FACT: "William Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, a leftist fringe of the 1960s antiwar movement. Known as the Weathermen, the group was responsible for bombings of the New York City police headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971 and of the Pentagon in 1972."
FACT:" Deborah Harrington, president of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic organization in Chicago, said Obama was a director from 1994 through 2001. That overlaps Ayers’ time as a director by three years. It also means Obama served with Ayers for the final months of 2001, after Ayers made his comments to the New York Times."
FACT: "Ayers Was on Woods Fund Board with Obama When He Stepped on Flag. In fact, at the same time Ayers was in a Chicago alley desecrating the flag, he and Barack Obama were serving on the board of the Woods Fund together."
FACT: Obama says he met Ayers the first time in 1995 - a year before - which would be when he was appointed as Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
FACT: Ayers, now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (not English as Obama stated), is still on the seven-member Woods Fund board.
The CAC structure is adeptly explained in full by Steve Diamond, and I suggest you read all from the horse’s mouth. But to summarize, the CAC had three divisions in it’s structure - the Board, the Collaborative, and Consortium of Chicago Schools Research (CCSR).
Obama chaired the money arm of the CAC structure - the Board. Everything fiscal including fund raising, fund matching and the grants. In other words, Obama oversaw the original grant funds, and the ensuing funds raised which ultimately totalled $160 million.
Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative arm, which was the “clearing house” for ideas, strategies, plans etal all for the CAC. This arm also represented the “various constituencies in the Chicago schools and wider community”.
Together, they controlled the money, and the decisions where the money went.
The failure? The third arm, the Consortium of Chicago School Research, was charged with monitoring the impact of the projects. Apparently it was a lot of money down the drain. There was no statistical difference between Annenberg schools and demographically similar non-Annenberg schools.
It needs to be also mentioned that a more than healthy bulk of that money actually went to political purposes, electing local officials friendly with Ayers and Obama’s approach to education. The CCSR report specifically mentioned this political conflict of the CAC’s political promotions as a possible factor in the lack of impact in student achievement.
CONCLUSION? Obama, in control of a hefty sum of cash, funneled *most* of it to his and Ayers’ political allies… not to the schools. Additionally, in order for the schools to receive the CAC funds, they were required to ally with particular organizations.
Bottom line? He made his and Ayers’ political friends powerful, but did nothing to achieve the educational improvement that was the object of Annenberg’s national challenges.
McCain should be pointing out that Obama’s leadership for educational reform, and his control over the budget, was politically oriented/influenced, and the student beneficiaries were left in the lurch. Bad leadership for both handling money, and for educational reform.
FACT: In 2001, Ayers wrote a book, ''Fugitive Days'' — he called it a memoir — in which he wrote that he participated in the bombings of New York City police headquarters, the Capitol building and the Pentagon. "
FACT: I will be shocked if this issue is portrayed accurately by the media.