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

Photo Courtesy of Danceworks

In the 2005 documentary film “Mad Hot Ballroom,” viewers saw how the lives of New York City public school kids were impacted by dance.

Around that same time, dance was taking center stage in pop culture. Movies like “Step Up” and television shows like “Dancing With the Stars” scored big audiences – many of the viewers were kids.

Leaders on Milwaukee’s dance scene took notice, and decided it was time to open up the art form to kids who might not otherwise experience it.

Nick Fleisher/Twitter

Wisconsin's public university system will now operate under a new tenure policy. 

The University of Wisconsin system Board of Regents approved changes to tenure protections at its meeting Thursday morning. The overhauled policy will replace the state tenure law that Republican leaders scrapped in the most recent budget.

Rachel Morello

A new national education policy is taking shape.

It’s called the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. As of December, it replaces No Child Left Behind as the nation’s cornerstone education law.

ESSA is a big deal. It’s a blueprint that lays out what states can and can’t do in terms of K-12 public education policy.

http://saragoldrickrab.com/

An outspoken UW-Madison professor says she's planning to leave the state system because of forthcoming changes to tenure.

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a vocal educational policy studies professor, announced Tuesday that she has accepted a position at Temple University in Philadelphia. She describes the school as "clearly committed to 21st century public university goals."

For one day, kids at Milwaukee College Prep's 36th Street campus aren't wearing their uniforms. Instead, they're decked out in suits and dresses for the first-ever Academy Awards of Excellence.

Office administrator Tanya Griffin plays paparazzi by snapping pictures of students, parents and teachers as they step in front of a gold backdrop.

"Who are you wearing?" Griffin asks parents as they make their way down the red carpet — plastic runners taped to the linoleum floor.

Michelle Maternowski

The 88th annual Academy Awards telecast airs Sunday, but this year's awards show has been criticized for its lack of diversity. A number of prominent black figures have called for a boycott of the event. Plenty of kids have taken notice too, including at a school on Milwaukee’s west side. So they decided to stage their own Oscars ceremony.

It's no uniforms on this day at Milwaukee College Prep’s 36th Street campus. Teachers, students and parents have come to school strutting their red-carpet best.

Rachel Morello

It’s no secret that student loan debt is a huge and mounting expense. In Wisconsin alone, the White House estimates residents owe more than $18 billion. And now, some of that debt has become multi-generational. 

Lauren Fox

Today has been an exceptionally windy day in southeastern Wisconsin. At WUWM's studios, we have been lulled by the sound of creaky windows and wind gusts.

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich watched whole magazines fly past his seventh floor window, while one WUWM guest witnessed a lady being knocked over by a particularly strong gust of wind.

Earlier in the day, we watched water dance across the frozen river.

vincent desjardins, flickr

Parents consider a number of factors when they choose a high school for their kids. Safety is often one of those considerations.

But right now, parents can’t access data about crime that happens in Wisconsin’s schools.

Sergeant Marla Martin is a parent. She's also a West Allis police officer who sees most everything that goes on at Nathan Hale High School -- good and bad. 

RIBI Image Library, flickr

In 2015, more than 190 world leaders signed onto the United Nations' list of Sustainable Development Goals. They address global inequality and promote more sustainable societies over the next fifteen years. The goals are universal – they’re designed to apply not just to the developing world, but to communities like ours, as well.

UW-Milwaukee is using these goals as a jumping-off point for its latest live lecture series.

Rachel Morello

Think about the term “home economics.”

You might picture a class of high school girls back in the day, learning to make meatloaf so they could one day serve it to their families.

Home ec has always taught students practical skills. But today it’s taken on a different flavor, even different names.

For instance, just this month, MPS announced it would launch a new culinary program, this fall.

Like other modern-day courses, the focus today is on helping students land jobs. Classes toss other skills into the mix.

Mitzi Keel, Schools That Can Milwaukee

School choice is an extremely divisive issue in Milwaukee, and across the state.

Public and private education advocates are passionate about their respective sectors – and their students, yet not always about each other.

But with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, educators from public, charter and voucher schools decided to embrace the spirit of the holiday this week.

They tucked politics away for one night to show each other some "cross-sector love." 

photos.com

This is not a budget year for the state legislature, but lawmakers are still making changes to the way schools are funded. The Assembly Education Committee passed an amendment Wednesday that would limit school districts’ taxing authority.

Troye Fox

UW-Milwaukee is celebrating.

It’s now considered an “R1” university. The rating means UWM is classified at the highest level of research activity.

It joins the ranks of about 100 other powerhouse colleges and universities, including Duke and Yale. For a long time, the only Wisconsin school designated as a top research university has been UW-Madison.

"It's a big deal," says Tom Luljak, UWM's Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Communications.

What does the new designation mean for the university?

JeffChristianse, flickr

On Friday, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents agreed to move ahead with a controversial new tenure policy. It would replace the tenure protections that Republican leaders struck from state law during the last budget cycle. 

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