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Obama and Bill Ayers Worked to Get ACORN Teaching Schoolchildren in Chicago

9:01 AM, Sep 23, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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How's that for a red-meat headline? It has the virtue of being true, according to the research of Stanley Kurtz into Ayers' foundation, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, chaired by Barack Obama:

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

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.

So, to whom did CAC's money go?

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

The records also indicate grants went to Obama's community organizing alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, where CAC's goal was to turn parents into activists, because the family that agitates for socialism together, stays together.

And, the results for Chicago schoolchildren?

CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

The Obama campaign has tried repeatedly throughout the campaign to downplay his relationship with Ayers, and has cried foul over ads like those from American Issues Project, that connect the two for voters.

But his only executive experience to date has come at the CAC, which makes close inspection necessary. And, associations with unrepentant domestic terrorists aside, the fact that his only executive experience came at the head of an organization whose mission was to radicalize schoolchildren is relevant.

Maybe women voters-considered a battleground demographic- would be interested in what the Hope 'n' Change ticket might wish to do with their children's education, and should have information about his past efforts in this vein.