Belmont Club

Ayers Rocks

Mystery, adventure, entertainmentHere’s a YouTube video of Bill Ayers describing his educational philosophy to Luis Bonilla-Molina, President of the Centro Internacional Miranda, a foundation created by Venezuelan decree. Nº 3.81 to be exact. Bonilla-Molina’s blog is at Here are more videos starring Bill Ayers and you can hear what he thinks about education for yourself. I wonder what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, whose records are now unavailable to researchers, reveal? And you thought education was all about the ABCs. It’s about politics. As one poster at the Daily Kos once wrote:

My health care? political.
My privacy? political.
My food and its safety? political.
My car’s efficiency? political.
My kids’ public education? political.
My bank’s security? political.
It’s ALL politics.

So it’s not surprising an article in Slate described Chicago educational controversies in terms of politics: the control of schools and in particular the ability to hire and fire principals. There was apparently a long and inconclusive struggle between the Chicago Board of Education and the local school councils over who had the power over management. Which side Obama was on depended on calculation.

In reality, Obama never really championed the local councils. He supported them behind the scenes and only eventually came out publicly on their behalf. When he did weigh in, he came down on the wrong side of the debate—against protecting principals from unwarranted dismissals and in favor of keeping councils independent, no matter what. In the end, the resolution of the conflict between the two sides didn’t alleviate anyone’s concerns. Instead, it prolonged a turf battle that seems to have dragged down academic progress in the years since.

It’s been observed that everything about modern childhood has been sexualized. That would be only half-right: everything about it has been politicized. But the personal is political, and the sexual is political. Round and round it goes. That adage was one of the intellectual touchstones of Ayers’ generation. The Lord of the Flies was the Peter Pan of the Days of Rage generation.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the french I took

But I do know ideology
And if you know ideology
What a wonderful world this would be

Tip Jar.