Writing on the website good.is, Ayers
“Dear President Obama: Congratulations!
“I’m sure this is a moment you want to savor, a time to take a deep breath, get some rest, hydrate, regain your balance, and take a long walk in the sunshine. It might be as well a good time to reflect, rethink, recharge, and perhaps reignite. I sincerely hope that it is, and I urge you to put education on your reflective agenda.”
While Ayers has in the past joked that Obama launched his political career in Ayers’ house, he has been dismayed over Obama’s appointment of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education and the administration’s use of mild “corporate” reforms that involve competition and accountability.
“You have opposed privatizing social security, pointing out the terrible risks the market would impose on seniors if the voucher plan were ever adopted. And yet you’ve supported—in effect—putting the most endangered young people at risk through a similar scheme. We need to expand, deepen, and fortify the public space, especially for the most vulnerable, not turn it over to private managers. The current gold rush of for-profit colleges gobbling up student loans is but one cautionary tale.
“You’ve said that you defend working people and their right to organize and yet you have publicly and noisily maligned teachers and their unions on several occasions. You need to consider that good working conditions are good teaching conditions, and that good teaching conditions are good learning conditions. We can’t have the best learning conditions if teachers are forced away from the table, or if the teaching corps is reduced to a team of short-termers and school tourists.”
Obama owes his re-election to organized labor, which holds the same views as Ayers. In all likelihood, this is the path Obama will attempt to follow in a second term. Perhaps his flirtation with Duncan and logical reforms has come to an end, particularly now that he no longer has to worry about pleasing the voters.
Hang on taxpayers, parents and other concerned citizens. The next four years should be a bumpy but interesting ride.