Rachel Morello

Education Reporter

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

A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Morello previously covered the education beat for StateImpact Indiana, a collaborative public radio/public television reporting project focused on explaining the effects of school-related state policy on people's lives. Her own academic background includes experiences in alternative, public and private schools, as well as homeschooling. 

Rachel is a Milwaukee native and considers herself a proud cheesehead (Go Pack!) She likes to spend her weekends taking advantage of the city's lakefront, as well as its breweries and arts scene. 

Rachel Morello

Summer is in full swing, and many Milwaukee kids are in the throes of summer camp.

And for a group of local teenagers, it has been a mix of work and play.

Rachel Morello

A number of people in Milwaukee are creating schools. It’s possible, in part, because of the community’s thriving charter and voucher school programs, which provide public funding.

Rachel Morello

Here’s an acronym for you: ESSA.

It stands for the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” If you’re armed with just that information, you might be able to guess that ESSA is a law, and it has something to do with schools. You’d be right. And, you’d know about as much about it as some of the people it will affect: educators.

ESSA is a pretty big deal. But you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know – it’s been awhile since the US has passed anything like it.

Rachel Morello

For most kids, summer is the best time of year: school’s out, the sun is shining and days are free and open. But for many little ones in and around Milwaukee, summer also means less stability, particularly when it comes to food.

That’s why community groups have stepped in to provide meals when school cafeterias close.

Senator Scott Fitzgerald, Facebook

Reaction is intensifying to state efforts to intervene in low-performing Milwaukee Public Schools.

It began bubbling to the surface Wednesday, when the leader of the state’s Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program, quit. 

Rachel Morello

Mequon-Thiensville Superintendent Demond Means announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from his post as commissioner of the state-mandated MPS turnaround program, indicating the process has become too adversarial.

Rachel Morello

Thursday marks a big deadline for Milwaukee Public Schools. It’s the day district officials must decide what they think should be done for failing MPS schools.

It’s a decision almost two years in the making. State legislators created the framework for a turnaround program in 2015, and debate has raged over the program’s design, even its mere existence, ever since.

Rachel Morello

Update, 3:45p.m.: In a joint statement Friday afternoon, County Executive Abele and Commissioner Means expressed their disappointment about MPS' decision regarding the duo's OSPP proposal -- and offered district leaders another chance to join them. 

Rachel Morello

On Wednesday night, the voices behind WUWM’s collaborative series Precious Lives took to the stage at the Pabst Theater. Precious Lives: The Live Show featured two dozen kids and adults from the Milwaukee area whose lives have been affected by gun violence. For most of the young people involved, this was the first time they shared their stories onstage in front of a large audience.

Kristine Hinrichs

Even if you’ve spent only a little time in Milwaukee, you’ve likely noticed some unusual figures lurking on city sidewalks. They’re big and blue, dotting street corners across Milwaukee. 

One sits right outside Kristine Hinrichs’ condo downtown, on the corner of 3rd Street and St. Paul Avenue.

“I’ve lived downtown almost 25 years, and they’re everywhere,” Hinrichs remarks.

Rachel Morello

Milwaukee Public Schools' Board of Directors voted to pass a 2017 budget plan at their monthly meeting Thursday night. 

We know what you might be thinking: budgets are dense. Lots of numbers, figures and heavy education-related jargon. 

Rachel Morello

When school budgets are tight, arts programming is typically the first thing to go. That's not been the case lately in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Since 2012, the district has put an emphasis on music, dance, theater and visual arts, adding teachers and class time when possible.

And the powers that be are taking notice. MPS will soon receive some more federal funding to help bring art into other parts of the school building.

Rachel Morello

Many things happening on Milwaukee’s education scene are ripe for debate – school vouchers, testing and budgets, to name a few.

Rafael Ben-Ari, Fotolia

The Obama administration is taking a stance in the debate over rights for transgender people.   ­

On Friday, the federal departments of Education and Justice released guidance to public schools. They say transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity.

Rachel Morello

This week, WUWM’s “Getting There” series is looking at the issue of truancy in Milwaukee’s public schools. Today, we look to the end of the school year with parents and school leaders.

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