When Mark Root, manager of technology services for the Council of the Great City Schools, was asked in January to provide a model for other districts to follow when planning their technology infrastructure, he pointed to Milwaukee Public Schools.

"We've seen one district that was pulling eight category-5 cables to each classroom," Root said. "Milwaukee's approach—pulling one fiber optic line to each classroom—allows the district to do more and also save money. It's a more efficient, more cost-effective solution."

Two months later, Milwaukee is the envy of other urban districts—not


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