Sunday Activity with reclaimAERA

The Alternatives to Arne panel last night was a tremendous discussion. There is more to come today.

We hope to see you at the different events today, but especially the action planning meeting at 2pm Union Square Park


Sunday, April 28th

Networks governance? New policy networks and the global privatization of education
Sunday 12:25 p.m. Westin St. Francis

Neoliberalism and Activism: From JROTC to the Occupy Movement [Roundtable – #19]
Sunday 12:25, Hilton Union Square / Tower 3 Powell

reclaimAERA Planning Meeting (RSVP on Facebook)

Location: Union Square Park 333 Post St San Francisco California 94108.

Time: 2pm (PDT)

Check out @reclaimAERA for updates



Crit Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies SIG Standing with Hyatt Workers

repost of email sent to Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Members SIG-AERA

Hello Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Members,

As you likely already know, there has been an ongoing discussion around the Grand Hyatt hotel and the worker-led boycott of that site during AERA. After some extremely generative conversations with colleagues and boycott organizers, we have decided to move the SIG business meeting to an alternate venue, namely the Union Hall at 209 Golden Gate Avenue. This decision comes primarily from our respect for and solidarity with the Hyatt workers, as well as the historical relationship between the field of cultural studies and various labor movements across the globe. Accordingly, it is my hope that we can use the business meeting as a space for discussion around our SIG’s involvement in some of the larger conversations around AERA.

That said, there has been a wealth of diverging opinions on this matter, and for that reason, we have also decided not to prescribe any particular course of action for other sessions within our SIG. We feel that these decisions are best made by the chairs, discussants, and panelists within those sessions, and I am happy to post any messages on their behalf to this listserv. You will notice below that one of our sessions, Problematizing Public Pedagogy, has already been moved to the Union Hall.

The following is the current schedule of events being held at the Union Hall, and after that, I have provided links to the Hyatt boycott’s web site and contact information for booking at the Union Hall:

4.26 Friday 10:00am – 2:00pm – Navigating, Negotiating, Nurturing: The Praxis of ‘Critical’ Scholarship

4.26 Friday 4:15pm – 6:00 – Grand Hyatt Boycott Action / Picket

4.29 Monday 8:15am – 9:45 – Bringing the city back in to urban education studies

4.29 Monday 10:30am – 12:00 – Beyond Multicultural Curriculum Foundations: Toward Intercultural and Cosmopolitan Perspectives

4.29 Monday 2:45pm – 4:15 – Urban Research Based Action Network (URBAN) Organizational Meeting (Powell presenting on Hyatt Campaign)

4.30 Tuesday 10:30am – 12:00 – Curriculum History in Cosmopolitan Contexts: Reconstructing Intellectual History

4.30 Tuesday 12:10pm – 1:40 – Problematizing Public Pedagogy

4.30 Tuesday 7:15pm – 8:45 – Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies SIG Business Meeting: The Poverties of Curriculum and Cultural Studies

5.1 Wednesday 8:15am – 9:45 – AERA Business Meeting to discuss future conventions at Hyatt (Hilton Union Square, Continental 7)

5.1 Wednesday 12:25pm – 1:55 – Indigenous Land and Education in the Bay Area: Dislocation, Relocation, Occupation, and Repatriation

5.1 Wednesday 2:15pm – 3:45 – Social Imagination and Political Activism in Education Building

5.1 Wednesday 3:00pm – May Day Rally (24th and mission, San Francisco)

Boycott/Protest Campaign site:

Contact for AERA/SF: Powell DeGange

Jake Burdick

Info for Session with Arne Duncan 4.30.13 at the Hitlon Union Sq. 3:45-4:45p

Special Invited Address: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan (#AERASec)

Title: Choosing the Right Battles: Remarks and a Conversation

Scheduled Time: Tue Apr 30 2013, 3:45 to 4:45pmBuilding/Room: Hilton Union Square / Continental 4-6

Session Participants:

Chair: William G. Tierney (University of Southern California)

Arne Duncan (U.S. Department of Education)

What reclaimAERA stands for



As members of the American Educational Research Association we are committed to:

* free and equal public education for all as a cornerstone of democracy.

* research, scholarship and policy making that grows from and with communities  that are impacted by these.

* knowledge production as varied, multiple and contextual.

* research, scholarship and policy free from the interests of corporations and venture philanthropists.

*  public education-at every level-as a space for social imagination and the practice of freedom.

AERA has failed to take a public stance in support of these commitments and has not provided space for meaningful dialogue about how we can enact these commitments. Instead, AERA supports: 

* narrowing of ‘acceptable’ research to demands of quantification and standardization.

