Educating Milwaukee: How One City's History of Segregation and Struggle Shaped Its Schools

By James K. Nelsen

Paperback: $24.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-720-4

288 pages, 12 maps, 6 x 9; E-Book Edition Available

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"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.

To receive a review copy or press release, to schedule an author event, or for more information, contact the WHS Press Marketing Department: whspress@wisconsinhistory.org.

James K. Nelsen has a PhD in urban history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and teaches high school social studies at Golda Meir School in Milwaukee, a public magnet school for college-bound students in grades 3 through 12. As a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, he finds the history of the city fascinating, from its early days in the mid-nineteenth century to the modern challenges of urban life today. As a teacher, he enjoys researching the history of education from colonial times to the present. When not teaching or researching, he enjoys volunteering with youth groups, exploring his city, and following his beloved Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.