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A Teachable Moment

If Bill Ayers won’t go away,  how can we forget about him?

Now that the election is safely over, the unrepentant terrorist has decided to use his rekindled fame to sign up with the Huffington Post and opine on education.

I understand that since Ayers gave up on terrorism, he’s made educating our youth his top priority. In 1997, Ayers wrote a book on the Illinois juvenile justice system, entitled “A Kind And Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court.” This book was so influential and powerful that a state senator who barely knew Ayers from Adam wrote a blurb for it in the Chicago Tribune, calling it a “searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.”

Ayers also  managed to get himself chosen to help head up the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which oversaw the spending of about $150 million dollars in public moneys, donations, and grants towards improving Chicago’s deeply troubled public schools. Ayers did yeoman’s work at this project, giving money to a host of programs with the stated goal of helping out Chicago’s kids, including $175,000 to Mike Klonsky’s “Small Schools Workshop.” Klonsky, a protege of Ayers, is a former hard-line Maoist from the 1960′s, and one-time education advisor to Obama’s campaign.

After seven years, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge had spent in excess of $150 million “improving” Chicago’s schools. But there was absolutely no measurable improvement in student performance in the CAC-focused schools.

It is certainly disputable that Ayers is an expert on improving the educational system. Fortunately, he’s not setting policy; he’s just writing for the Huffington Post — and there expertise in your chosen subject is more of a liability than an asset.


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