By Kyle Olson, Special for USDR
A new book offers a full-throated plan for a socialist United States, and wouldn’t you know domestic terrorist-turned-educator Bill Ayers is right in the middle of it.
Among the contributors are leftist luminaries like convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, communist Black Panther-turned-professor Angela Davis, Frances Fox Piven of “Cloward-Piven Strategy” fame, and Ayers.
Ayers’ chapter is titled, “Teach Freedom!” which seems bizarre, given the book is a strategy for creating a socialist America, which by its very nature is authoritarian and hostile to individual freedom.
But the retired, America-hating education professor – who’s currently enjoying a nice pension funded by U.S. taxpayers – isn’t bothered by such contradictions. He likes to use the language of freedom to sell his vision of socialistic enslavement.
He does this in the book by calling for “freedom” in education. To the normal person, educational freedom would include things like offering families a variety of school options – charters, private schools, “cyber” schools – and providing them with vouchers so they can send their children to whichever school best meets their needs.
That’s not what Ayers means at all.
In fact, he bashes K-12 reform advocates who want alternatives to government-run traditional public schools. Ayers accuses them of promoting a capitalistic view of schools that treats “education as a product like a car or a refrigerator, a box of bolts or a screwdriver – something bought and sold in the marketplace like any other commodity.”
Ayers blasts this approach of education as “an individual consumer good” – instead of as “a public trust” or “a social good” – because it sorts students into “winners and losers.”
“In the schools as they are here and now, knowing and accepting one’s pigeonhole on the towering and barren cliff becomes the only lesson one really needs,” the radical education professor writes.
An Ayers-style prance through the schooling posies
“Freedom,” in Ayers’ twisted way of thinking, means keeping kids in government-run schools, albeit “richly resourced” ones that have no testing, and therefore, no accountability to taxpayers.
The government schools of Ayers’ vision would have classrooms that serve as “an artist’s studio and a workshop for inventors, a place for experimentation with materials and investigations” into the world.
That may sound “far out,” but ask yourself: Don’t children need a base of knowledge before they start inventing, creating and investigating?
Not according to the radical educator, who says students would learn “through life.”
“On the side of a liberating and humanizing education lies a pedagogy (an instructional method) of questioning, an approach that opens rather than closes the process of thinking, comparing, reasoning, perspective-taking, and dialogue,” Ayers writes.
Those things certainly sound more fun than learning boring facts – such as how to convert fractions to decimals or when the U.S. Constitution was ratified – but what would the end result of this approach to public education be?
According to Ayers, it would be the fulfillment of a true “socialist education.” Students would emerge from such a system as fully developed individuals who are filled with “initiative, courage, imagination and creativity.” As such, the students would become “engaged participants in life” who would help the U.S. finally achieve its goals of a truly free and enlightened society.
Many schools are in shambles because they followed Ayers’ vision
If that sounds like pie-in-the-sky hooey, that’s because it is.
The kinds of schools and classrooms Ayers is prescribing are unworkable.
Just imagine having a classroom full of middle schoolers “creating, inventing and investigating” all at the same time. It would be total chaos. And the moment the teacher tried to establish order, he or she would be guilty of demanding “compliance and conformity” of the students – two criticisms Ayers levels against “capitalistic” schools.
Ayers has a doctorate from Columbia University, but is he really so stupid as to think his plan would work?
No way. Ayers knows that his education vision would lead to a generation of Americans that have even fewer math and reading skills than the ones who’ve sat in his classrooms.
But that’s the point: Ayers wants generations of “know-nothing” students, because they’ll become economically unsuccessful adults. In turn, these adults will become good foot-soldiers in the left’s never-ending attempt to overthrow America’s “oppressive” capitalist system and replace it with full-blown socialism.
That’s what Ayers’ entire career has been about.
As he explained to a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors in 2012: “I get up every morning thinking, ‘Today I’m gonna make a difference. I’m gonna end capitalism.’”
And who can forget what Ayers’ mission was when he was with the Weather Underground. Larry Grathwohl was an FBI informant who infiltrated Ayers’ domestic terrorist group, and in a 1982 documentary he explained the group’s mission:
“I asked, ‘Well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?’ And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.
“And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.
“And when I say ‘eliminate,’ I mean ‘kill.’
Twenty-five million people.
Imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.
And they were dead serious.
Conform or die. That’s apparently Ayers’ version of “freedom” – a freedom found only by the socialists’ dictates.
Ayers only throws out this wacky socialist education vision – which is nearly incomprehensible because it’s written in the quicksand language of edu-speak – because he can’t openly admit that he’s satisfied with the lousy state of American public education.
Ayers can’t tell readers that his heart beats a little faster when he looks at the ruined school systems of Detroit, Philadelphia and virtually every other major U.S. city because it means his left-wing vision is coming closer to fruition.
That would be a public relations nightmare for the left – and it wouldn’t sell many books.
So he pretends to be dissatisfied with the state of America’s K-12 schools, and looking for answers just like everyone else.
If you really want to understand the left’s vision for education, don’t spend your money on “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA” like we did. All you need to do is visit a major urban school district or read about one online, and you’ll learn everything you need to know.