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.

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Emily Files

High-quality early childhood education is often inaccessible for Milwaukee families. That’s the bottom line from a recently-released needs assessment commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Emily Files

In early February, Gov. Tony Evers signed Wisconsin’s first dyslexia law. It requires the Department of Public Instruction to create a guidebook about the common reading disability. 

Courtesy David Crowley and Chris Larson

Updated Wednesday at 11:39 a.m. CT

David Crowley and Chris Larson are advancing to the April 7 general election in the Milwaukee County executive race. They were the top two vote-getters in the primary election, beating out Theo Lipscomb and Purnima Nath.

Both Crowley and Larson are Democrats who serve in the Wisconsin Legislature – Crowley in the Assembly and Larson in the Senate.

Emily Files

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is trying again to increase state support of schools. This time, by calling a special session for Feb. 11 on the topic. But the proposal appears to be dead on arrival with Republican leadership.  

Evers wants to use $250 million of an expected budget surplus to restore the state’s commitment to funding two-thirds of K-12 education costs.

Emily Files

In Wisconsin, parents have a lot of choices about where to send their children to school. Open Enrollment allows families to switch between public school districts. Parental choice programs let some families enroll in private schools, using taxpayer-funded vouchers.

READ: Vice President Mike Pence Joins Wisconsin School Choice Rally

Emily Files

Wisconsin now has its first dyslexia-specific law on the books — giving hope to advocates who’ve been fighting for greater recognition of the common learning disability.

Act 86 calls for the creation of a dyslexia guidebook for school districts. Gov. Tony Evers signed the bill into law Wednesday morning, tying it to Wisconsin’s push to improve students’ reading abilities.

Emily Files

The politics of education was on full display in Wisconsin’s capital on Tuesday — with two of the Trump administration’s top officials rallying support for school choice, and public education advocates calling for an end to those programs.

Emily Files

A new report from a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher highlights one reason African American teachers may leave classrooms: trust issues in the work environment.

Emily Files / WUWM

An effort to ban Native American mascots, logos, and nicknames in Wisconsin public schools was quashed on Wednesday, at least for now. A resolution to rid schools of the mascots was rejected by a delegation of about 300 school board members from across the state.

This latest push against Native American mascots started with Wausau School Board President Tricia Zunker, who is now also running for Congress. Zunker is Ho-Chunk, and she objects to the about 30 Wisconsin school districts still using Native American mascot and nicknames.

Plunkett Raysich Architects / Courtesy Mount Mary University

Milwaukee’s Mount Mary University is planning a unique housing project that will serve students who are single mothers, alongside aging nuns and other senior citizens.

Emily Files

Have you ever noticed a place name on your Google Maps or GPS, and thought, "I wonder what that is?"

That's what happened to South Milwaukee resident Mary Holtz, when she was driving near Bay View.  

"My husband and I were interested in something we spotted on our navigation screen called the Town of Lake," Holtz told WUWM’s Bubbler Talk. "We were curious about its history. Does it actually exist anywhere other than this digital navigation? What happened to it? Where'd it come from? Where'd it go?"

Emily Files

The small southeastern Wisconsin school district of Palmyra-Eagle will not dissolve, despite serious financial problems. A state-appointed board made the decision at a meeting Thursday.

Palmyra-Eagle, which spans rural parts of Waukesha and Jefferson counties, would have been the first school district to dissolve under Wisconsin’s current funding system. But on Thursday night, that was averted — for now.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr

When you look at a map of Wisconsin, it’s covered in names that remind us of this country’s original inhabitants. Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, Kinnickinnic — all words derived from Native American languages.

Another is Oconomowoc, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. This week’s Bubbler Talk questioner, Jeff Dittel, moved there about two and a half years ago.

Emily Files / WUWM

As 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of Wisconsin’s most important education stories of the year – many of which will continue to play out in 2020.

The year started on a high note for public school advocates, with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers taking office. Evers spent his career in education, eventually becoming Wisconsin’s superintendent of schools, and then ousting Republican incumbent Scott Walker for the governor’s seat in the November 2018 election.

Emily Files

In April, Milwaukee Public Schools will ask voters to approve a property tax referendum for the first time in 26 years.

The school board decided Thursday night to ask for $87 million in additional revenue. This would allow the district to exceed state-imposed property tax caps.

READ: MPS To Consider Referendum For Educational Programming

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