Obama, Ayers, & "Radical" Education Reform
A piece in today's Wall Street Journal digs deep into the history of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to try and figure out how close was the association between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, and indeed unearths some new documentation that no one else has gotten to (ie, minutes and records from CAC board meetings).
But the paper's findings don't seem to me to be so startling or upsetting as the paper would make it seem (Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism on Schools). We already know that Obama and Ayers overlapped working on the project. We already know what the CAC did: hand money out to community and education groups.
Sure, the Obama campaign may have downplayed the association. Shame on them. But nothing "radical" came of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The Challenge gave money to education and community groups but failed to transform CPS in any wide or lasting way. For my 2001 chapter on how the Challenge evolved in Chicago, click here: From Frontline Leader to Rearguard Action (Fordham Foundation).