What a Conference!
Post Conference Book Sale

Report and Feedback
View from pre-conference Manhattan cruise

The AERO conference of 2017 was held from August 2nd to August 6th. Those who attended experienced a very special event. This included:
  • A spectacular cruise around Manhattan Island.
  • A visit to Pono, an education center in West Harlem in Manhattan
  • Three documentaries, including a presentation by 22 year old Taiwanese film maker Adler Yang of his award-winning film, "If There is a Reason to Study"
  • The book launch of Jerry Mintz' "School's Over"
  • A keynote by unschool expert Dayna Martin
  • Six TED-like mini-talks
  • A keynote by MET Schools founder Dennis Littky
  • A keynote by Alliance of Self-Directed Education founder and author Peter Gray
  • A lunch keynote by Argentine film maker German Doin. 
  • A keynote by renowned education writer Jonathan Kozol
  • A keynote by minority unschooling expert Akilah Richards
  • Two amazing panels with keynoters
  • An exclusive reading of a keynote written by paralyzed educator and author John Gatto
  • 36 amazing workshops                                                              
  • 12 display tables, a virtual reality demonstration, a Mine Craft server, networking events, book signings

We had attendees from 12 countries and 23 states.
Here are some comments from attendees:
"The AERO conference of 2017 was one of the most powerful/ inspiring networking events I have been to in my life. What great work AERO is doing!"  CV, Colombia
"I found the keynote speakers GREATLY inspiring!  DF
" "I had such a wonderful experience at this conference, and met so many amazing people. I hoped to help bring homeschooling into the Alternative Education conversation in the same way that unschooling has always been. I didn't anticipate that I would leave with a completely re-framed vision of my work, and my place in this movement. Thanks AERO!!" BR
The AERO conference was a great success.  I felt especially blessed  to appear on the same stage , in a panel discussion, with  one of my long-time heroes, Jonathan  Kozol .  And, what a treat is was to hear Jerry  Mintz  read the speech  written for this conference by the great John  Gatto on  how education is all about the quest for water, food, and overcoming separation.  The conference also, I think, saw the birth of a new star in the advocacy for Self-Directed Education.  When I recommended  Akilah  Richards to Jerry as a keynoter, I knew she would be good, but I di dn't know she would be THAT good .  Th ank you, Jerry, for including her.  And thank you for your generosity in making room, at almost the last minute, for representatives of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE) and the ASDE workshop.     Peter Gray

" I have to thank you again for making space for me at AERO this year. It was such a pleasure to learn from and be received by the AERO tribe. I'm still reading through the copious notes I took, and reveling in the wonderful connections made!" Akilah Richards
This quote from Jonathan Kozol's talk really stuck with Gleamer Sullivan:
"Learning should be a journey of discovery instead of a forced march to a preplanned destination."
" I'm just back from the Alternative Education Resource Organization AERO conference and don't have words to describe how beneficial I found it. It was like being as close to hope as we can rightfully get at this moment in history. It was not only about providing for children to become what they want to be. It was also about creating a world in which they feel equal and secure." RF, Canada
I really enjoyed the keynotes and many workshops.  It was especially useful to have networking time over meals.  Meeting new people who become friends is such a benefit of the conference.
-Candy Landvoigt, Highland School

"The conference was not just informative or thought-provoking, but was bolstering and reaffirming to me as a homeschooler." MF

"The conference was a gift. I feel more ready to do the work in front of me. It's as if all I've been doing from inside the system has led me to AERO and all the incredible people you attract. Now is the time to show our communities how it all works."  DM
A child care staff member was told this by a 6 year old , "I know that I am in this child care so my mother can go to workshops at the AERO conference, but to tell you the truth, you made me feel like this was my conference!
The audios of the workshops and videos of the mini-talks and keynoters were made by Jeff Gold's group. They will be available soon. See below for more information

Public alternative pioneer Dave Lehman with keynoter Jonathan Kozol

Keynoter Peter Gray with conference participant
DVDs, CDs and Podcasts from AERO Conference
Jeff Gold tells us that he made audio and video of all of the mini-talks and keynotes and audio recordings of over 30 of the workshops. He said the audios of the keynotes came out great as he was listening to them in his car on the way home. 

We will make as many of these as are needed, but will limit them to those who express interest. The package of all the audio keynotes will run to only about $40, to give you an idea, 

Please reply to this e news or write to JerryAERO@AOL.com to reserve audios or videos. Let us know what you are generally interested in and this will reserve them for you. 
Presenter Bill Heuer's Paper: Homeschooling, the Ultimate School Choice
Bill Heuer did a workshop at the AERO Conference detailing the amazing results of the research he has done for the Pioneer Institute on the current status of homeschooling in the USA. View the surprising results here. 

Also, he will appear on the NightSide show WBZ Radio (1030 AM) in Boston, on Monday, August 14th. 
Post Conference Book Sale
We sold hundreds of books at the conference including many signed by keynoters and presenters. On the last day we marked down book prices and for a day we ofrer to you a few of the ones we still have, including only
ten rare ones left that are signed by John Gatto on his newly revised  "Underground History of American Education."  His publisher brought them from John's apartment to the conference. They are unique. We also have discounted books by Jonathan Kozol, and Dayna Martin

You can see the books at sale prices here . They will return to the regular price in two days. 
John Gatto: The Curriculum Of The Heart

As you know, at the AERO conference we read John Gatto's remarkable keynote. He just sent us the following note with the video above:

"Jerry, for partial substantiation of the Uterus-inspired
Curriculum, see the youtube doc, "Classrooms of the Heart," my actual  practice in action, shot in my classroom. It shows my use of the food theme  and ways I encouraged conversational ease (to combat loneliness): ... professionals and workers interacting with ghetto kids as equals.  It brings my ideas to life in physical form.
Regards, John"

SAS AERO Receives Grant for School Starter Course
AERO just received a small grant for this year's school starter course which will enable us to keep the sale price a bit longer and possibly reduce the tuition for some low income people. 

The school starter course is limited to 25 students or groups and will close when we reach that number. AERO has helped start over 100 alternatives. Click on the course to see a map of them. 

You can now enroll in this year's School Starters Online Course. If you register now we will immediately give you the benefits of the between courses School Starter Consultation Program, usually $300. You will have full access to last year's course, seeing all the resources and sections. This will get you well ready for the official course in September. At that point the Consultation Program ends, We then start opening up one section at a time and guide you through the interactive process of starting a new alternative, with a peer group of others doing the same. 

Register for the course here. 

Reply to this e news if you have specific questions. 

Chris Mercogliano, author of How to Grow a School, will again co-chair this years's School Starter Course

Anchor11Links and Calendar
Please send us feedback on this issue. also, we would like to have more articles written by AERO members and about AERO school and organizations.  Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help , we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!