The American Educational Research Association (AERA) faced a choice in organizing the AERA 2009 conference: focus on scholarship and education, or dilute its mission by pushing a liberal-left agenda.
Obviously, AERA chose the second option:
From an email sent out to all AERA members, but not publicly available online:
In October, we announced a number of steps that the Association was taking after wide consultation, including with the AERA Queer Studies SIG, to address the fact that, in 2008, Mr. Douglas Manchester, the primary owner of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, made a large individual contribution promoting passage of Proposition 8 in California. The steps taken by AERA include:
The Association purchased additional space at the Convention Center and shifted all high profile and social justice-related sessions as well as all official AERA Annual Meeting functions to the Convention Center or other hotels. The Association had planned to hold 850 sessions at the Hyatt and has reduced this number to 350 sessions.
The Association continues to include The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel among the hotels offering rooms to attendees. As is AERA practice, individual registrants are choosing in which hotels to make reservations until AERA blocks are filled.
As part of the 2009 Annual Meeting Program, AERA has added two Presidential symposia relevant to GLBT issues.
We took these actions mindful that, while Mr. Manchester is the owner of the Hotel, his views and actions do not reflect those of the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and that the Hyatt Hotel operates the Manchester Grand Hyatt independent of Mr. Manchester. The Hyatt General Manager has appreciated our concerns and our actions to make clear the Associationâ€™s commitment to equal access, equal treatment, and non-discrimination as a matter of business policy and practice regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religious preferences. The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel itself has a well documented history of inclusiveness on GLBT issues.
It bothers me a lot that education, which is so important, suffers from such loud presence by left-wing political organizers. The scientific study of education is hobbles by its association with this crowd.