Is there any sanity left in America? Are we really going to do it - elect someone who views our children as soldiers in a revolution?
Obama's ideas on education "reform" sound innocuous enough. But as anyone who knows how government works can tell you, "the devil is in the details." And the devil in this case is just who Obama chooses to implement his education agenda. The project was, in essence, a plan to change Chicago Schools into left wing centers of agitation, controlled by community councils dominated by "community organizers" -- people whose job is to mobilize apathetic people to "class consciousness.
NRO's Stanley Kurtz has pored over the Chicago Annenberg Challenge documents and discovered that despite Obama's contention that former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers was "just some guy in my neighborhood," the two worked closely together on the school initiative and that Obama supported many of Ayers more radical ideas about the purpose of public schools:
The reason there was no improvement in education was because that was not the goal of "reform." The purpose was to inculcate children with feelings of outrage and turn them into little warriors for Ayers radical agenda for America. I might note that one of Obama's planks in his education proposal calls for mandatory community service of 50 hours a year for all children 1-12 in public schools. This would be included in a "School-Parent Contract" signed by both the teachers and the family.
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
The goal is apparently to make schools the vanguard of social change by centralizing activism and bringing in community organizations dedicated to fundamentally altering the American experiment:
This is the man Obama worked closely with on the CAC, funding Mr. Ayers "Collaborative" and its radical notions of education. Obama knew exactly what Mr. Ayers was doing and evidently approved.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
The thought of someone like this becoming president should chill the bones of anyone who supports academic freedom and an educational system that teaches children how to learn and not brainwashes them with a radical political agenda.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky
Update from Clareice Feldman
Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:
Ayers wanted teachers trained to instruct against "oppression" and to push schoolchildren towards political beliefs Ayers valued - apparently valuing them higher than actual education
. Barack Obama agreed, and for several years worked in close partnership with Ayers to implement that educational policy. Even had Ayers never tossed a single bomb, this kind of educational philosophy would likely raise eyebrows with most parents, who desire a real
education for their children and not some sort of political indoctrination camp. With the context of Ayers' violent radicalism, however, it makes the CAC even worse - a breeding ground for future Weathermen, ready to follow Ayers' lead when the time comes for the revolution that Ayers
and his wife (and co-terrorist) Bernardine Dohrn
to this day desire.
Hat tip: Instapundit