Over at Edwize, Leo Casey continues to deny what is right in front of his eyes about the longstanding relationship between Obama and Ayers in education policy. He specifically attempts to minimize the critical role that Obama and Ayers played together in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
This is wrong. Obama was Chairman of the Board of the Annenberg Challenge, picked by Ayers. Ayers was co-chair of the Challenge’s operative body, the Chicago School Collaborative. Together they worked hand in glove for five years raising an additional 60 million dollars on top of the 50 million dollar grant and then using that money to intervene in the Chicago “school wars.”
In my view there are three positions being staked out in education now: the race based approach of Ayers, Darling-Hammond and others in the Obama camp; the NCLB/reform/charter school camp; and the EPI type multi-factor approach. So this is not an abstract battle about the past – it is about how the authoritarian race-based politics of Ayers and others are influencing the present.
Finally, regarding Ayers and the Obama campaign today – while he may not have an official role in the campaign, Obama himself admitted they continue to talk, there have been reports that he is an advisor to Obama and Mike Klonsky – a non-entity in education and, well, everywhere else, a stalinist ghost of the 60s past – was able to blog on the official Obama website for months on education policy and the “social justice” agenda of the authoritarian left. Klonsky was put into his position by Ayers at the Small Schools Workshop which received $175,000 from the Annenberg Challenge led jointly by Ayers and Obama.
It is only the longstanding connection to Ayers that could have gotten Klonsky the education blog page. The very day I posted a blog about it his blog was shut down and all of his posts were erased from the site without a word of explanation from the Obama campaign or Klonsky.