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

Rachel Morello

School is no longer in session – but families are encouraged to come to a special lesson in Milwaukee Monday night.

Leaders from the state Department of Public Instruction will be in town to talk about how they plan to implement a new federal education law.

Chad Brown, WCTC

Update: President Trump has signed an executive order designed to expand apprenticeship opportunities across the country. 

Rachel Morello

For kids, the school day has traditionally started with homeroom or morning announcements. But a few Milwaukee schools are trying something different: they call it “morning motivation.”

The goal at Stellar Collegiate, a brand-new charter school on the city’s south side, is to turn every student into a “morning person.”

Rachel Morello

Wisconsin high school students will soon say goodbye to their teenage stomping grounds, and head off to college, the workforce, the military – all with diplomas in tow.  

A group of graduates from the School District of Waukesha will also leave with another badge of honor: the Seal of Biliteracy.  

ADELIE FREYJA ANNABEL, FLICKR

Wisconsin lawmakers are deciding whether to reward UW System schools based on how they perform. And experts say the idea has its share of pros and cons.

agcreativelab, fotolia

School finance can be a tangled web.

The combination of federal, state and local funding formulas that play into classroom budgets is enough to make one's head spin. Nonetheless, the budgeting process is an annual task for school districts.

Rachel Morello

Public and private schools may have to further compete against each other for students and families, if the Trump administration rolls out an anticipated new tax credit.

Rachel Morello

Spring has finally sprung around Milwaukee! And the warmer temperatures mean plenty of folks are looking for opportunities to get outside -- including teachers and students.

What's the best way to take your lessons outdoors?  That's something the folks in the Cedarburg and West Bend public school districts have been working on all year, with the help of a couple “Scientists in Residence.”

MPS

This week, schools in Milwaukee across the country are honoring their educators as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Freshman Tya Miller was among the North Division students who gathered outside at the end of the school day Wednesday, holding signs and distributing bottled water.

“My concern is that we don’t have clean water at all. All of our water bubblers are full of lead and they expect us to drink it,” Miller says.

Miller says bottled water is being provided, “But we have pay a dollar for it and I feel like that isn’t fair,” she adds, “We’re students here and we deserve free water.”

Rachel Morello

Why are so many schools in Milwaukee named after streets? That’s our Bubbler Talk question for the week, submitted by Sarah Neilsen. Seems like a pretty straightforward topic – but as it turns out, there’s quite a complicated history behind the answer.

“Naming of schools has always been a challenge in Milwaukee, and at times a controversial one,” says Steve Baruch, a retired MPS administrator.

Mount Mary University

The topic of leadership comes up a lot when we talk about education.

What makes a good school leader? What qualities should he or she possess, in order to take charge of staff, students, alumni, and a greater school community?

This is something the folks at Milwaukee’s Mount Mary University have thought a lot about in the past year. That’s because the Catholic, all-women’s school has been deep in the search process for a new university president.

Rachel Morello

UPDATE: A Senate committee has approved the bill that would create a state-operated recovery high school in Wisconsin. The proposal calls for a pilot charter school program, that could open as early as the fall. 

The matter moves next to a full vote on the Senate floor. 

Original post: March 27, 2017

Think back to the challenges you faced as a teenager -- things like homework, hormones, peer pressure. These days, more teens than ever before have another concern tacked onto that list: addiction.

Rachel Morello

What does it take to get students college and career ready? Milwaukee Public Schools is finding that preparing kids for their next steps involves more than just classroom instruction – in some cases, students need hands-on experience in the work world.

That’s something MPS is working to provide for students as they grow an in-house Youth Apprentice program.

Bradley Tech High School senior Desmond Glenn is part of the program right now. He joined after transferring to Tech from another school, and finding his place in a new welding class.

Rachel Morello

Close your eyes and picture a preschool classroom. What do you see? Chances are what you envision is probably pretty close to what you’ll find in an Educare classroom.

Educare is an early childhood program that targets children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, who come from low-income families. It’s an offshoot of Head Start, one of the most prominent, publicly-funded early childhood programs in the country.

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