WUWM: Education Reporting

There’s a lot to know about our schools - from the systems at large down to individual students. As WUWM's education reporter, my job is to take you into classrooms, introduce you to the people involved and explain the complicated stuff.

No matter how education touches your life - whether you're a parent, student, teacher or just interested in better understanding how learning happens - I want your ideas to help shape the stories I cover.

What do YOU want to know about education in southeastern Wisconsin? Let's learn together.

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Ways to Connect

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!

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

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

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.

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