It was gratifying to have George Will focus last week on statements by the late Sen. Daniel Moynihan that also appeared in my April 15 column about North County graduation rates. Moynihan’s comment about the correlation between the “parent-child ratio” and educational achievement was also illustrated by the America’s Promise Alliance study I cited—where divorce-averse Asian-Americans stand atop the educational heap
In that same column I mentioned schools of education as another intractable obstacle to pedagogical success. That observation leads to Dr. William Ayers, the former Weatherman radical whose views about American society are only slightly different from what they were when his colleagues and ex-terrorist wife, Northwestern Professor Bernadine Dohrn, were plotting to kill American soldiers and their dates at a Fort Dix dance or celebrating the Manson cult’s murder of Sharon Tate.
Ayers is not only a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, but also a man whose textbooks for teachers are among the most popular in schools of education. Moreover, this fellow who declared to the New York Times just prior to 9/11 that he was sorry he didn’t set off more bombs during his youth, was recently elected Vice-President for Curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association—the nation’s largest organization of education school professors and researchers.
Given such leadership, it’s no wonder that Hoover Fellow Thomas Sowell has advocated abolishing schools of education—institutions whose academic reputations are notorious for cookie-cutter curricula that are now laced with anti-American diatribes. The ideas inculcated in teachers and administrators by Ayers and his colleagues are primarily designed to further a political agenda—not to serve the educational needs of students for whom lessons centered on “social outrage” simply exacerbate their cultural alienation.
A teacher recently related to me some experiences in North County classrooms that reflect the Ayers Ed-school mentality and don’t bode well for future graduation rates. Among the problems noted were “gangsta” and ghoulish attire that coordinated well with a common (grade school) refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Classes largely populated with “recent immigrants” often shared this feeling that America was, for them, a foreign nation.
In another classroom Thanksgiving was a day to celebrate Native-American traditions and to mourn the atrocities wrought by the Pilgrims' descendants. Native-American or neo-pagan images also stood front and center during Earth Day penance sessions.
Add to these PC lesson plans various “Day of Silence” observations and state legislation (SB 777) that calls in question heterosexist “mom and dad” language, and it’s no wonder that many parents have given up on public school reform and turned to private or home schooling.
Then along comes a rogue state Appeals Court that says even homeschoolers must endure Ed School indoctrination. PC monopolies, you see, hate competition.