Emily Files

Education Reporter

Emily became WUWM’s Education Reporter in August 2018 after spending four years in small-town Alaska.

She began as a reporter for KRBD in Ketchikan, where she once covered a bear interrupting a high school cross country race. She then worked as a reporter and eventually news director at KHNS Radio in Haines, where she reported on a man in a bear costume harassing actual bears. Aside from the occasional bear story, Emily covered the local politics, tribal issues, hunting, fishing and, of course, education.

Emily is originally from the Chicago area. She studied journalism at Emerson College in Boston, where she reported her very first radio stories for college station WERS. She interned at NPR’s Weekend Edition, The Boston Globe and PRI’s The World. Emily’s work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition, Marketplace, NPR’s Only a Game, and The World.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Claudio Martinez / LIT

The Milwaukee School Board unanimously voted Thursday night to end contracts with the Milwaukee Police Department. Board members said they've repeatedly heard from students who say they feel criminalized by the presence of police at schools. 

>>As Schools Pledge To Fight Against Racial Injustice, MPS Looks To Cut Ties With Police

Emily Files / WUWM

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will reopen its campus for the fall semester, with a slew of safety precautions to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

Students and staff will be required to wear masks indoors. Classrooms will be reconfigured for social distancing. And large-enrollment courses will remain online.

In a normal semester at UWM, about 20% of classes are online. But this fall, the number will be reversed, according to Scott Gronert, dean of UWM’s College of Letters and Sciences.

Emily Files / WUWM

As protests over police brutality and racial injustice sweep the nation, some Milwaukee-area schools are speaking out and taking action – including a push to cut ties with police in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Last week, leaders at a charter school on the northwest side of Milwaukee organized a silent protest. Teachers, students and parents knelt for nine minutes on the sidewalk outside of Rocketship Transformation Prep.

Emily Files / WUWM

The UW System announced Sunday that all campuses would have some degree of in-person instruction this fall.

Leaders on each campus will make their own decisions on what exactly the fall semester will look like. But the system administration has released guidelines for how to reopen in the safest way possible.

Monique Musick

Updated Friday at 10:23 a.m. CT

Jim Johnsen withdrew from the search for University of Wisconsin System president on Friday. He was the lone finalist, drawing criticism from UW System faculty and staff.

Courtesy Laurie Horne

  

The coronavirus has disrupted the education world to an unprecedented degree. WUWM put a call out to the people who have been directly affected by the school closures and the unplanned shift to online learning.

Teachers, students and parents sent us voice memos and emails describing their new normal. 

Monique Musick

A search committee for the next University of Wisconsin System President has named just one finalist for the job. Jim Johnsen is currently president of the University of Alaska System, a position he has held since 2015.

Courtesy of Samer Ghani

For the most up-to-date information, read WUWM's latest protest post.

Updated Sunday at 1:45 p.m. CT

Emily Files / WUWM

As the current school year wraps up, Milwaukee Public Schools leaders are considering a range of scenarios for the fall. Whether students can safely go back to school remains uncertain due to the coronavirus.

Emily Files / WUWM

If voters didn't approve a tax referendum for Milwaukee Public Schools in April, the district would have been in a dire situation. That’s according to researchers with the Wisconsin Policy Forum, which analyzes the MPS budget each year.

Teran Powell

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is trying to set the stage for smooth elections in August and November after a chaotic experience in April.

The spring election and presidential primary saw a massive spike in absentee voting by mail. Many people didn’t want to cast ballots in person due to the coronavirus.

Emily Files / WUWM

Milwaukee Public Schools fielded criticism over the last couple of months about the district’s slower shift to online learning as students stay home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Between March 16 and April 20, teachers were not required to engage students in remote instruction. Even when the district told teachers to start supporting students’ learning from home, the expectations about what that should look like were unclear.

Emily Files / WUWM

The first semester of college under COVID-19 is over, and now schools have the difficult task of planning for the future. College leaders are deciding whether the benefits of holding in-person classes outweigh the risks of coronavirus exposure.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone says he will announce plans for the fall semester in June. Beyond the question of reopening campus, UWM is facing a projected $50 million to $100 million deficit by the end of the next school year.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Wisconsin now has a patchwork of local restrictions on businesses and gatherings after Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order was thrown out by the state Supreme Court late Wednesday.

In a 4-3 decision, the justices sided with Republican lawmakers and said Evers’ Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm did not have the authority to extend the safer-at-home rules until May 26. The court lifted the restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

This year’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) was supposed to bring thousands of visitors to Milwaukee in July. But the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the event back a month – and raised questions about what the gathering will actually look like.

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