For Maverick Polly Williams, the Mother of School Choice, The Point Was Always to Empower Parents and Improve Education for Black Children

By Robin Harris

In 2011, after more than 30 years in office, Polly Williams retired from the Wisconsin state Legislature. Jesse Jackson was among many of the politicians that showed up to celebrate. (Photo courtesy of the Williams family)

hen Annette “Polly” Williams died in 2014, she had spent 30 years as a Wisconsin state representative — the longest-serving woman in the Wisconsin Legislature. But it was her efforts in the late ’80s and early ’90s…



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