School reform crusader Bill Ayers works within the system now, but don't ask the former Weatherman to apologize for his radical past
Ayers was a 1960s radical, a leader in the Weathermen, a group which exploded a few bombs, one of which accidentially killed three of its members. Ayers, along with his wife Bernadine Dohrn, went undergound for years only to eventually reemerge to become a University of Illinois education professor, a Hyde Park neighbor to Obama and, now, a touchpoint in the 2008 presidential race.
They had to remember to use their phony names.
For years, his was "Joe." Hers was "Rose."
"I was at the top of my field," the wife says. "I was on the FBI's 10 most wanted list."
She smiles at her husband.
"He was on the bottom," she adds. "I was most wanted, he was just wanted, sort of wanted."
William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. A school and community activist for over forty years, he also teaches courses in interpretive research, urban school change, and youth and the modern predicament. A graduate of the Bank Street College of Education and Teachers College, Columbia University, he has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the political and cultural contexts of schooling, and the meaning-making and ethical purposes of students and families and teachers. His articles have appeared in many journals including the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Rethinking Schools, The Nation, and The Cambridge Journal of Education.
Ayers isn't unique:
Angela Davis, gun maul that smuggled a sawed off shotgun into a San Rafael, California Courtroom in 1971, so that her boyfriend could murder the judge, is at this time a professor at the University of California Santa Cruz campus.
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