In the 1960s, Ayers was an active member of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist group that bombed public buildings in the name of “democracy.” Ayers describes his group as the “militant arm” of Students for a Democratic Society. In his memoir Fugitive Days Ayers said “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” (Yes, that Bill Ayers, the one who hosted a meet-and-greet for then-candidate Barack Obama. But I digress.)
What is Bill Ayers doing at a conference where educational reformers speak on such topics as “nurturing”, “democracy” and “moral dimensions?” Goodlad and Ayers are both social-progressive organizers, working hard to advance their vision of social democracy by “Enculturating the Young” in our public schools. They hold a similar antipathy toward parents, and believe that morals are not absolute and should be “defined by the community.” Both count John Dewey (atheist signer of the Humanist Manifesto) as a source of their inspiration.
Alpine School District in Utah County, Utah, is a Goodlad “partner district” with close ties to Goodlad. District superintendent Vern Henshaw is a former executive board member of Goodlad’s organization, NNER. It is unknown at this time if Henshaw will be speaking with Ayers at NNER 2010.