Journal of the San Juan Islands


'Lessons from the Heartland'; author explores a public school system in peril

May 2, 2013 · Updated 9:10 AM

Barbara J. Miner / Contributed photo

From labor politics to civil rights, Wisconsin and the working-class city of Milwaukee have long been recognized as an epicenter of the struggle for progress in America. That hasn’t changed.

In “Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century  of Public Education in an Iconic American City”, longtime reporter, editor and education writer Barbara J. Miner reveals a crucial turning point now taking place in heartland of the U.S. and her hometown by tackling the future of public education and its impact on America’s multi-cultural society.

Miner will be at Griffin Bay Bookstore, Saturday, May 4,, at 7 p.m., to talk about her observations and latest book as part of a nationwide tour.

Cast in a non-fiction narrative, Lessons from the Heartland traces the racially charged past of Milwaukee’s public education system and explores the uncertainty of it future.

The book reflects both the keen eye of a journalist with an affection for her hometown, as Miner describes her hometown’s fall from grace. Milwaukee is now considered the most segregated metropolis in America, with unemployment among its black population now at a shocking 55 percent.

A reporter, writer and editor for nearly 40 years, Miner explores effects of Milwaukee’s “hyper-segregated” public schools, delving into topics such as school-choice vouchers and charter schools, and she details the experimental policy-making that has led to an educational system that is increasingly separate, and unequal.



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