This is not a blog about being shocked, shocked to find out that the AERA has invited the state’s chief purveyor of the corporate takeover of public education to speak at its annual conference. There is nothing shocking about Arne Duncan speaking at the AERA, anymore than it is shocking that corporate think tanks get to pass themselves off as researchers in AERA journals or that the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education is promoting the edTPA , a money grab for Pearson, Inc.
Narratives of the market; discourses of accountability, outcomes and standards; demands for quantitative data; funding tied to student test data; suggestions to cooperate and ‘get a place at the table;’ and good old fashioned threats and job losses are the strings of the life/death we weave in the academy these days. Whether presented as great gains for a transformative higher education, or reasonable compromises under the shock doctrine of austerity budgets, we, like our k12 comrades, are experiencing increasing incursions of corporate interests into our day to day work. Arne Duncan, invited guest of the AERA, has been leading the charge.
Education faculty across the country, as individuals and as groups, have made statements and stood strong in support of the Seattle teachers, the Chicago strike , against high stakes testing in New York and Massaachusetts, and against Pearson and edTPA. But, as a group, especially when compared to other groups, we’ve not been carrying our weight. We’ve been writing letters, but returning to the comfort of our compromised and complicit professional organizations. We’ve followed the academic culture’s requirement to be polite, and patient, and not show our outrage nor ever take a position. And, in so doing, we have been part of the undoing of first k12, and now our own colleges and universities,
But here is our chance to shock. Here is our chance to join in solidarity with each other, our k12 counterparts, students and parents. Here is a chance for us to enact the practices we want our students to engage: unmask the power structures, speak truth to power, say no to profiteers and their henchman.
Let’s organize in San Francisco. Let’s speak out. Let’s be shocking!
Please join the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reclaimAERA/