Book of the Month

Back to June 2013 Ed Reporter

Book of the Month

Bill Ayers: Teaching Revolution, by Mary Grabar, Ph.D., Dissident Prof Press, 2013, $12.00

Many are familiar with Bill Ayers as a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and co-founder of the communist Weather Underground, from whose living room Barack Obama launched his political career. Some may not realize he repositioned himself as an educator after ten years on the run from the FBI. During Ayers’ 23 years as a professor of education, specializing in K-12 at the University of Chicago, he influenced thousands of students who are now in classrooms affecting America’s future.

Mary Grabar describes Ayers’ shift from directly and illegally undermining the United States to more covertly undermining it from within the system. Ayers’ Marxist and anarchist beliefs never changed from when he was a young, nihilistic 1%-er (his father was CEO of Com Edison), attempting to blow up places and kill people in the name of bringing down “the establishment.” His career as an educator has encouraged the destruction of America’s way of life by corrupting political, moral, social, and education standards.

In accordance with the 1962 SDS Port Huron Statement, on which “victimhood” studies are based, 1960s leftist agitators moved from the streets into universities. These “scholars who spur movements” using class warfare and racial and sexual divides are successful, as evidenced by the current focus on social justice and multiculturalism.

Ayers’ continued political activism includes helping form a resurgent SDS group, supporting and speaking during Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, and delivering an anti-U.S. rant in front of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. In Venezuela he said, “Capitalism promotes racism and militarism.”

Ayers’ book To Teach is widely used in schools of education; there is even a comic book version of it, in case some find the original version too challenging. Mary Grabar contends that Ayers is not a legitimate educator since “everything he promotes goes against producing independent thinkers who understand evidence and argument.”

In To Teach, Ayers disputes the idea that “good teachers always know the materials,” claiming that is a myth. Grabar refutes this, saying common sense and evidence show “the best predictor of a student’s grasp of the material is the teacher’s knowledge of it.”

Ayers’ wrote a New York Times article promoting Linda Darling-Hammond, a major player in developing standards and testing for Common Core, for Secretary of Education. Grabar offers strategies to overcome the havoc caused by Ayers and his ilk in education; one strategy she suggests is the abolition of Common Core.