Rachel Morello

Education Reporter

Rachel joined WUWM 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 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. 

digital_3rd_eye, Flickr

Update: Since UW-Madison's faculty senate passed its no-confidence vote last week, campus leaders at UW-Milwaukee, UW-River Falls and UW-La Crosse have approved similar measures of their own.

Original post, May 2: Faculty leaders at the University of Wisconsin System's flagship campus approved a no-confidence vote Monday. 

Martha Dalton/WABE

This week, WUWM's "Getting There" series explores school attendance around Milwaukee. Today, we examine what other cities have tried to get students in their seats. 

The year was 2011. The truancy rate in New York City public schools had hit 20 percent

District leaders decided to try something new and simple: calling the kids who weren’t showing up.

Don Harder, Flickr

The word ‘truancy’ has one, clear definition: "the act or condition of being absent without permission." Some refer to it as ‘playing hooky.’ It’s also called absenteeism. Whichever way you spin it, it means you’re not showing up for classes.

When Dexter Weaver was a kid, as far as school was concerned, truancy was a four-letter-word.

“I had to go to school unless I was bleeding, or vomiting - a lot!” Weaver jokes. “Other than that, I was in school.”

YouTube/The Tab

Here's a story that defines "modern romance."

A social media storm rained down on the UW-Madison campus last week, as two students used the Snapchat app to make a romantic connection.

The students – identified as “Vikings Fan” and “Mystery Girl” – noticed each other on Snapchat’s location-based story, and began sending video messages back and forth. They had never met before. After communicating throughout the day, they began trying to track each other down. 

Rachel Morello

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week, which has us thinking about some of the standout educators from our own school days. 

We asked our staff, and some of you, "Who was your favorite teacher, and why?" The answers prompted smiles, good memories and fun remembrances of classrooms past. 

Rachel Morello

new report from UW-Milwaukee researchers shows measured gains in student test scores and attendance at Milwaukee Public Schools' Carver Academy, thanks to partnerships with a handful of outside organizations.

frankieleon (Flickr)

Over the months and years, we've spoken with lots of different people who have lots of different opinions on education.

Suffice it to say, it seems there is no one way to reach a classroom full of children.

But, no matter what school of thought to which you subscribe, there are skills most educators would agree are crucial for student success.

Brian Hart/Flickr

Earlier this week, the Public Policy Forum released a report detailing the shrinking numbers in Milwaukee’s teaching workforce. Here’s a refresher: More teachers across Greater Milwaukee are leaving their jobs than ever before. On top of that, fewer students are going into the teaching profession. The next logical question, is why?

It’s happening all over the country: more teachers are leaving the field of education. On top of that, fewer young adults are entering the profession. It’s a phenomenon happening right here in the greater Milwaukee area.

Mary worked as a public school teacher in Milwaukee for 18 years. We’re not using her full name because she still does some work for her former district.

Rachel Morello

We now know more about what the Milwaukee county executive and his designee plan to do with failing MPS schools.

Cedarburg School District

The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report annually rank high schools nationally and by state. In 2016, neither list includes a Wisconsin high school in its top 100. Of the higher-ranking state schools, nearly all are located in the Milwaukee area, with Cedarburg and New Berlin Eisenhower showing up on both lists.

Linda Darling-Hammond, via Alverno College

A lot is changing in education these days.

The United States is implementing a new cornerstone education law. States including Wisconsin are making moves in standardized testing, academic standards and school funding.

Michelle Maternowski

The Milwaukee Public Schools system has been shrinking in terms of enrollment. Now, it could lose more buildings, too.

When a school closes, it goes on a list of vacant, or “surplus” properties.

Friday, the Common Council approved five interested entities who can buy those buildings. Not on the list: MPS.

Cory Savage (Savage Solutions LLC)

It’s not often that someone builds a brand new school in Milwaukee. But it’s going to happen soon on the south side. St. Augustine Preparatory Academy will open on 5th Avenue, west of Interstate 94,  in summer of 2017.

When Waukesha businessman Gus Ramirez looked at Milwaukee’s educational landscape, he saw a need for better schools.

“About half of the Milwaukee students in all sectors – public, charter and choice – are going to awful schools. Not just bad, but awful schools,” Ramirez reflects. “We’re one of the worst in the country.”

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