AERA: Duncan to Speak, Protests Starting Early

By Sarah D. Sparks — April 30, 2013 1 min read
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San Francisco

It’s about 10 minutes until Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to speak for the first time at the annual American Educational Research Association meeting here, as invited by AERA officials, and the protest signs already seem to be circulating.

The one pictured above, the reverse of which you can see below, comes from an alliance of anti-testing folks, including Reclaim AERA, which bills itself as “in defense of research, education, and action for the public good,” as well as EDU4, United Opt Out, and @ the Chalk Face. I’m also seen red signs blaring, “Stop the WAR on Teachers!”

I’m struck by a comment by Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, in the the previous session in the same room, on the future of education schools. Though not refering directly to the Duncan talk, he admonished the AERA participants that instead of protesting, they should work harder to find solutions to pressing education problems.

“I haven’t been at one of these [meetings] where we haven’t decried high stakes testing,” he said. “Why don’t we invent something else?”

I’ll update when the Secretary takes the stage. UPDATE: Click here to read about the speech.

Photos of protest signs taken by Elizabeth Rich.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.