Five more people are dead in Chicago:
Authorities found the bodies of five young people Wednesday inside a ransacked house on Chicago's South Side, raising the body count in an already violent spring, police said.
It appeared the three men and two women had been shot, but investigators were waiting for the Cook County medical examiner's office to confirm a cause of death, said Chief of Detectives Thomas Byrne. Autopsies were scheduled for Thursday, the medical examiner's office said.
The recent violence followed a six-month period during which more than 20 Chicago public school students were shot to death.
The easy, and predictable, response is to blame guns:
Public officials rallied for tougher gun laws Tuesday in the wake of yet another teen shooting, but of the nearly 1,000 Chicago public school students who joined them at the Thompson Center, many said the solutions are more complicated.
Are the solutions more complicated or just more politically incorrect?
Police believe at least 14 of the weekend shootings were gang related. Chicago has a curfew for teenagers 16 and under but obviously that's not enough. Where does public education fit in to all this? What is happening, or not happening, in our schools that could contribute to what appears to be a complete breakdown of law and order in parts of Chicago?
William Ayers, former member of the Weather Underground and unrepentant terrorist is a Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Barack Obama has recently come under intense scrutiny because of his association with Ayers, and for good reason. Sol Stern tells us there is much more to be concerned about, Ayers is much more that simply a college professor (emphasis mine):
A Chicago native son, Ayers first went into combat with his Weatherman comrades during the “Days of Rage” in 1969, smashing storefront windows along the city’s Magnificent Mile and assaulting police officers and city officials. Chicago’s mayor at the time was the Democratic boss of bosses, Richard J. Daley. The city’s current mayor, Richard M. Daley, has employed Ayers as a teacher trainer for the public schools and consulted him on the city’s education-reform plans. Obama’s supporters can reasonably ask: If Daley fils can forgive Ayers for his past violence, why should Obama’s less consequential contacts with Ayers be a political disqualification? It’s hard to disagree. Chicago’s liberals have chosen to define deviancy down in Ayers’s case, and Obama can’t be blamed for that.
What he can be blamed for is not acknowledging that his neighbor has a political agenda that, if successful, would make it impossible to lift academic achievement for disadvantaged children. As I have shown elsewhere in City Journal, Ayers’s politics have hardly changed since his Weatherman days. He still boasts about working full-time to bring down American capitalism and imperialism. This time, however, he does it from his tenured perch as Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Instead of planting bombs in public buildings, Ayers now works to indoctrinate America’s future teachers in the revolutionary cause, urging them to pass on the lessons to their public school students.
Indeed, the education department at the University of Illinois is a hotbed for the radical education professoriate. As Ayers puts it in one of his course descriptions, prospective K–12 teachers need to “be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.” Ayers’s texts on the imperative of social-justice teaching are among the most popular works in the syllabi of the nation’s ed schools and teacher-training institutes. One of Ayers’s major themes is that the American public school system is nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony. Thus, the mission of all progressive teachers is to take back the classrooms and turn them into laboratories of revolutionary change.
A domestic terrorist is training K-12 teachers to be capable of "outrage and action". Stern notes Ayers' influence is likely to grow and it won't be limited to Chicago. He was elected vice president for curriculum of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). AERA is "the nation's largest organization of education-school professors and researchers" with 25,000 members:
AERA already does a great deal to advance the social-justice teaching agenda in the nation’s schools and has established a Social Justice Division with its own executive director.
Stern has more detail on Ayers' poisonous educational philosophy here:
...Bill Ayers has the academic freedom to say and write anything he wants about America and its schools. But academic freedom protects neither him nor the teachers he trains when they bring their leftist version of social justice into the schools. Legislators should ask their state education boards to write a new set of guidelines that discourage teaching for social justice and social justice schools and that forbid teachers from indoctrinating students with their own politics, whether left or right. This ought to be the teacher’s Hippocratic Oath: to do no harm.
The violence in Chicago, and other inner cities, is more complicated (actually it's really not that complicated) than guns or the public education system. Illegal immigration plays a part, many gangs are made up of illegal aliens, the breakdown of the traditional family also plays a role. From November 2006, 37 Percent of U.S. Births Out of Wedlock:
Out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday.
Out-of-wedlock births have been rising since the late 1990s
These figures are for 2005. And while the birthrate among teenagers declined percent in 2005:
The U.S. teen birth rate is still the highest among industrialized countries.
So while there are certainly other factors that contribute to the deadly violence we are seeing in our streets - and schools - if what Bill Ayers is preaching in Chicago is any indication, our public schools are contributing as well. If Barack Obama can't figure out what's going on in his own backyard in Chicago, and unequivocally denounce Ayers and his teachings, he will surely do more harm than good as our president.