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 Marketplace, NPR’s Only a Game, and The World.

Ways to Connect

Emily R Files / WUWM

Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to connect written text to spoken language. It’s likely one major reason why 65 percent of Wisconsin fourth graders don’t meet proficiency standards on national reading assessments.

Emily R Files

In many places across the United States, families looking for Montessori education turn to private schools. But Milwaukee is different. There are eight free, public Montessori schools in the district.

One of them is James Whitcomb Riley School on the south side. It’s Milwaukee’s newest public Montessori school, and the only dual language one.

Charles Edward Miller/Wikimedia Commons

Updated at 5 p.m. CT

A former Milwaukee School Board president was indicted in federal court Thursday in an alleged charter school bribery scheme.

Michael Bonds is accused of accepting $6,000 in bribes from a Philadelphia-based charter school operator.

Emily Files

Updated on April, 8 12 p.m. CT: Final election results affirm union-endorsed Marva Herndon's win in District 1.

Preliminary results show union-backed candidates winning four of five open Milwaukee School Board seats in Tuesday's election. The race between Marva Herndon and Shyla Deacon in District 1 is too close to call. 

Emily Files

The Kenosha Unified School District is implementing new guidelines following controversy over cheerleading awards that objectified students' bodies. But the ACLU, which threatened legal action against the district, says it's not going far enough.

Emily Files / WUWM

The Milwaukee School Board is about to see a lot of turnover. Five of nine seats are on the ballot in the April 2 election. All the races are contested and only one incumbent is running, which means there will be at least four new faces on the board that governs Wisconsin’s largest school district.

>>View The Election Results

Emily Files / WUWM

Nineteen-year-old Lauren Buchanan is a student at Bethesda College, a specialized program for students with intellectual disabilities. It is run by the nonprofit Bethesda Lutheran Communities, located on Concordia University's campus in Mequon.

"I wanted to go to college because I wanted to meet new friends, see new people and, like, have good relationships, good friendships with people," Buchanan says.

uwm-chemistry-building
Emily Files

In his proposed biennial capital budget, Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.5 billion on public building projects. About half of that money would go to University of Wisconsin facilities, including a new $130 million chemistry building at UW-Milwaukee.

On Thursday, UW System President Ray Cross held a press conference to rally support for the proposed chemistry building replacement.

Emily Files

Tony Evers’ background is in education, including serving as the top education official in Wisconsin. Now that he is governor, Evers is proposing a raft of school funding changes. He delivered his first budget address on Feb. 28.

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Courtesy Terese Agnew

It was like something out of a fairy tale. One day in the fall of 1985, a green and gold dragon appeared on Milwaukee’s East Side.

It was a 30-foot-long, 350-pound sculpture perched on the gothic-looking North Point Water Tower, where North Avenue meets the lake bluff. The dragon’s teeth were bared, and its claws and tail curled around a ledge.  

Longtime Milwaukeeans Cookie Anderson and Gretchen Farrar-Foley remember the dragon.

Phil Roeder/Flickr

Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend an additional $150 million on Wisconsin’s public universities and colleges in the next two years. Evers plans to announce the proposal as part of his biennial budget address Thursday night.

The new governor’s proposal is a departure from his predecessor, Republican Scott Walker. Walker cut funding for the UW System and limited the universities’ ability to raise revenue by imposing a tuition freeze for in-state students.

Updated at 12:07 p.m.

The Kenosha News reports that three Tremper High School cheer coaches have been barred from attending a state competition their team is participating in this weekend. It also reports two coaches will resign at the end of the school year.  

Original Story at 11:36 a.m.

Emily Files

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will call for a freeze on school choice programs and independent charter schools when he introduces his biennial budget proposal this week.

Evers isn’t trying to end school choice in Wisconsin. But he does want to hit the brakes. His office provided an outline of his voucher and charter school proposal prior to his budget address, which is scheduled for Thursday.

It includes freezing enrollment in Wisconsin’s voucher programs, beginning in fiscal year 2021, and phasing out the newest of the programs.

Sherry Saccoliti / Flickr Creative Commons

The Kenosha Unified School District is under fire for what the American Civil Liberties Union calls an environment of pervasive gender discrimination.

The ACLU is asking the district to take more aggressive action in response to two eye-popping incidents that occurred in 2018. It is also demanding the district act to change a school culture “in which female students are objectified and sexualized.”

Lauren Sigfusson

After an unprecedented number of weather-related closures, Milwaukee Public Schools is adjusting its calendar for the rest of the school year. Feb. 19 was originally a staff-only day for professional development. But to make up for lost time, it is now a regular school day with students expected in class.

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