Mary Grabar

Imagine if, as you chat with your child’s first-grade teacher and ask about how he decided to embark on a career in education, he told you, “I walked out of jail and into my first teaching job.”

Imagine him telling you that his days in jail and violent protesting were formative to his teaching philosophy.

Most parents would have a serious discussion with the principal.

But the teacher who brags about such beginnings is now a “Distinguished Professor of Education.” Despite his specialty as “Professor of Curriculum and Instruction,” he trains future teachers to dispense with curricula and discipline, as well as tests and grades.

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His many books appear on syllabi in education schools. Regarding classroom management, he advises future teachers to hold on “until the storm” of the “wildest kids in their fullest eruptions” passes. Knowledge of the subject is unimportant; the teacher’s willingness to “plunge into the unknown alongside their students” is. So is the teacher’s “love.”

Yet, as he told the World Education Forum and President Hugo Chavez during one of several trips to Venezuela, education does have a goal: it is “the motor-force of revolution.” This education professor also enjoys a lucrative sideline as invited speaker to education conferences, college and high school assemblies, and civic groups, in the United States and Europe, but has been barred from Canada on several occasions.

This, of course, is William Ayers, Ed.D., who came into the news during the presidential campaign for his association with Barack Obama on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

It was in his 2001 memoir, “Fugitive Days,” that Ayers bragged about walking into his first teaching job at the alternative Children’s Community school in Ann Arbor, “a school that, we hoped, would change the world.” His leadership in the Weather Underground, a terrorist organization, and the quotation about having “no regrets” for that, appeared in the New York Times on 9/11 and was repeated in 2008.

Ayers and wife Bernardine Dohrn hid from the law for the better part of the 1970s, until 1979 when charges for terroristic activities were dropped, as a result of President Carter’s justice department’s pursuit of the FBI and accusation of illegal wiretapping. The couple is still being investigated for the 1970 police station bombing that killed Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell.

Mary Grabar

Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at Her writing can be found at