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

Lauren Sigfusson / WUWM

Updated on July 14 at 3:27 p.m. CT

The Trump administration dropped its plans to impose restrictions on the number of online classes international students in the U.S. are allowed to take in the upcoming school year. The reversal was announced at a hearing in the lawsuit brought against federal officials by Harvard and MIT. 

Courtesy of Kyle Charters

In June, some local students were named finalists in the national NPR Student Podcast Challenge.

Emily Files / WUWM

Milwaukee Public Schools is seeking feedback from families and staff about how to reopen in the fall, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The survey is available online and closes on July 8. It asks families whether they want their kids to be back in classrooms, stick with virtual learning, or do a combination. And it asks staff whether they feel comfortable returning to schools and what safety measures are important to them.

Emily Files / WUWM

Protests sparked by police killings of Black people are drawing attention to the United States' persistent racial disparities. Those disparities are also widespread in education. Wisconsin has some of the largest test score and high school graduation gaps between Black and white students.

Emily Files / WUWM

There are still a lot of unknowns about how Wisconsin’s K-12 schools will reopen in the fall.

Public and private school leaders testified to the Assembly Education Committee for seven hours Wednesday about the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

>>MPS Considers How To Safely Bring Students Back

Scott Olson / Getty Images

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents is hiring one of Wisconsin’s most well-known politicians to the role of system president. Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson will lead the UW System for at least a year, beginning in July.

>>Regents Select Tommy Thompson As Interim UW President

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

Protests are happening around the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. Here you'll find updates on protests happening in the Milwaukee area.

Check out all of WUWM's protest coverage here:

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.

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