Free Link to School Starter Workshop Video Below
Free Modern School Documentary Video

Correction: We had a web address instead of my e mail for people to e mail their interest in conference videos and audios. Several people tried to reply. Sorry about that1 It has been fixed! JM
List of AERO Conference DVDs and CDs
View from pre-conference Manhattan cruise

We now know which  DVDs and CDs we will have from the recent AERO Conference. 

We have DVDs and CDs of these keynotes:

1. Radical Unschooling - Dayna Martin
2. Big Picture Learning - Dennis Littky
3. Free to Learn - Peter Gray
4. Educational Freedom - Jonathan Kozol
5. On Race, Personal Power, and Lifetime Education - Akilah Richards
6. The Uterus-based Curriculum - John Gatto

We have CDs and DVDs of the following mini talks:
All three speakers on one CD or DVD

7. Mini Talk - Jamaal Bowman
8. Mini Talk - Michael Hynes, Ed. D.
9. Mini Talk - Brenna Gibson Redpath

All three speakers on one CD or DVD

11. Mini Talk - Joanna Faber
12. Mini Talk - Jane Macdonald
13. Mini Talk - Debra O'Rouke

We have CDs of the following workshops:
14. Creating Learning Opportunities - Dindi Kitonga
15 Nature as a Springboard for Learning in Urban Areas - Deanna Fahey
16. The Rebirth of Public Education Richard Fransham
17. Democracy for Life: An Overview of RONR Ted Weisgal
18. The Essential Component of A Democratic School - Dave Lehman, Ph.D.
19. Teacher Liberation - Joel Hammon
20. Prescription for a Healthy School - Peter Berg
21. Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities - Steve C. Imber, Ph.D.
22. Changing the Special Education Paradigm - Forsythe, PhD/Cochran, MEd
23. Unschooling!: A Review of the Research - Gina Riley, Ph.D.
24. To Read or Not to Read: Rethinking Literacy Practices - Charlotte Landvoigt, Ed.D.
25. My Personal Journey - Carol Nash
26. From Unschooling to College: One Young Man's Story - Benjamin Riley
27. The Parallel Experiences of A Learner/Educator - Laurel Tien
28.. How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen - Joanna Faber
29.  Mani Aloha Project - Stephanie Shuler
30. Aero 2017 School Starter Workshop - Jerry Mintz
31. The Educational Models Canvas - Roopa Reddy
32. What Public Systems Can Learn From Alternatives - Debbie O'Rourke
33. Report on Homeschool Study for Pioneer Institute - Bill Heuer
34. Adventures in Integrative Education - Jan Magray
35. How to Create A Self-Directed Education Community - Ben Draper
36. Encouraging Individuals - Liam Corcoran
37. Varieties of Participative Practices in Democratic Schools - Michael Retza

The price will be low, based on what we paid to have them produced. We just want to cover our cost. To let us know about how many we should make, email us the NUMBERS of the ones you want above. 

If you prefer a download or thumb drive, let us know that. You don't need to put in numbers. To give us the above info, just reply to this e news or write to There is no commitment but it will lower the price. 
Click here for a link to last weeks comprehensive story about the conference. 

Public alternative pioneer Dave Lehman with keynoter Jonathan Kozol

Cleaving to the Medieval, Journeymen
Ply Their Trades in Europe

They hitchhike across Europe, instantly recognizable in the wide-bottomed, corduroy trousers, white shirts and colored jackets that identify them as bricklayers, bakers, carpenters, stonemasons and roofers.

They are "Wandergesellen," or journeymen - a vestige of the Middle Ages in modern Europe - young men, and these days women, too, who have finished their required training in any number of trades and are traveling to gather experience. Most are from German-speaking countries.

Read the rest here.
An Incomplete and Personal History of the Modern Schools
Ed: I discovered the Modern Schools when I met 96 year old Nellie Dick in 1989. The Modern Schools were the most radical schools in the world but few people know about them. Read Alex Khost's story about his Modern School research below. Then click on the link to the documentary that I filmed with Nellie Dick in 1989 which also contains over 100 unique and priceless photos. We pulled in from our member videos and are making it free just for today.

