That Bill Ayres is a unrepentant bomb-thrower with links to Obama is one thing. But Bill Ayres the professor is far more dangerous.
Instead of planting bombs in public buildings, Ayers now works to indoctrinate Americaâ€™s future teachers in the revolutionary cause, urging them to pass on the lessons to their public school students.
Indeed, the education department at the University of Illinois is a hotbed for the radical education professoriate. As Ayers puts it in one of his course descriptions, prospective Kâ€“12 teachers need to â€œbe aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.â€ Ayersâ€™s texts on the imperative of social-justice teaching are among the most popular works in the syllabi of the nationâ€™s ed schools and teacher-training institutes. One of Ayersâ€™s major themes is that the American public school system is nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony. Thus, the mission of all progressive teachers is to take back the classrooms and turn them into laboratories of revolutionary change.
Unfortunately, neither Obama nor his critics in the media seem to have a clue about Ayersâ€™s current work and his widespread influence in the education schools. In his last debate with Hillary Clinton, Obama referred to Ayers as a â€œprofessor of English,â€ an error that the media then repeated. Would that Ayers were just another radical English professor. In that case, his poisonous anti-American teaching would be limited to a few hundred college students in the liberal arts. But through his indoctrination of future Kâ€“12 teachers, Ayers has been able to influence what happens in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of classrooms.
Ayersâ€™s influence on what is taught in the nationâ€™s public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nationâ€™s largest organization of education-school professors and researchers. Ayers won the election handily, and there is no doubt that his fellow education professors knew whom they were voting for. In the short biographical statement distributed to prospective voters beforehand, Ayers listed among his scholarly books Fugitive Days, an unapologetic memoir about his ten years in the Weather Underground. The book includes dramatic accounts of how he bombed the Pentagon and other public buildings.
AERA already does a great deal to advance the social-justice teaching agenda in the nationâ€™s schools and has established a Social Justice Division with its own executive director. With Bill Ayers now part of the organizationâ€™s national leadership, you can be sure that it will encourage even more funding and support for research on how teachers can promote left-wing ideology in the nationâ€™s classroomsâ€”and correspondingly less support for research on such mundane subjects as the best methods for teaching underprivileged children to read.