Obama's Slim Connection To The Chicago Annenberg Challenge
Just how thin is this Ayers-Obama-Annenberg Challenge story? Nine months ago when I was looking around for something to write about Obama's education record in Chicago, I considered writing about the Annenberg Challenge. Not because of the Ayers angle, but rather because Obama had claimed to have led the Challenge, which seemed like a wild overstatement to me (and a strange claim given the CAC's lack of obvious results).
So I talked to the folks who'd been involved -- now-familiar names like Ken Rolling, Anne Hallett, etc. -- but there just wasn't enough real evidence of Obama's influence on the Challenge to warrant much of a story. So instead I focused on Obama's record supporting local school control, where at least there was some consensus that Obama had been involved, if only minimally. (You can read that article from Slate here.) Even there, Obama's footprint was hard to detect.
Others have pointed out how skimpy the Obama-Ayers connection is. What gets lost in that story is that the Obama's involvement in Annenberg was so thin, too.