Tag Archives: AERA

Scholarship or activism?

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 Association’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.

William Ayers: Actually Dangerous

If Barack Obama’s friend William Ayres was only a terrorist who attempted to overthrow the government, that would perhaps mean no more than that Barack is a trend-chasing Leftist: I know plenty of those in academia.

That Ayres is an institutionally connected member of AERA, a well respected professional and academic research association I belong to, is troubling:

Amicable Collisions: Hiding in plain sight
Ayers’s influence on what is taught in the nation’s public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation’s largest organization of education-school professors and researchers. Ayers won the election handily, and there is no doubt that his fellow education professors knew whom they were voting for. In the short biographical statement distributed to prospective voters beforehand, Ayers listed among his scholarly books Fugitive Days, an unapologetic memoir about his ten years in the Weather Underground. The book includes dramatic accounts of how he bombed the Pentagon and other public buildings.

His works are required texts in education school courses all over the country and he’s much in demand as a lecturer in many of those schools. Plus, he’s a pioneer in the progressive education publishing industry, encouraging books by many other authors that show teachers how to bring “social justice” themes — i.e. the evils of American racism and imperialism – into their public school classrooms.

While American politics is divided between conservatives and liberals, American academia is divided between liberals and Leftists. As much as it pains me to say this as a conservative: the liberals are the only hope we have that the non-profitable areas of Academia stay out of the hands of the Marxists. An Obama administration that does anything to tilt the balance in Academia away from liberals and towards Leftists would be a disaster.

For the good of the academy, vote Clinton.
For the good of the academic, vote McCain.
For the good of the academy, vote anybody but Obama.

Update: Thanks to Power Line News, for linking to this post. The discussion that follows is nice, referencing 4GW.