By Alexander Khost

After my son Oliver (8) reported to me that he and his brother had found a rusty axe in the yard, I peered out to see my oldest child, James (10), happily commanding an old push lawn mower across the overgrown grass. The wooden handle of the mower was rotten, leaving little left for pushing with. The blades were so dull and rusty that his efforts only resulted in the grass being flattened, not cut. As I stood on the porch of the historic landmarked Goldman House peering out at the situation, the grandson of Sam Goldman, the homeowner, pointed out a path into the woods. He told me there is a forest of bamboo past there that his grandfather had planted, indicating that my children could play there as well, if they'd like. Seeing James grinning broadly at me, I went back inside to continue meeting with the Trustees of Friends of the Modern School.

VIDEO: Nellie Dick and the Modern School Movement
VIDEO: Nellie Dick and the Modern School Movement

Read the rest here.
Here's What a Skills-Based Curriculum Means In Finland

Somehow or other, Finland's schools have skyrocketed into the educational stratosphere in recent years, though it shouldn't have happened if you buy the usual U.S. view of how young people should be educated. The schools don't teach reading formally until the kids turn seven. Elementary schools give their students hours of recess. The teachers decide how they're going to teach their students with minimal guidance from above. And they don't give any standardized tests until high school students have almost graduated. Oh, and there are no private schools, with a few exceptions. Yet Finland tops all other European countries in its scores on international tests. The scores compare favorably with the highest scoring Asian countries as well.

Read the rest here.
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone-she's had an iPhone since she was 11-sounding as if she'd just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. "We go to the mall," she said. "Do your parents drop you off?," I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I'd enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. "No-I go with my family," she replied. "We'll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we're going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes."

Those mall trips are infrequent-about once a month. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned. Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. "It's good blackmail," Athena said. (Because she's a minor, I'm not using her real name.) She told me she'd spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That's just the way her generation is, she said. "We didn't have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people."

Read the rest here.
Post Conference Book Sale
We have just a few rare ones left that are signed by John Gatto on his newly revised  "Underground History of American Education."   

You can see the books at sale prices here
The Reality of Sudbury Valley School
By Daniel Greenberg

From the beginning, the goal of Sudbury Valley was to embed children in the culture of the society into which they would grow up to be adults-to treat them as full members of that society from the earliest age at which they could understand the ideals of that society. We considered children to be capable of functioning as responsible citizens endowed with the same unalienable rights as adults. We sought to complete the historic progression through which those rights were extended to unpropertied males, then to men of all ethnic origin, and ultimately to women. For us, in 1968, it was clear that the time had come to fully empower children, the last legally suppressed segment of our society, whose contributions to human productivity from earliest times have been exploited, and repaid in the same way as those of slaves, servants, and women had been until recent times. We believed that the quarter of the population under 18 years of age possessed an enormous potential that could be released, to the benefit of all members of society.

That was our reality, from the day in July of 1968 when we first opened our doors. It turned out that the reality of Sudbury Valley also reflected the reality of the broader society in a way that we had not anticipated: the world of the school provided a glimpse into the future world in which they would be adults, a world the adults of that day did not recognize. This essay is about the reality of Sudbury Valley, and how it changed and evolved over the many decades that we have been privileged to experience it.

Read the rest here.
SAS Free Video of School Starter Workshop at This Year's AERO Conference
This week we have posted a free video link to this year's School Starters Worksop at the AERO Conference

AERO  received a grant for this year's school starter course which will enable us to keep the sale price a bit longer and 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 go to that site you can also see the list of over 100 schools and programs AERO has helped to start. If you register now we will immediately give you the benefits of the between courses School Starter Consultation Program, usually $300. The School Starter Consultation is no longer available by itself. 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. 

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!