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America’s Once Great School System Corrupted by Dewey, Ayers, and Obama

April 06, 2016, 11:04 AM

By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

John Dewey, known as “the father of modern education,” was an avowed socialist and the co-author of the “Humanist Manifesto.” The U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities discovered that he belonged to 15 Marxist front organizations. Dewey taught the professors who trained America’s teachers. Obsessed with “the group,” he said:

“You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

Author Rosalie Gordon, writing about Dewey’s progressive (socialist) education in her book, What’s Happened To Our Schools, said:

“The progressive system has reached all the way down to the lowest grades to prepare the children of America for their role as the collectivists of the future. The group – not the individual child – is the quintessence of progressivism. The child must always be made to feel part of the group. He must indulge in group thinking and group activity.”

After visiting the Soviet Union, Dewey wrote six articles on the “wonders” of Soviet education. The School-To-Work program, now in our public schools in all 50 states, is modeled after the Soviet poly-technical system.

In 1936, the National Education Association stated the position from which it has never wavered:  “We stand for socializing the individual.”

The NEA, in its Policy For American Education, opined

“The major problem of education in our times arises out of the fact that we live in a period of fundamental social change. In the new democracy [what happened to our republic?], education must share in the responsibility of giving purpose and direction to social change. The major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual . . . Education must operate according to a well-formulated social policy.” 

An excerpt from the article states:

“As recently as the early 1950s, the typical American university professor held social and political views quite similar to those of the general population. Today — well, you’ve all heard the jokes that circulated after the collapse of central planning in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, how the only place in the world where Marxists were still thriving was the Harvard political science department.”

Higher education reflects inmates running the asylum

More generally, U.S. higher education often looks like a clear case of the inmates running the asylum.  This condition can be traced to students who were radicalized in the 1960s who rose to positions of influence within colleges and universities.

One needs only to observe the aggressive pursuit of “diversity” in admissions and hiring, the abandonment of the traditional curriculum in favor of highly politicized “studies” based on group identity, the mandatory workshops on sensitivity training, and so on to fully comprehend the stranglehold the Left has managed to secure today within our schools, especially at the university level where instructors need not be as concerned with parental interference, but instead have a captive audience in which to indoctrinate our children to their Marxist philosophies.

Examining Chicago’s own Bill Ayers

An example of the Socialist infiltration in education can be seen in studying former terrorist, Bill Ayers, past leader of the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s.  Ayers decided blowing up America’s federal buildings was not working out for him or his gang of like-minded extremists.  He escaped going to prison due to the FBI illegally wire-tapping his conversations, probably helped by his father’s political clout in Chicago as head of ComEd.  This lucky break most likely caused Ayes to contemplate another more effective approach to change America from within, rather than from outside the nation’s mainstream institutions.

In 1984 Ayers earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. Three years later, he received a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia University.  Had Bill Ayers and his friends just immigrated to a socialist state, it would have been much better for this nation, but instead Ayers became entrenched in the university system where he quietly began to invade college classrooms with his anti-American philosophies. This article documents the progression of Ayer’s radical educational network dating back to the 60s.  Hired in 1987 as a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Ayers held that post until retirement in 2010, retiring with the title ofDistinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar.  As of October 2008, Ayer’s office door at the university was adorned with photographs of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X.

By 2008, Ayers was elected Vice President for Curriculum Studies by the American Educational Research Association.  He worked with Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, with the goal of creating changes in Chicago’s school reform program.  Bill Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn continued to develop relationships and friendships with like-minded people, such as Barack Obama — even though Obama has denied knowing Ayers and Dohrn — and other Chicago politicians. It is documented that Ayers had a fundraiser in his home for Obama, and the Obamas were invited to at least one private party at the Ayers’ home.

Both men served on boards which Obama headed.  One of those boards awarded $2 million for Bill Ayers/Klonsky Small Schools Workshop.  Its goal, as Ayers repeatedly made clear, most prominently in a 2006 speech before Hugo Chavez at an education forum in Caracas, was to bring the same Leftist revolution that has always galvanized them into the classroom.  Regarding Klonsky, an unabashed communist, Obama gave Klonsky a broad platform to broadcast his ideas through a “social justice” blog on the official Obama campaign website.

