There’s a post called An Obama-Related Cover-Up that suggests that part of Mr Obama’s “executive” experience should be discounted because it was with an organization that spent $60M but made no impact.
While he was on the faculty at University of Chicago, fellow professor William Aires ( a member of the radical Weather Underground during the turbulent 1960s) founded an organization to reform Chicago public schools. That organization applied for and received a challenge grant from the Annenberg Foundation and even changed the organization name to match the grant source, becoming the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, to create change and reform in Chicago public schools. The $49.2M grant was to be matched 2:1 by private donors, but by 1999 the Chicago Annenberg Challenge exceeded that by raising an additional $60 million.
The Research Consortium was responsible for assessing the impact of the expenditure of the Challenge’s grant money. Ironically, they concluded that the $110 million spent in Chicago over six years had little or no impact on outcomes for students. It did manage to spend a considerable portion of that money on projects led by founder Bill Ayers, which raised unresolved questions of conflict of interest.
Another Chicago group, the Consortium on Chicago School Research, concluded:
“Results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.”
Another article suggested that he only served for the final six months of operation (2003), which were the six months before he ran for elected office, using that directorship as a qualification of “executive experience,” and there are clear indications he got the job based on the recommendation of Bill Ayers. As Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues.
Mr Obama might have organized people to think they were doing something, but the thing they were doing wasn’t worth their time or money.
Note: Just before 9/11, Ayers was quoted by the New York Times that the notion of the United States as a just and fair and decent place “makes me want to puke.” Does that sound like Michelle Obama?