Nearly 25 years ago, business leaders in Milwaukee came to me deeply concerned that they couldn’t find enough qualified workers among the students leaving the Milwaukee Public Schools. At the same time, African-American prents came to me worried about their children’s future in a school system that wasn’t meeting their needs.
 
So, together, the city’s parents and the business community pleaded with state leaders to give these families a better option. Working with a Democratic Assembly and Senate, we created both the nation’s first private school choice program and a series of additional educational options including independent charter schools. 
 
And it worked. Today, the children of Milwaukee have a wider array of educational options than students anywhere else in America. Children in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college than their peers in the Milwaukee public school system. That accomplishment is all the more impressive because graduation rates in the Milwaukee Public Schools are also up. Choice and competition has improved the graduation rates for all of Milwaukee’s students.
 
Now school choice must be expanded to other communities in Wisconsin where students are struggling to graduate from high school.