By James K Nelsen
"Milwaukee’s story is unique in that its struggle for integration and quality education has been so closely tied to [school] choice.” —from the Introduction
Educating Milwaukee: How One City’s History of Segregation and Struggle Shaped Its Schools traces the origins of the modern school choice movement, which is growing in strength throughout the United States. Author James K. Nelsen follows Milwaukee’s tumultuous education history through three eras--"no choice,” "forced choice,” and "school choice.” Nelsen details the whole story of Milwaukee’s choice movement through to modern times when Milwaukee families have more schooling options than ever--charter schools, open enrollment, state-funded vouchers, neighborhood schools--and yet Milwaukee’s impoverished African American students still struggle to succeed and stay in school. Educating Milwaukee chronicles how competing visions of equity and excellence have played out in one city’s schools in the modern era, offering both a cautionary tale and a "choice” example.