What do you know? Small world, isn’t it? Back in 1995 this program was funded by none other than the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and — Barack Obama!
(WND) — Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in Saturday’s Arizona shooting, attended a high school that is part of a network in which teachers are trained and provided resources by a liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama, WND has learned.
The group, Small Schools Workshop, has been led by a former top communist activist who is an associate of Ayers. Obama provided the group with funds in the 1990s when he worked at an education reform group alongside Ayers.
Loughner attended Mountain View High School, which is part of Arizona’s Morana Unified School District. Since 2003, Mountain View has been part of what is known as the Smaller Learning Community, a network of schools that have been restructured to create a more personalized learning environment where students often have the same teachers and fellow students from grade to grade.
Mountain View was part of the Smaller Learning Communities throughout Loughner’s entire attendance there, from 9th grade until he withdrew without graduating before his senior year.
The high school received grants to research the concepts of Smaller Learning Communities and work to implement them.
Ayers himself is considered one of the fathers of the Smaller Learning Communities, often providing lectures to schools on the subject. For example, a 2001 lecture at Lewis & Clark College featured Ayers at a workshop entitled, “A Simple Justice: Building Smaller Learning Communities to Know Our Youth.”
Smaller Learning Communities had its conceptual genesis in 1991, when Ayers founded a group, Small Schools Workshop, which provides training and resources to teach schools on how to implement the Smaller Learning Communities.
Small Schools Workshop is a recommended agent for how to implement smaller schools curriculum, including at Loughner’s alma mater, Mountain View.
Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop has the stated goal of providing support for teachers who want to create smaller learning environments. Ayers reportedly recruited a radical activist, Mike Klonsky, to head the Workshop. Klonsky still serves as director.
The Small School Workshop originally was associated with the University of Illinois in Chicago, where Klonsky previously taught in the education department alongside Ayers, who retired from the university last year. The group was headquartered for a time inside the university’s department of education building.
In 1995, with Obama as its chairman, the newly formed Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or CAC, a school reform organization, gave the Workshop a grant of $175,000. The CAC provided another $482,662 to the Workshop over the next few years.