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August 22, 2008
Will Ayers and Obama radicalize our schools?
As more evidence emerges of the close ties between former Weatherman Bill Ayers and Presidential candidate Barack Obama, questions are being raised about the level of competence displayed by Barack Obama when he headed the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for 4 years in the early 1990s. Apparently, his sole try at an executive position was a bust; tens of millions of dollars dolled out and wasted with no discernible improvement for the intended beneficiaries, schools and students in the Chicago Public Schools.
However, a more urgent question should focus on the future. Will a President Obama be influenced by the radical ideas concerning education propounded and promoted by Ayers?
Earlier in the year, I wrote an article for American Thinker ("Bill Ayers and the Subversion of American Education") that drew upon the work of Sol Stern (a writer for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal). Ayers, as Stern has noted in several articles, is not just an unrepentant former terrorist but is also a radical educational theorists (and professor of education) whose ideology has been permeating our graduate schools of education -- the breeding ground for the professors of education who will teach the teachers of our nation's children.
The ideology? A blend of Marxism and anti-Americanism that Ayers and his acolytes hope will influence the beliefs of our children. The ideology, as I wrote, has very little to do with education and a great deal to do with radicalism and revolution.
Why should we be concerned? One of Barack Obama's goals as President will be to "overhaul" our graduate schools of education, according to today's New York Sun. This is precisely the "playpen" that Ayers has used to continue his own revolution.
Ayers began developing his views while attending Columbia University's Teachers College in 1984 (Obama is also a graduate of Columbia University).He came under the influence of Maxine Green, a professor with radical views regarding the role of teachers and education. Stern wrote:
Ayers has written textbooks used to educate our children's future teachers that incorporate this type of ideology. He offers his own course on "Urban Education" in which he teaches our nations' future professors of education that:
Ayters also worked with Greene in producing a series of textbooks to be used in graduate schools of education. According to one of these books:
Get that? The gist is that all education -- even science -- can be seen as an avenue to influence the minds-the ideology and politics of our children, beginning at an early age. One of Ayers' peers who teaches with him, Eric Gutstein, is a Marxist ideologue who has politicized his math classes. He programs our future teachers to teach our children about fractions by using the inequities of wealth under capitalism, for example.
This has become not a lunatic fringe in our nation. The ability and willingness to teach such "social justice" has in many school districts become de rigueur and a condition of hiring.
Ayers' ardor for violence may have eased as he entered his sixties, but he seems fully intent on continuing the revolution. This time he may not be blowing up bombs secretly placed throughout America, but his goals seem unchanged. He hopes to influence the course of our nation's future by teaching our children's future teachers to propagate his own blend of anti-capitalism and anti-Americanism. His acolytes have increasingly permeated our school systems.
Ayers looks at graduate schools of education as incubators for his own radical ideology and as a very effective means to reach the minds of our most vulnerable population, our youth.
Barack Obama seeks to "overhaul" our graduate schools of education. The current budget for the U.S. Department of Education is sixty-eight billion dollars and change.
There are 25,000 university teachers in education schools. They just elected Ayers their leader, as president of the American Educational Reserach Association. Consider this fact: 48% of all blacks who get PhDs get them in education, and evidently enough of them are in sync with Ayers' views to elect him their professional leader.
That can buy a lot of change -- and Barack Obama is all for Change.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.