In Chicago they play a rare game. It’s their version of hardball, but it’s called “16 inch softball.” That is a big softball. I played the game for years growing up there, and so I know a softball when I see one. Today, the labor-oriented think tank, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington D.C., threw a big fat softball towards the Obama camp.
Here is why:
The battle for the soul of Barack Obama on education policy has been underway for some time now. A few weeks back I noted in my post on the “monster in the room” (which is what Bill Ayers calls the “white supremacy” he thinks runs throughout American society) that the “social justice” left called for a form of reparations as their top education priority. The blueprint issued by Obama education advisor Linda Darling-Hammond for the Forum for Education and Democracy called for the repayment of 400 years of accumulated “education debt” to people of color before the problems in our schools can be solved. Oh yeah, they also want a whole lot more money, too, for, well, whatever.
Turns out the EPI had meanwhile convened a center-left alliance called Bold Approach to confront the education issue, too. Today, they counter-attacked the “social justice” left with a full page ad printed in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Obama advisor Darling-Hammond is a signatory but was not part of the drafting process. That makes some sense because the priorities listed by this group make nary a mention of race, much less “education debt.”
Instead of proposing throwing a lot more good money after bad, Bold Approach emphasizes a range of larger social problems that contribute to deteriorating educational results particularly for those from lower income communities. For them it is clearly not all about racism and money, it’s about what leads to the achievement gap between low income and higher income kids. One key seems to be emphasis on parents and other factors in the social context surrounding what happens in schools.
So, what say you “presumed nominee” Obama?
Imho, the EPI has thrown you a real SOFTBALL here – you could score a two-fer – just back the Bold Approaches Plan and take care of both education policy AND you get rid of your Bill Ayers problem, too!
Why is that?
Because the heart of the Ayers problem is not that he was a terrorist in 1972, it’s that today he still espouses authoritarian politics in the education arena, as seen in his Pfleger-like ranting about white supremacy.
BUT once you grab on to a rational education policy like that offered by the EPI group, you can tell Ayers and his ilk to take a hike!
Just a thought.