Dr. Fuller is Distinguished Professor of Education, & Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Immediately before his appointment at Marquette University, Dr. Fuller served as the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. His prior positions include: Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services; Dean of General Education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College; Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employment Relations; Associate Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University; Senior Fellow with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. He is Chair of the Board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and of Milwaukee Collegiate Academy. He serves on the Milwaukee Region Board of Teach for America, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates & CEE-Trust. He is an Advisory Board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools & the National Association for Charter School Authorizers.
Lisa Frazier Page is a writer living in the New Orleans area. She is the co-author of six books, including Living & Dying in Brick City: Stories from the Front Lines of An Inner-City E.R.; A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School; and The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise & Fulfill A Dream. [Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki]
306 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 | Paperback | Richly Illustrated | $20.00 | Index
One day in 2001 I was sitting alongside the new President of the United States of America, George W. Bush…in the Oval Office. Once the word spread that I was working with the Republican President on education, people immediately began making assumptions about me. Some former friends called me a sellout and Uncle Tom—charges that were not new to me. Even though I knew such accusations to be completely off base, I understood the perception. Who knows what assumptions… people like the President were making about me. But as I left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that day, it occurred to me: This man has no idea who I really am. And neither do the people who’ve been so quick to pass judgment on me my entire life.
At long last, this book is my answer. This is, as best I can tell you, who I am and how I got here, in the heart of the struggle to reform the nation’s schools. I have always believed that it is important for poor and working class Black people to gain access to the levers of power dictating their lives. I also believe that those of us who are educated and resourceful have a moral and historical responsibility to help them, and that is what I have always tried to do. Early in my life, I found truth in the words of the great Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.” So struggle we must. That understanding of the relationship between struggle and progress is what propelled me down dark alleys and dirt roads in some of North Carolina’s poorest communities in the 1960s and pushed me into the bush, mountains, and war-torn villages of Africa nearly a decade later. It is what pushes me still in the fight over one of the most contentious education issues of this era: parental choice. I believe deep in my heart that giving low-income and working class parents the power (and the money) to make choices about the schools their children attend will not only revolutionize education but provide the compass to a better life for the many poor, Black children stuck in failing systems. … Education reform is one of the most crucial social justice issues of our time, and I will spend the rest of my days fighting for my people, most especially those without the power or the resources to fight for themselves.
~ From the Introduction
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