Obama on education: Fund fringe ideas, neglect performance
posted at 10:20 am on October 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
The focus on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge has mostly rested on Barack Obama’s connection to unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. The New York Post notes that another applicable lesson has been overlooked in that debate. The CAC revealed Obama’s instincts on educational policy, and they don’t run towards the mainstream:
The Obama-led foundation funneled more than $200,000 to an outfit called the Coalition for Improved Education in South Shore.
Its mission: training public-school teachers in “Afrocentric” education, a pseudo-scientific movement that (as a trainer brought in with CAC funds put it) rejects Western civilization, and America in particular, as “white supremacist” and seeks to “recover our disrupted ancestral culture.”
Reading, writing and ‘rithmetic this isn’t. All of which gives the lie to Obama’s breezy assertion in last week’s debate that his CAC activities were somehow bipartisan or mainstream.
It also certainly explains why schools chosen for the foundation’s largesse showed no gains in student performance.
As the Post notes, this provides an interesting tie back to a topic that has John McCain has avoided. The same kind of teachings have most notoriously reached homes nationwide through the sermons of Jeremiah Wright. Obama has tried to distance himself from the man he explicitly identified as a political adviser in early 2007. His pattern of grants to schools at the CAC strongly suggest that Obama shared Wright’s strange views on Afrocentrism; he literally put CAC money where Wright’s mouth was, then and now.
Even without Wright, one has to note the priorities this reveals for Obama on education. Few doubt the need for educational reform in Chicago and other major urban areas. Did Obama attempt to fund real reform through the CAC? No. Instead, he funded crackpots and radicals, using money that could have educated children and given them a better shot at life to support nutcase ideologies like the CIESS. Forget Ayers and Wright for a moment, and think about what that money could have meant for real children, suffering in bad schools, and realize the opportunity wasted by Obama, who seemed more interested in paying off political allies than in the children who needed help.
Barack Obama may or may not be a radical, but clearly he has acted to fund and support radicals at the expense of everyone else. The CAC, his one stint as an executive, utterly failed to improve education despite the tens of millions at his disposal. In seeing his funding priorities like the CIESS, it hardly surprises.
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