The Weekly Newsletter of Educational Alternatives -
Noam Chomsky: Bubble Tests "Destroy Any Meaningful Educational Process"

Chomsky is a philosopher, not a statistician or an economist. He looks behind the facade of data to ask "why are we doing this?" "What are the consequences?" "What is the value of collecting the data?" "Why?"


Statisticians and economists (fortunately, not all of them) tend to think that when they have collected enough data, they will reach conclusions about the data. They think the data is as solid as "how many cars of this model sold? what was the profit margin? how should we price next year's model to maximize profit?" or "how high will corn grow with this amount of fertilizer? how many acres should be planted with this seed?"


The starry-eyed data-mongers believe that children can be measured like any agricultural or mechanical product.


But teachers know that children are not corn; they are not electrical appliances; they are not engineered; they are all different.


We need to listen to philosophers. We need to think about what we are doing to children and to teachers by treating them as products of a process that can be tightly controlled.

Read the rest here.
New Scholarship Fund for School Starters
AERO School: Agile Learning Center, Manhattan

We have received several applications for the partial scholarships for the School Starters Online Course. We're also looking for more donors so that we can offer discounts to more of the students in the course. We are still taking applicants for the scholarships. Just reply to this newsletter or write to and tell us what your vision is and why you need the scholarship in no more than three or four paragraphs. 

A scholarship application does not guarantee registration for the course. Enrollment will close when we reach 25 individuals or groups. If you register now at the regular tuition (which will probably go up significantly next year) your place in the course is guaranteed.
Bio of Brent Kreuger Who Wrote Article About Why to Take Your Kids out of School, Link to Last Week's Article
Brent Kreuger was born on the Canadian prairies.  His father was a CPR station agent so he grew up in many parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta. After receiving a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto (now called Ryerson University), he eventually returned to Saskatoon to raise a family and has called it home ever since.  Ten years later Brent received a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan, and ten years after that, a Masters in Distance Education from Athabasca University. Brent has spent most of his adult life as an entrepreneur.  His first business was a photographic studio and production house until in 1995 he joined his wife Monica in Global Infobrokers Inc. as Vice President.
Global Infobrokers Inc. began in 1989 as a developer and provider of entrepreneurship training in Saskatchewan.  His expertise in Distance Education has allowed the company to export their entrepreneurship programs internationally.  Collectively they have assisted over 800 entrepreneurs start their enterprises in a wide variety of industries.  Now called Praxis School of Entrepreneurship, their training product is well known and successful largely because it is run for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.  In addition to many speaking engagements in Canada, Brent has travelled the world and given talks and workshops on entrepreneurship and education to such places as India, China, Egypt, Colombia, Chile, UAE, all over Europe, and many places in Asia.

As a result of the desire of Brent and Monica to promote entrepreneurship as a career option to young people, and based upon the high success rates of their post secondary school graduates, they established Praxis International Institute, a boarding high school in Saskatchewan located in an ecovillage between the two major centres of Regina and Saskatoon.  The school's new environmentally friendly campus opened in the fall of 2010 and focuses on the pillars of entrepreneurship, global citizenry, environmental sustainability and technology within an environment of customized experiential learning.  Now operating as an "Alternative school," they are currently recruiting students for the 2015/2016 school year.

Read the article he wrote for last week's newsletter here.
Links to AERO Conference Videos Now Available to AERO Members
 We are gradually adding links to the AERO Conference keynotes to the AERO video archive. This is available free to all AERO members. The ones there so far include Sugata Mitra's keynote, Mitra's dialog with Yaacov Hecht, and the Agile Learning Center keynote. 

If you are a member, just use your member code to access the hundreds of videos. If you are not yet a member you can support AERO and become one here. 
Correcting the BIG Mistake in Public Education

It may come as a surprise to many people that America has 50 government-controlled public education systems that are built on a false, low estimate of human potential. In this article I will show what we have and compare it with what we could have with a higher vision. Then I will suggest some things we could do to correct our BIG mistake.

Characteristics of a school system built on a low estimate of people:


(Compare the ones in each list, then the twos, etc.)


(1) As measured by IQ tests, only a few people are really smart. These tests show less than 5 percent of people are geniuses.


(2) Special programs are developed for the elite few who are identified as "gifted."


(3) Students are naturally lazy and must be required to learn the things they should know and be able to do. Required learning is shallow and temporary.


(4) Subject matter standards are established that list what all students are required to know and be able to do in each subject. Many tests are imposed to measure student learning.


(5) School attendance and learning for graduation are compulsory. Like most states, Utah requires 24 credits across six major subject areas. Grade-point averages signify learning and accomplishment.  


Read the rest here.
Heart Attack Report
 I'd like to again thank all they people in the AERO network who read last week's follow up report and some who sent very helpful responses and resources. Your support is very much appreciated. If you missed it you can read the report here
NewsNews, Resources, & Calendar
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Thank you for your ongoing support. With your help, we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!


Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

tensignsThe Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child
Many parents don't realize that the education world has changed drastically since they were in school. Schools and class sizes used to be smaller, dropout rates lower, in-school violence almost unheard of, and teachers weren't terrified of showing affection to their students, or of discussing moral values. Of course, even then, school was far from perfect, but at least the teachers-and usually the principal-knew every student by name, something that is increasingly rare today.

Because our public school system has deteriorated considerably, many parents, teachers, and individuals have taken it upon themselves to create public and private alternatives to that system; and it is important for parents to know that they now have choices.

So how do you know that it's time to look for another educational approach for your child? Here are some of the signs:

1. Does your child say he or she hates school?

If so, something is probably wrong with the school. Children are natural learners, and when they're young, you can hardly stop them from learning. If your child says they hate school, listen to them.  

July 26th, 2015
In This Issue
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