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

Incumbent Tony Evers will face off with challenger Lowell Holtz for the position of state Superintendent. 

The two men won the most votes in February's primary race. Wisconsin voters will make their final decision during the general election on Tuesday, April 4. 

Get to know more about the remaining candidates below...

Original post: February 15, 2017

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.

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.

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

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