing kids for their next steps involves more than just classroom instruction – in some cases, students need hands-on experience in the work world.

That’s something MPS is working to provide for students as they grow an in-house Youth Apprentice program.

Bradley Tech High School senior Desmond Glenn is part of the program right now. He joined after transferring to Tech from another school, and finding his place in a new welding class.

Rachel Morello

Close your eyes and picture a preschool classroom. What do you see? Chances are what you envision is probably pretty close to what you’ll find in an Educare classroom.

Educare is an early childhood program that targets children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, who come from low-income families. It’s an offshoot of Head Start, one of the most prominent, publicly-funded early childhood programs in the country.

Rachel Morello

For the first time in quite a few years, Wisconsin classrooms stand to gain additional money from the state -- and public school advocates want to make sure it happens.

Hundreds of folks showed up to speak their minds at a public hearing Wednesday in Milwaukee, including a strong contingent of parents and teachers.

Rachel Morello

With just one week left until election day, the candidates for state superintendent presented their cases in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Incumbent Tony Evers and challenger Lowell Holtz spoke in front of a crowd at Marquette Law School.  

The two men talk differently about a variety of issues – including school choice. But they agree on this: the state must do more to boost Milwaukee’s public schools.

Rachel Morello

Think back to the challenges you faced as a teenager -- things like homework, hormones, peer pressure. These days, more teens than ever before have another concern tacked onto that list: addiction.

Bill McChesney/Flickr

Updated March 23, 2017:

The tug-of-war continues between public and private choice schools in Milwaukee over transportation costs.

Last fall, a pair of Milwaukee voucher schools approached MPS, asking the district to reimburse them for the cost of student bus service.

Now, one of those programs is suing MPS.

Richard Termine

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

Almost anybody with a television and free time afterschool for the last 50 years has become friends with the characters on Sesame Street. About a year ago, Big Bird and the gang said goodbye to Maria, one of the most beloved neighbors on the block since the early 1970s -- and one of the first Hispanic characters on national television.

College Possible/Twitter

There’s a lot of talk coming out of Washington these days, about what will change under the new presidential administration -- immigration, health care and international trade, to name a few. 

But many smaller programs also face imminent change – including domestic projects that rely on federal funds.

Metro Milwaukee has a segregation problem. It's an issue prominently on display within area schools.

Some say, school segregation in Milwaukee as bad today as it was 60 years ago, at the height of the Civil Rights era.

How did we get here? Let’s take a look back...

Rachel Morello

Metro Milwaukee has a segregation problem -- not least, within area schools. Over time, racial lines have been created here, dividing the area into distinct black, white and Latino neighborhoods. 

Rachel Morello

Imagine someone hands you a bonus -- a few hundred extra dollars. How would you spend the money? That’s a question facing Wisconsin school districts.

smolaw11 / fotolia

All MPS students will soon have to wear uniforms. The Milwaukee School Board approved a new district-wide dress code at its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Until now, MPS has left it up to each individual school how to structure its dress code. About one-third of the district’s schools currently require uniforms. A lot of those uniforms look similar, even though there hasn’t been one standard across MPS.

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!

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