* affiliation with corporate sponsors like Pearson, Inc.

*  denial of the impact of corporate influences when it accepts for publication articles authored by writers from corporate sponsored think tanks.

* complacency in the face of the ongoing assault on education and incursions of corporations into research and practice led by such actors as: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. the Broad Foundation, and Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation

Case in point: invited “education researcher’ Secretary Duncan whose policies have led to:

* school closings; increased testing; narrowing of curriculum; undermining of collective bargaining; increasing of for profit charter schools; increased corporate influence in education.

* students, teachers, parents, and scholars threatened, silenced, and abandoned.

We invite our colleagues, students, and parents to refuse the corporatization of education, build alliances to resist its policies, take action, and join the conversation as we imagine education as the practice of freedom.

*Take ACTION to reclaimAERA

1) We will be distributing armbands with messages of protest. Please take one and wear it throughout the conference.

2) We will be leafleting. Please take leaflets, share, leave them where others will read them, talk with others about the ideas and information on the leaflets (leaflet ideas can be posted on our facebook group)

3) We will have a strong presence at Arne’s talk (Tuesday April 30th 3:45-4:45, Hilton Union Sq. Continental 4-6). Please get there early. Please bring signs. They may not allow signs, so prepare signs on paper that can fit into your bag and then come out during his talk.

4) We are meeting Sunday at 2 PM to discuss the talk and other actions face-face. Please sign up for that event on facebook, and we will let you know the location.

5) Attend the EDU4 session on Wednesday from 2:15-3:45 at the Union Hall 209 Golden Gate to continue the discussion and planning.

6) Support the boycott of the Hyatt. Do not attend sessions there. Move your session if it is scheduled at the Hyatt. The Union Hall is available. Contact us for more information.

7) Watch our facebook page or our twitter  (@reclaimAERA, #reclaimAERA, #edjustice) for sessions that name the corporate assault on education.

8) This group came together to bring attention to Duncan’s presence and the corporatization of AERA. While we have taken some leadership, there are other individuals and groups concerned about these issues and taking action.

Please email us at with ideas to share. We will connect with each other through that email address. Please instigate your own actions.

* JOIN the CONVERSATIONS (a more updated list here)

Alternatives to Arne: CESJ business meeting
Saturday 7:15 p.m.
Hilton Union Square-Plaza A

Networks governance? New policy networks and the global privatization of education.
Sunday 12:25 p.m.
Westin St. Francis

Bringing the city back in to Urban Education Studies
Mon. 8:30 a.m.
Union Hall 209 Golden Gate

Left Behind in the Race to the Top: Realities of Education Reform
Tuesday 8 a.m.
Hilton Union Sq., Golden Gate 8

Unpacking the attack on teacher education:
corporatization, unaccountability and the neoliberal regime
Tuesday 5:05 p.m.
Westin St. Francis

Social imagination and political activism
Wednesday 2:15-3:45 p.m.
Union Hall 209 Golden Gate

For updates on organizing, actions and events, go to: 

twitter: @reclaimAERA
hashtags: #reclaimaera #edjustice

List of key events/sessions (if you want to add a session post it on our facebook page or email


Flyers for AERA Conference


Here are various pdfs for you to distribute. Some are more direct protest flyers while others carry information about some key panels/events that reclaimAERA participants will attending together.


Co-optedflyer (PDF)


erase to the top (pdf)

erase to the top


flagaera (PDF)

flagaera (pdf)

STOP.rttt (pdf)





How can we reclaim the AERA1 (pdf)

How can we reclaim the AERAsessions (pdf)

reclaim AERAleaflet 2-1 (pdf)

Nipping Dissent: The Hollow Centrality of Neoliberal Democracy and Multiculturalism

By Edwin Mayorga and Julie Gorlewski (with support from reclaimAERA)

“I am weary of the abuse of social media by writers hurling anonymous, venomous insults—a practice that encourages the general retreat to intellectual neighborhoods. Our work and our interactions with one another should model productive conversation about the nature of education, schooling, and reform. The conference gives us an opportunity to demonstrate very publicly how thoughtful disagreements can take place. I hope that in the invited addresses, the presidential sessions, the myriad papers, roundtables, and posters, and in my own presidential address, we will challenge our own assumptions rather than simply reconfirm what we think we know.” – Bill Tierney, President of AERA

Recently, AERA President Bill Tierney sent a mass email to us, the members of AERA, calling on us to engage and thoughtfully disagree. To readers working with reclaimAERA, an emerging group of AERA members and non-members (by choice) working to transform AERA and interrupt the privatization of this body, the call to “challenge our own assumptions” rings hollow, since the text, itself, makes no indication of a willingness to model this approach. His piece links disciplinary expertise with non-productive conflict, implying a false dichotomy between full engagement and abuse.  Furthermore, and perhaps most disturbingly, Tierney asserts a neat, clean, bleached image of “productive discussion,” an image that does consider critical questions: Who decides what kinds of discussion are productive? Productive for whom?  In a “productive” discussion, who speaks and who is silent? Whose languages are privileged and whose are ignored?

