Milwaukee's Lesson Plan

Nearing the end of a typical 12-hour day, Howard Fuller slumps wearily in his office chair. But as he begins to talk, he sits taller, and his eyes shine. Two decades ago, he was organizing poor workers in the South. Today, Fuller is still crusading--as superintendent of Milwaukee's public schools. On this recent day, he has met with the district's 157 principals, lunched with executives to discuss funding, and ended the afternoon in a heated exchange with parents and teachers of a community school. "As I got older," says Fuller, 54, "I realized I couldn't change the world, so I decided to work on the lives of children. The struggle is to make sure all kids get the best education possible."

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