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Bill Ayers in Retirement

Who would have thought Ayers would spend his golden years basking in the glow of admiration from colleagues?

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

March 8, 2013 - 1:28 am
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Still, Ayers presents himself as one of the beleaguered world-changers, teachers who have a “mind wrecking and bone crunching” task.  But there is a moral satisfaction: If you want to do something “useful,” without making six figures, become a teacher, he said.  Shortly before he retired, he, of course, was earning a base salary $126,000.  Ayers also made frequent trips for speaking and “research” gigs, courtesy of Illinois taxpayers, as I learned from his records.  He served on numerous dissertation committees, especially at Georgia Southern University.

Now in retirement, Ayers apparently enjoys a lifestyle that requires even less work than he had as a distinguished professor of education.  (His syllabi indicated none of the traditional time-consuming assignments that we professors are used to, but instead “deep” in-class discussions and “reflective” projects.)

Ayers presents a curriculum of questions like “Who am I?  What am I here for?” (verbatim).  He promotes group work to address such questions.  He suggested that education professors ask their students to clarify their own values by writing down three qualities they would bestow on all human beings.  Students should work in small groups to come to agreement and then in a larger group to come to agreement.  The goal?   Learning respect for others and for self, and a “love for humanity.”

Teaching has turned into community organizing, I realized.  Bill Ayers is the mentor. I learned at one panel that some schools now are 24-hour “community centers,” complete with dental care services.  Teachers, who have no memory of the 1960s or 1970s (and thus of traditional education), are enjoined to go into the “community,” to teach students how to talk to parents, to be a “bridge,” to go to churches and neighborhood association meetings, and to visit students’ homes.  The atmosphere was suffused with do-goodism that indicated an alarming violation of teacher-student boundaries, especially in the last session I attended, where two area public high school English teachers with formerly “undocumented” students, both girls, discussed how they used their classes for advocacy on behalf of illegal aliens.

The weekend was surreal.  Ayers studiously avoided any references to his violent past, glossing over facts in his anecdote-filled speech. The North Dakota newspaper reporter described Ayers in the sanitized manner these educators would have used: as an “educational reform advocate and former anti-war activist.”

At the “fireside chat,” Ayers gave suggestions for “How to survive till the Revolution” with “anarchist calisthenics,” at any time during the day when an administrator is not looking over shoulders.  Every institution has “cracks.”

It’s for the kids: “Every kid deserves to get a well-rested and well-paid teacher,” said Ayers.  The way to pay for it has not changed since the 1960s, though: “close the Pentagon.”

He gave both his congratulations and sympathies to a doctoral student from Baylor University for being at a Baptist institution.   Her academic field in education is — a direct quotation — “transformative citizenship.”

Ayers’s mentee Barack Obama is in the White House and going after the military.  Ayers is the “2013 College of Education and Human Services visiting scholar,” delivering the public address and meeting with several classes and discussing curriculum with faculty at Minnesota State University, Moorhead — with security, faculty salaries, overhead, and everything else state and federal taxpayers support to keep a public university going.  It was an education professor, Steve Grineski, who invited Ayers to come and spread his ideas to future teachers and other students.

Today, Ayers is a grandfather and a senior mentor to such professors and students.  Who would have thought back in the 1970s, during his days as a fugitive from the law, that he would spend his golden years basking in such glow?

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Mary Grabar is a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Clinton, New York. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.

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All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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There is a semi decent 2002 documentary on Ayers and his group available via Netflix called "The Weather Underground". Although the documentary clearly casts Ayers, Dorhn and the others in a pretty sympathetic light, and gives them a platform to "justify" their actions with personal interviews, it also covers why they are not still in prison. That was due entirely to the FBI dropping the ball, and keeping illegal secret files on that and other leftist terrorist orgs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Revolution won't happen with guns, rather it will happen incrementally, year by year, generation by generation. We will gradually infiltrate their educational institutions and their political offices, transforming them slowly into Marxist entities as we move towards universal egalitarianism." MAX HORKHEIMER
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looks like Ayers is busy "organizing" public schools to be little islands of socialist utopia, at taxpayer's unsustainable expense. Yet one more reason that the entrenched education establishment fights vouchers tooth and nail, and one more reason why we must get government out of the business of running schools.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wealth and privilege saved Bill Ayers from a long prison sentence. The same goes for his lady, Bernadine Dohrn. Lightweight frauds, both. But also, both were guilty of actual felonies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This reminds me why my children aren't getting within 1000 feet of a public school.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At risk of ODing the readership of the center-right blogosphere, here below is a re-posting of what I put up on several threads, including a number across the PJ Media aggregator, late last month. Thanks for bearing with me on this.

AP

______

Chris Hughes, who also got a ten-minute video tongue bath in today’s online NY Times, regarding his great plans for the venerable New Republic –which he’s owned outright since last March– was, of course, one of the original FaceBook developers which led in due course to him becoming a wealthy fellow indeed.

He was also in charge, during the run-up to the 2008 elections, of all the Social Media projects at the Obama for President campaign’s national HQ in Chicago.

I have much to say on Mr. Hughes’s likely responsibility for the outrageous DOS attack organized by the Obama for President HQ in Chicago just prior to the 2008 election on Milt Rosenberg’s WGN radio interview with Stanley Kurtz on the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) educational initiative, of which Obama was the Executive Director, and the role in the CAC of the despicable Bill Ayers. See:

http://www.sethathirath.com/chris_hughes.pdf
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Transformative citizenship." LOL

You need only to look at the curricula at teachers' colleges to understand the state of public education today. Imparting knowledge and teaching basic skills play distant second and third fiddles to social indoctrination. And it's all part of the plan set in motion back in Ayer's formative years. How well they've succeeded! I've come to the conclusion that public education is a form of child abuse.

No surprise either about the 24-hr schools. They are the village that raises the child.

Don't be too hard on Bill, though. He lost a role model, mentor and idol this week.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
. . . Needs to be confronted. Ask your state ATE representatives how they felt honoring a murderous psychopath disguised as an educator.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, Fail.

To paraphrase Harvey Klehr, the only reason Bill Ayers is not guilty of mass murder is because he was bad at building bombs. And he and his fellow attempted mass murderers from the Weather Underground are glowingly described in PBS specials and at teachers' conferences because they tried to kill cops, their main life accomplishment.

the sheer perversity of this needs
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Ayers students followed his actions rather than his rhetoric, they too will find themselves having lived the middle class life of a redneck drone of little accomplishment or variety but lots of coffee and text messaging. I've known cats more radical than that fool.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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