Beats Me

Emily Files

Research show that students of color are more likely to succeed if they have at least one teacher who looks like them. But in many urban districts like Milwaukee, there is a mismatch between students and teachers. Teachers are mostly white, and students are mostly black and Hispanic.

Emily Files

How important is it for a student to be taught by a teacher of the same race? That's something that's been on the mind of community member Ann Stanton, so she submitted a question to Beats Me — our series that allows you to ask questions about race, education, innovation and the environment.

“What is the ratio of black students to white teachers, and the black teacher makeup in MPS? What impact does that have on student achievement?”

Susan Bence

Milwaukee has hundreds of thousands of trees, many of them in county parks.

Bay View resident Steve Ohly loves them, which is one reason he moved to Milwaukee. “I tend to be a tree hugger, really. But I do it in the morning when nobody’s around,” he says.

So, it’s no surprise that Steve lives across from a sea of trees in the heart of Bay View: Humboldt Park. That’s where I met him, to help answer his Beats Me question.

Susan Bence

Not so many years ago, no one would dream of kayaking or canoeing the Milwaukee River. Now those activities are common. So, how would you feel about jumping into the Milwaukee River for a swim?

That’s what will be happening during the 2018 Cream City Classic. On Aug. 11, the one-and-a-half-mile swim race will take place just upstream from where the Milwaukee River meets Lake Michigan.

While this race is being dubbed “Milwaukee’s first open river swim,” the Milwaukee River was once a popular swim spot.

Susan Bence

Just like Milwaukee, thousands of lead service lines deliver water from the main into Wauwatosa households. Wauwatosa's public works director David Simpson estimates nearly 10,000 of its 15,000 customers have lead pipes feeding water into their homes.

Simpson says Wauwatosa recently changed its policy surrounding pipes that break. “If we have a break on the city-owned lateral, we’ll go in and replace the entire city-owned side.” Before that, he says, city crews simply repaired the break.

Susan Bence

Along the shore of Lake Michigan, a coal-burning power plant occupies more than 1,000 acres of land in Oak Creek. Joe Dubanewicz, who lives nearby, has been wondering about the plant, so he reached out to WUWM's Beats Me with his concerns.

“I am wondering if the coal ash ponds are leaching into the groundwater. Who tests the groundwater and are there any monitoring stations for coal dust?” he asks.

What Does Montessori Education Look Like in Wisconsin?

Feb 26, 2018
Rachel Morello

Many educators throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin have embraced the Montessori learning method. Not exactly sure what makes a Montessori school different? You aren't alone.

Working your way down the list of schools within MPS, you’ll see a variety: lots of what most people refer to as “traditional” public schools, some charters, language immersion, gifted & talented…and a handful of Montessori programs.

Susan Bence

Like many Milwaukeans, Deb Schampers of Bay View has driven past the wind turbine just south of the Hoan Bridge countless times. For years, she’s been wondering about it: Why is it there? Why only one? Who benefits?

Just for fun, during her daily commutes, Deb made up her own answers -- “It was possibly helping us make Milorganite for the world... It’s heating the ovens at DiMarini’s (a pizza place a half mile from the turbine.)”

Michelle Maternowski

In Milwaukee, there are more school options than ever for families to choose from. So many, that making a choice can seem overwhelming to some. With such a wide selection, how do parents go about picking a school for their kids?

This week marks National School Choice Week. And organizers say, the celebration is not just about voucher schools.

Susan Bence

Greenfield resident Anah Radatz has been religiously recycling for years, and has wondered what happens to her empty milk jugs and newspapers. So, she reached out to Beats Me.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

One point twenty-seven million tons. That’s how much garbage was added to Orchard Ridge last year alone. The landfill is located in the Village of Menomonee Falls. Of the 85 licensed operations in Wisconsin, Orchard Ridge is the largest.

On an average day 400 to 600 trucks haul in garbage from four counties – Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Milwaukee.

But, how much more waste can the 23-year-old landfill hold? And what will become of the site once it is full?

A Primer on Homeschooling in Wisconsin

Nov 27, 2017
chasingmoments, fotolia

Wisconsin is home to arguably the largest school choice scene in the country, and many local parents are aware of the public and private school options available to them. But there’s one lesser-known alternative: homeschooling.

Milwaukee County Parks

Milwaukee County is home to 15,325 acres of parkland. There are 158 unique parks are rooted across the region – from Joseph Lichter Park in the north to Oakwood in the south; from tiny Pompeii Square nestled beneath a tangle of downtown freeway spurs to 626-acre Whitnall Park.

Lindsay Frost

Environment. Education. These are the huge topics WUWM's beat reporters tackle every day. These issues are so big, it can be hard to decide what to dig into and where to begin.

So, we are opening up the reporting process to you - our listeners, our community. We want to tap into your curiosity to produce community-driven stories.