In the endless stream of dross that passes for news and commentary these days, Michael Barone stands out as an exemplar of a man who can write tersely, accurately and persuasively about matters that are or should be of public interest.
Yesterday, he took note of Stanley Kurtz’s continuing reportage on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge:
Kurtz makes it clear that Obama worked more closely with Ayers than previously suggested. But mostly Kurtz concentrates on what the CAC actually did. There are two serious issues here: Mainstream media have shown an almost complete lack of interest in both of them.
We now know that the CAC ran through $160 million dollars –$50 million from the Annenberg Foundation, managed by Brown University — and a reported $110 million dollars in matching funds. But precisely who received that money, and why two reviews have established that the investment resulted in no improvement in student achievement, is still a mystery:
Stanley Kurtz wrote on August 18:
Four folders, containing auditor’s reports, where clearly marked, in bold type, “THESE FOLDERS ARE RESTRICTED VIA ANNENBERG CHALLENGE until further notice.”
After some interference and delay, he was allowed to view other documents, including the file containing “records of eight CAC Board of Directors meetings in 1995, when CAC was first set up.” What the files disclose is more details of the Ayers-Obama educational agenda, something I doubt would be embraced by the general public (if only the media informed them of it):
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.
How did the CAC help Ayers, who headed the operating arm of the CAC, translate his revolutionary plan into action? CAC required every participating school to partner with external partners who would best advance its leftist agenda:
CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
That’s not all Kurtz found. The minutes of the early CAC Board meetings tie Obama far more closely to unrepentant Weatherman bomb designer and leader Bill Ayers than he has previously admitted.