07 October 2008

Not Quite Theoretical

You know, there's some foofraw going back and forth about a fellow named Bill Ayers and his relationship with Barak Obama.

To understand why this makes some people a mite twitchy, there's a fairly illuminating piece written by a fellow whom Bill Ayers tried to kill for the crime of being born the son of a judge

The same Bill Ayers, who gave an interview some seven years ago headlined, "No Regrets"

Let's poke around his website:

"There is no one better positioned than the late Edward Said to offer advice on the conduct of intellectual life."

There's enough gems in the politics tab that I really don't have to show my work when I dismiss Ayers as another communist who hasn't figured out that shit just doesn't work in the Real World.

Or how about a quote from an old (well, back in January) essay,

The dominant narrative in contemporary school reform is once again focused on exclusion and disadvantage, race and class, black and white. ‘Across the US,’ the National Governor’s Association declared in 2005, ‘a gap in academic achievement persists between minority and disadvantaged students and their white counterparts.’ This is the commonly referenced and popularly understood ‘racial achievement gap,’ and it drives education policy at every level. Interestingly, whether heartfelt or self-satisfied, the narrative never mentions the monster in the room: white supremacy….Gloria Ladson-Billings upends all of this with an elegant reversal: there is no achievement gap, she argues, but actually a glancing reflection of something deeper and more profound—America has a profound education debt. The educational inequities that began with the annihilation of native peoples and the enslavement of Africans, the conquest of the continent and the importation of both free labor and serfs, transformed into apartheid education, something anemic, inferior, inadequate, and oppressive. Over decades and centuries the debt has accumulated and is passed from generation to generation, and it continues to grow and pile up.”

. . .

The mind boggles.

Barak Obama started his political career as a handpicked successor to State Senator Alice Palmer, who was moving on to a run at Congress. He was first introduced by her at the home of Bill Ayers. This is 1995. Mr. Ayers contributed a fairly insignificant $200 to the campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ayers was busily harassing inner-city schools with a "Chicago Annenberg Challenge" organization.

At least one teacher characterized it as, "At best, they are irrelevant wanderers. At worst, they are teacher bashers and ideologues pushing a political line while collecting political patronage."

For a quick post-mortem on the effectiveness of this organization,

"The CAC also funded the creation the Consortium of Chicago School Research (CCSR),
in parallel with the two operational arms, the Board and the Collaborative. This arm was
to conduct research on the impact of the CAC’s funding on student outcomes. In 2003 the
final technical report of the CCSR on the CAC was published.

"The “bottom line” according to the report was that the CAC did not achieve its goal of
improvement in student academic achievement and nonacademic outcomes. While
student test scores improved in the so-called Annenberg Schools that received some of
the $160 million disbursed in the six years from 1995 to 2001,

“This was similar to improvement across the system…. There were no statistically
significant differences in student achievement between Annenberg schools and
demographically similar non-Annenberg schools. This indicates that there was no
Annenberg effect on achievement.”

"The study cited four factors that helped explain the failure. These included:
1. Shortcomings in the design and implementation of the Challenge;
2. Lack of capacity among the External Partners to promote school development;
3. Lack of ability and commitment among schools to engage in the work of the
Challenge; and
4. Lack of external support and “countervailing system forces” that detracted from
or conflicted with schools’ efforts to develop through the Challenge.

"The report identified the political conflict between the Local School Council promotion
efforts of the CAC – such as the $2 million Leadership Development Initiative - as a
possible factor hindering a positive impact on student achievement."

As everyone and their second cousin knows by now, Barak Obama sat on the board of the CAC with Bill Ayers. Details are sketchy about some things -due in no small part to stonewalling of unsympathetic individuals attempting to access records, A number of bloggers have attempted to detail it in more detail, but there are a lot of questions simply unanswerable at this time. What is for sure is that Barak Obama is outright lying when he characterizes Bill Ayers as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" and nothing more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


12:18 AM  
Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

Glasd to see ya posting again.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do know that the entire Chicago establishment, Left, Right and Independent worked with Ayers. He's been active in the community for a long time.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

There's something wrong with the Chicago Establishment. . .

Much like DC and San Francisco, what passes for "right" there would be at best, moderate elsewhere.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

what passes for "right" there would be at best, moderate elsewhere.

Nope, the word is wrong. And yes... I did understand what you said. Wrong headed, wrong thinking, wrong, etc.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Glad to see Castrorum back online again also.

But Barry is just another product of the hyper-corrupt Chicago/Daley/Mob political machine. Of course, he is handsome, and charismatic (whatever that means). But he is as corrupt a politician as has ever kissed a baby.

McCain may not be conservative, but he ain't corrupt. And Palin is the best thing to come onto the political scene in 28 years.

4:55 AM  

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