Ayers was also the key force behind obtaining wealthy Annenberg’s $387 million dollar donation to Chicago schools, which became known as the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. What appeared odd is that if Annenberg’s purpose was to elevate the dismal test scores of Chicago schools, why did the grant not require the recipients of his donation to meet specific education benchmarks?  Funds were not dispersed on the basis of the schools raising test score percentages in either reading or math.  It should be noted that Barack Obama was on the founding Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and elected as the Board’s Chairman when Bill Ayers was awarded the money for his Small Schools Project.

One would hope the infusion of such major funding into the Chicago schools would have made a major difference in the quality of education.  A recent 2014 report indicated students in grades two through six did not meet the national average in reading and no grades met the national averages for math.

Obama appoints Duncan to promote progressive Common Core standards

President Obama, upon being the newly elected President, quickly initiated a committee to develop a national education program, now known as the controversial Common Core.  Bill Gates donated at least $200 million dollars to promote the education program to state governors and teacher organizations.  Others, such as the Annenberg Foundation made significant donations, but the one that raised eyebrows was a $50 million grant from a Qatar Foundation International member, who gave it to Bill Ayers with the agreement it would be used to promote Muslims’ views and lead American children away from actual historical events, replacing them with specific propaganda.

This article, published in the Chicago Reader on November 8, 1990, by Ben Joravsky, tells of “The Long, Strange Trip of Bill Ayers.” It is a riveting interview account.  The article is prefaced by:

“He [Ayers) wasn’t just any suburban-bred all-American boy; his father ran Commonwealth Edison.  Ayers didn’t just rebel; he was a leader of the Weathermen, the group that bombed the Pentagon and sprung LSD guru Timothy Leary from jail.”

And Ayers hasn’t changed since Joravsky’s November 1990 published article.  Having retired from the University of Illinois in 2010, radical left-wing activist, education expert, and domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, (wearing a Black Lives matter T-shirt) recently attended the huge Trump rally protest that resulted in the cancellation of Trump’s rally at the University of Illinois. Here is what Ayers had to say:

“I’ve never seen anything this big at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  And it’s huge.  It’s galvanized Latino students, black students, Muslim students and white students. And everybody feels like, ‘Look, this is a university’.  We don’t need . . . organized hatred spilling into our center.”

President Obama wasted no time in appointing Arnie Duncan  as his Secretary of Education who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2009.  Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008, when he resigned to join Obama in Washington, D.C.  Duncan helped convince 42 states to adopt education goals based on Common Core, and 21 of them to use tests that directly align with those standards, which were created by a bi-partisan group and attempted to make U.S. schools more challenging and the curriculum more similar from state-to-state.

Universities resemble Marxist indoctrination centers

We cannot blame just Dewey, Ayers, and Obama.   Much of the damage to our schools has been done by Teacher Unions that use mandatory teacher dues to support Leftist politicians, liberal organizations, and Left leaning school board candidates.  It is a very cozy group, and they have way too much power. Parents would be wise to investigate their children’s curriculum with a practiced eye in order to catch the clever ways liberal political viewpoints are strategically woven into their books and study materials. Professors in colleges are not even subtle. They have captive audiences who depend upon them for good grades and rarely worry about parents.

As Abraham Lincoln wisely stated:  “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” 

Dewey, Ayers, and many others of their ilk knew this to be true and thus manipulated our universities into resembling Marxist indoctrination centers rather than schools that provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for successful transitioning to the real world. Most of us had no idea what was going on behind the iron curtain classrooms which socialists created.  Certainly this explains how socialist, Bernie Sanders, can run for president of the United States and draw large crowds applauding him.  Not too long ago, he would have been booed off the stage by outraged American patriots who understood the dangers of the socialism he advocates. 

Exposing Anti-American teaching tactics

The anti-American teaching tactics need to be exposed, but the media has also become largely liberal, thus begging the question “who will speak up for our children?”   It must be those of us who remember the way it once was, who have read and honor our Constitution, and who know the history of how clever socialists ruined once great countries.

Each of us must contact our elected officials and demand tax-payer funds be yanked from any school with unfair hiring practices and/or that reflect an unequal number of conservatives verses liberal teachers/professors.  Each classroom must be monitored for any curriculum that opposes our Constitution or our basic Founding Fathers’ principles, and there must be fairness in presenting diverse viewpoints.  The future of America depends upon all of us demanding no less.

[Originally published at Illinois Review]

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