The whole notion that meaningful dialogue is “civil” reflects a troubling perspective. Jones (2007) states that discussions around education are too often oriented in a “problem-solution” frame, one that fails to appreciate the value of struggle, of relationships forged in and sustained through struggle.

It is in the irresolvable tension between such contradictory positions and arguments about our relationship where thought and practice get interesting, as well as difficult, and where new thinking and practice arise in education. (emphases in original, p. 14)

While a call for dialogue is commendable, this most recent message seeks to shape and control the nature of that dialogue. By describing unnamed participants in the dialogue as “writers hurling insults anonymously,” Tierney insults and dismisses their words and experiences. Furthermore, the vagueness of his message has left many colleagues wondering who, exactly, Tierney’s words targeted. The question raised by his statement echoes in our corridors and on social media sites: “Is he talking about us?”

Sadly, we fear that the attempt to frame dialogue and dissent as uncivil or misguided is emblematic of “control and divide” practices where communities, unions, and professional relationships are being dismantled and destroyed under the guise of civility, superficial democracy and controlled inclusivity. It is only on the terms of those in power and those that fund power that the structures of communication, research, teaching, and relationship building are being defined, and this is unacceptable!

In what is meant to be an authored, specific response, we challenge the AERA president’s claim to define what counts as “productive discussion” and what “thoughtful disagreements” might look like. We deny definitions of meaningful discussion that ignore existing power relations and act as if we all speak at the same volume, with respect to status. Without mockery, we share what we are “weary” of:

  • being bullied and silenced by corporatizers and privatizers who have a full-time staff doing what we are doing before and after work
  • caving the increasingly standardized demands of accreditors and professional organizations owned and run by the corporatizers and privatizers
  • having assessment, an essential aspect of teaching and learning, be wrenched from our expert, loving hands
  • accepting, as unquestioned, the reality that children of the wealthy deserve a vastly different education from children of the less wealthy, and that the corporatizers and privatizers can coerce public educators into providing poor education
  • accepting that unions are evil and public education is broken
  • having definitions of what counts as research and data be narrowed into numbers
  • being coerced and bribed into implementing policies that are never voted on or discussed in public (or professional) spaces.

We believe in the power and promise of engaging in ongoing struggles over issues that define human relationships. If we eliminate tension, we eliminate potential for real dialogue – not dialogue aimed at a tidy solution, but dialogue intended to deepen understandings, reveal assumptions, and name experiences. Jones (2007) explains

In ka whawhai tonu mātou [1] we are engaged in a relationship. This has to be seen positively, given it is engagement; it is not dis-engagement. To struggle with another is to give active and proper attention to the other, to relate to the other. Even as an enemy you are hoariri or hoa whawhai – an angry ‘friend’: one with whom it is worth engaging, someone with whom you have a relationship of struggle. Ake ake ake makes the engagement or relationship permanent; this must be like a marriage of some sort! (and not a divorce). (p. 12)

To attempt to corral a plurality of views and articulations of dissent is a form of affective and distributive injustice where democratic communication is squelched, power remains centralized, and accountability to the constituency is negated.

If AERA is committed to justice, it is committed to love[2]. Love in public is a process of democratization and as Baker et al (2006) remind us:

democratisation involves substituting dialogue for dominance, cooperation and collegiality for hierarchy, and active learning and problem solving for passivity” (p. 16)

Love is messy, loud, and difficult – but our approach to love defines us. We must engage, or risk divorce.

reclaimAERA invites all of you who read this to write, respond, and act through all venues in social media (email, facebook, blogs, etc) and, most importantly, in our personal and professional relationships.

Works Cited
Jones, A.  Ka whawhai tonu mātou: The interminable problem of knowing others Inaugural Professorial Lecture, University of Auckland, 24 October, 2007.

Baker, J., Lynch, K., Cantillon, S. and Walsh, J.  (2006) “Equality: Putting the Theory into Action.” Res Publica, 12: 411-433.

[1] The interminable problem of knowing others

[2] “Justice is what love looks like in public.”- Cornel West