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

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.

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

Pewaukee Insight Official Website

Business casual. Handshakes. PowerPoint presentations, pitches and customer surveys.

You would think you’d just walked into the boardroom in a downtown Milwaukee business. But, in fact, you’re among a group of upperclassmen from Pewaukee High School.

Pewaukee juniors and seniors have the opportunity to sign up for a capstone class called “Insight.” The program is basically a real-world equivalent of the television show “Shark Tank” – students create, design and pitch business startups over the course of semester.

Rachel Morello

President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t the only divisive political figure to visit Wisconsin Tuesday night.

On the UW-Milwaukee campus, an outspoken member of the so-called “alt-right” movement drew heightened security presence, as supporters and protesters alike rallied for free speech.

ADELIE FREYJA ANNABEL, FLICKR

Updated December 8, 2:08 p.m.:

The UW Board of Regents voted Thursday to increase employee salaries, as well as bump up tuition for out-of-state students.

Both decisions come as deep state budget cuts continue to impact public universities across Wisconsin.

The move to increase tuition would add $2,000 to bills for out-of-state students. It would also affect some graduate students in programs like medicine and business.

Rachel Morello

Milwaukee is home to the longest-running school voucher program in the country. And even though it is more than a quarter-century old, the system still generates plenty of division.

Before the election, Marquette Law School planned to host a conversation about lessons the city has learned about vouchers. Now the topic is even more relevant, because the nation may head down the path Milwaukee has followed for more than 25 years.

Rachel Morello

In college, students might joke about living on ramen noodles, or popcorn. But for some, hunger can be a real problem.

According to at least one study, today’s college students suffer higher levels of food insecurity than ever before.

So as a more diverse population of students works toward higher education, some campuses are figuring out how to make sure those young people have meals, including in Milwaukee.

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