Monday, October 20, 2008


Over the weekend on this blog, I pointed out that the final report of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is online and states that it did nothing -- NOTHING! -- to help low-income Chicago kids read, write and figure, after $49.2 million in extra cash donated from the estate of the late Walter Annenberg.

You'll recall that, former Weatherman murderous terrorist and now education professor Bill Ayers, and Presidential candidate Barack Obama, were both intricately involved in that project. Ayers wrote the grant, and Obama was the chairman of the board gaining political capital aplenty as all those millions were steered to community groups, and vanished in the cesspool of gutter politics. What a boondoggle.

Someone has since pointed out that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was a 2:1 match. That means donations from others -- more than likely, conservative Republicans, since they're by far the most generous demographic group in the nation -- added to the $49.2 million. So the actual waste of money was closer to $150 million, for no help to student academic outcomes. That's colossal!

It just makes the decision by the University of Nebraska's College of Education to give Ayers the bully pulpit at its upcoming 100th anniversary celebration look even worse.

Look: the final report of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was dated August 2003. That was PLENTY of time for the UNL education professors to find out that Ayers' radical schtick was and is a cynical disappointment in the classroom, and doesn't do a thing to help kids. I mean, it took me about 3 minutes to find it online.

Why didn't they KNOW that? Or maybe they don't CARE?

So they're either incompetent, or uncaring. Nice.

You put that with the dismal fact that Nebraska has one of the widest racial achievement gaps in the nation, and that N.U. trained most of our teachers who apparently don't know how to lift low-income kids up and over, with solid academics. That's not the fault of the teachers themselves: that's the fault of whoever supposedly trained them.

I have to say it: N.U. Teachers' College has lost our trust.

They like radical? Let's give them radical:

Let's abolish the N.U. College of Education entirely. Let our future teachers major in content areas, such as math, science and English. Let schools hire them on merit, and train them in pedagogy -- the art of teaching. That way, they'll be shielded from all this ineffective, radical philosophy such as Ayers spouts, and will know how to stick to their knittin' . . . and TEACH.

It would make our future teachers the best in the nation, bar none.

It would help our kids like nothin' before.

It would be . . . the bomb!

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Some of the most effective schools in the teaching of "disadvantaged" kids are founded, administered and to a large extent staffed by non-education majors, a lot of them from Harvard Law School. (Achievement First (Amistad) Charter Schools.)Maybe teachers colleges are an impediment to good teachers.
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