Duncan out but King in! First AEROx Regional Announced!
Also NY Superintendents Protest, Opt Out History
Yong Zhao, Keynoter for the next AERO Conference in August in Portland, OR
Register at a discount now
Contact AERO

Phone: (516) 621-2195

417 Roslyn Road, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577

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The large majority of people liked the new template so we're going with that this week. Again, give us your feedback. The name personalization above was hit or miss. 
You are invited to attend the first ever AERO Regional Conference! 
You probably heard that the next AERO conference will be in Portland, Oregon next August after three years in New York. But AERO has decided to have regional conferences and the first will be in the East, in  Petersham, Massachusetts   at   Earthlands preserve  November 20 - 22, 2015. (Can we call it AEROx?) We'd like to hear from others who might like to host a regional AERO.  
Because of space limitations, registration will be capped at 40 participants, so register soon.  The early bird rate is only $195 , and this includes registration, lodging, and meals from  Friday nights dinner to Sunday  lunch.  The early bird rate ends on  October 24, 2015 , after which the all inclusive price will be $225.   

The group will first settle in and register starting at 3:30 Friday the 20th, gather for dinner on Friday evening. After that we'll have our opening and AERO will be showing the documentary 'Class Dismissed' at 7:30

Jerry Mintz, who is featured in it, will lead the discussion afterwards!

Saturday   will be a keynote, workshops and other events, along with three meals. 

We'll continue on Sunday with more workshops and a keynote along with breakfast and lunch, finishing up by   2 PM .

The conference will also feature plenty of time for networking, forging relationships and impromptu discussion groups. 
Lodging is rustic style shared rooms with bunks in off the grid, environmentally sustainable buildings.  

Meals are  vegetarian and vegan, provided by  Earthlands 
resident chef. People can also camp on the site. Click here to learn more  
This conference will have the quality workshops, networking opportunities, and keynoters you have come to expect from AERO events.  We are collecting workshop proposals. Send them to pberg7468@gmail.com, or  jerryaero@aol.com .  
We are also offering a Saturday only early bird rate at $150 After  October 25, 2015 the rate will increase to $175.  If you will be bringing youth under 18 please contact us for the child rate. 

There has been a high demand for an additional AERO event that provides more local opportunities for networking, focused workshops , and action planning that keeps the inspiration and work of AERO going.  
The Power of Opt Out to Preserve Public Education
Jeanette Deutermann did not intend to become the leader of the most effective opt out organization in the United States. She was a suburban mom trying to figure out why her son no longer wanted to go to school.

The year that Long Island Opt Out began, Tyler Deutermann was an unhappy fourth grader with school anxiety that was increasing every day. During the month of February of 2012, Jeanette began investigating why her son who once loved school so much, now hated it.

"I saw it emerge a little bit during testing season in third grade", Deutermann said. "But then the test anxiety became constant in fourth grade. After speaking with teachers and parents, I knew it was the testing."

Read the rest here.

Study casts doubt over pre-K programs in Tennessee
Tennessee's voluntary pre-kindergarten programs help students better prepare for kindergarten, but most of those gains are lost as students advance through elementary school, according to a study by Vanderbilt University.

The study released Monday found that while most students that were enrolled in a pre-K program achieved higher on literacy tests, were better behaved and had a better attitude about school than their peers in kindergarten, that changed as years progressed. After the end of kindergarten, most students enrolled only in kindergarten began to progress to the level of the students previously enrolled in pre-K.

By third grade, most students that were enrolled in the early learning program were scoring at or below their peers, the study concluded.

The study is part of the state's efforts to improve pre-K programs, especially at a time when lawmakers have scrutinized their effectiveness. The study also looks at how to sustain the gains made by pre-K students over a longer period of time.

Read the rest here.
 US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Steps Down - New Yorkers Declare John King No Better
The announcement of John King to replace Arne Duncan as US Education Secretary is bad news for the nation, according to NYS Allies for Public Education, a coalition of more than 50 parent and educator groups throughout the state. 

"Throughout his term in New York, John King was notorious for his complete disconnect from parents, teachers, and school officials. His blatant disregard for concerned parents and educators fueled opt outs to historic numbers. Our only hope is that this bizarre move by the White House will have the same effect across the country, spreading the Opt Out movement to every corner of the nation," said Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out. 

"Former NYS Commissioner of Education John King helped create an educational disaster for New York and our children are still feeling the devastating effects," said Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County public school parent and co-founder of NYSAPE.

President Obama said of Duncan: He's done more to bring our educational system, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the 21st century than anyone else."
Think about what this means: Education is now an undemocratic, authoritarian dictatorship, imposing what some pundits think we should do to educate our children, whether we like it or not!

Read the rest here.
More from the NY Times here.
Hundreds of NY superintendents petition Congress to abolish testing mandate
Ed: The following headline story appeared in Saturday's, 3rd of November Newsday on Long Island, NY. To read the rest of the article you need a Newsday digital subscription. But the gist of it is what was in the front page headline: 54 LI Superintendents: ABOLISH REQUIRED TESTING! The subtitle says "Petition urges Congress to drop mandate for annual English and mat exams."  Clearly this battle, featured by Long Island's incredible number of testing opt-outs (see article above) will continue unabated! Here's how the article starts:

More than 340 school superintendents across the state, including 54 on Long Island, petitioned Congress this week to abolish requirements for annual testing of students in grades three through eight -- exams that have been hallmarks of national education policy for more than a decade.

Read the rest here.
Links and Calendar
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