The Weekly Newsletter of Educational Alternatives -
$200 Software Giveaway to AERO Registrants! Free Sir Ken Robinson Book for First 10 Registrants in the Next 24 Hours! Free Uber Transportation!

We've just confirmed that AERO conference registrants will receive, among other things, about $200 worth of software each. Also, the first ten people who register for the conference this week will receive a free copy of Sir Ken Robinson's new book, Creative Schools, the Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education.  People can still use the 10% member discount for regular registration and the package deals for single or shared rooms are still available. 


Our partnership with continues to reap benefits. In addition to the software giveaway mentioned above, AERO registrants who use the link below will get $20 worth of free Uber transportation and $40 if they send their e mail to NYDLA (see paragraph below) to connect with their conference. Registrants will also be able to participate in any of the Times Square area events of NYDLA, including meeting at the Hard Rock Cafe, Microsoft's showcase  building and Polycom's "Experience Center" near Madison Square Garden with one of the most spectacular views of New York from the 48th floor.


  How to Register with NYDLA
Last week NYDLA director Thomas Capone said, "We are offering a free complementary membership into the for the month of May for all in the AERO network. Simply send an email to  with your complete contact information and we shall give access to our membership at no cost to you (normally $25 per month). This will give you access to all of the member benefits of the during the conference." 


Uber Info From Thomas Capone


"Hey there!  I just discovered Uber and it has changed the way I think about getting around the city. Using their iPhone/Android app, or text message, you can request a swanky car and professional private driver to pick you up and take you anywhere you want to go. The drivers arrive in just minutes, you can watch them approach on the map within the app, and payment is automatically charged to a credit card on file, with tip included. The best part? If you sign up using my invite link below, Uber will credit your account for $20 off your first ride:  You can also download and sign up from the Uber iPhone or Android app, and just enter this invite code on the sign up screen: uberNYDLA I hope you enjoy your first ride!   


So if AERO members us this, they get $20 credit. If they are a member of the NYDLA, they get an extra $20 or $40 in total credits. If your groups carpool, then there is more than enough credits to shuttle back and forth to NYC more than once during the conference.  

Let them know at if you have any questions about how it all works."


Latest AERO Registration Info


The AERO conference will be May 20-24 at LIU/Post in Brookville, NY. Right now the best deal to sign up for the AERO conference is to do the package deal of registration and either a shared room package for $390 or a single room package for $450. Those prices haven't gone up yet. They are for three nights in the dorm. If you need more days in the dorm you can add more individually. The student, presenter and volunteer price also hasn't gone up yet. 


If you still plan to register but need individual help or have a group please e mail to let us know and we will do our best to help you. Or you can just reply to this e newsletter or call 516 621 2195.


The schedule of events and workshops is now available on the website.

 Register now here! 
IDEC in New Zealand a Success! 

The International Democratic Education Conference in New Zealand has just been completed. Over 300 people came from 30 countries! Some third world students had expenses covered by the IDEC. The meeting confirmed that the next IDEC will be in Finland in 2016., In 2017 it will be in South America, In 2018 it will be organized by the Sri Auribindo Ashram in Nepal. And the 2019 IDEC will be in Kenya,  the first IDEC in South Africa!
Before the IDEC some people visited the Tamariki School, the host of the last IDEC in New Zealand in 2002.  Visitors observed that there is still recovery going on from the massive earthquake that hit Christchurch. Tamariki is a true democratic school that is supported by the public school system.
This year the IDEC was on the North Island, near Nelson. There was a great emphasis on aborigine culture with great involvement with the Maoris.
Much of this information is from the blog of Kageki Asakura of Tokyo Shure.

We look forward to a full report soon! The IDEC was founded in 1993 with a first meeting at the Democratic School of Hadera organized by Yaacov Hecht, who attended and spoke at this IDEC.
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Bard College senior Yasemin Akturk of Brooklyn, New York has won a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Turkey, where she will teach English to university students for nine months. While abroad, she will also create a photographic body of work in and around the region of Turkey to which she is assigned.

Akturk, a double major in human rights and photography at Bard, became interested in the Turkish ETA program in order to help others learn English and gain access to opportunities in English speaking countries while improving her own Turkish and gaining teaching experience. "As a Turkish-American, I have chosen Turkey to connect with my roots in a meaningful way . . . to expand my knowledge of current Turkish life, politics, art, educational practices, and most clearly, the Turkish language," says Akturk.

Read the rest here.
120W Suzuki Violin Project in South Africa by AERO Member

For the past four years, 120W has been supporting the development of the Suzuki violin project with the townships kids in South Africa. We wanted to acknowledge the incredible work of the teachers, particularly the involvement of Maria. That is why I am writing you from Cape Town with lot of emotion and sharing some pictures. Thank you.

After a rich first experience in the townships, an improved governance, making the system sustainable and allowing for more kids, is being introduced. That project includes the appropriation of a permanent space, easy to access and secured, and also the training of auxiliary teachers. The group workshops and concerts will obviously be a mix of all cultures.

For the year 2015, 70 kids from the townships are participating. Maria works with 3 classes of 5 years-old kids. In the futur, the project will integrate 500 kids which will be followed until the end of their school program. It is a taken that some kids will help to teach the youngest.

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.  

April 5th, 2015
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