From John Dewey circa 1914 to Bill Ayers a century later, we hear the same progressive spiel. There must be drastic change, and perhaps much destruction and death, in order to create a more just society. A dubious trade if you stop and think about it. (Lenin gave the same deal to the hapless Russians.)
Dewey was a professor of education; Ayers, once a famous terrorist, is now also a professor of education. So what will be the impact of their philosophy on the classrooms of America? The short answer is that children will get a lot more indoctrination, and a lot less knowledge. That’s for starters.
Neither professor of education is primarily interested in academic education, that’s the weird endgame. Both professors see themselves as social engineers; they think their job is to create a new socialist human in order to build a new socialist society. If education (or anything else) must be kicked to the curb, that’s not important for Dewey and Ayers.
The first key to understanding both men is to understand that the word “education" is code for socialism. Similarly, the word “democracy” is code for socialism. Nowadays, Bill Ayers mainly uses the phrase “social justice,” which is also code for socialism. It is the be-all and end-all. As a practical matter, all of this code means that social engineers like Bill Ayers make all the decisions, so people like you can be herded and manipulated for your own good.
The second key, especially to understanding Bill Ayers, is that he is, in his own words, a radical and a communist. There’s not much he wouldn't walk on, including this country, to bring about his vision. And how do you feel about that? Of course Bill Ayers will trample on you, preaching social justice the whole time.
He wants to infuse students and their parents “with a radical political commitment. He wants to downplay achievement tests in favor of activism.” Ayers wants teachers to act as community organizers with the aim of provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. In short, education will become even more of an afterthought than it is now.
And all of this he wants whether you, or anyone else, agrees or not.
Ayers is an angry man. He and his group are credited with killing seven Americans. He is widely credited with saying: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at.”
Here we arrive at the central paradox of our far-left zealots. They are not going to ask your permission for the New World they want to give you. Specifically in education, they are not going to ask permission for what they want to do to your child. Even more offensive, they’re not going to ask your child’s permission. In effect, your child is going to be kidnapped, locked up, and put in a reeducation camp in order to achieve social justice.
This is the totalitarian contradiction. The likelihood of evil is huge. In the classroom, the likelihood of dumbing down is certain. But you must accept the deal because it's "just."
Memo to Bill Ayers: what you're calling for involves a lot of leveling, dumbing down, and enforced conformity. You’re hoping to keep a lot of people below their potential. How do you dare to do such a thing? Why isn’t this hope of yours more correctly called social injustice?
All of Ayers’ socialist ideas have flowed into Common Core. The president and all the education professors casually announce that children will now be college-ready and career-ready. Presto. Just by saying so.
A practical person might wonder, what sort of college? What sort of career? But that's not the main problem. Common Core is not primarily concerned with readiness for college and career. It is concerned with making children socialism-ready.
Is any of this told to the public?
When you buy a product that has lies on the label, lies in the instruction book and lies in the warranty, you have fraud. Consumers should file a suit. What the public schools are trying to do here is provide an inferior form of education, claiming it is superior, even as the whole project is clearly about trying to give Bill Ayers and his comrades the power and control they seek.
We see here the unfolding of George Orwell’s second law, Ignorance is Strength, where the people in the middle will do anything to be on top. To gain power, they promise to take better care of the poor and the weak. Once the middle vault up to the top, they punish those formerly on top. As for the poor and weak, they can drop dead. This has been the pattern since the beginning of history, according to George Orwell.
What if we made everything transparent for a change? What if Bill Ayers described what he was willing to do to you personally in order to achieve his dreams? What if we encourage teenagers to look more closely at the deal that people like Bill Ayers are presenting: give us what we want and even then you’ll probably be destroyed.
What if the Common Core crowd, including Bill Gates and Obama, have to announce publicly in honest language exactly what it is they hope to do to you.
There is a contract in education, explicit or at least implied. The school will try to educate children, presumably to the maximum level each child is capable of. Let’s insist on this contract.
FURTHER READING: Bill Ayers on his college tour