School Requests Help From AERO Network
Young Adolescent Suicide Date Climbs

This issue has several really important AERO-related articles. We'd appreciate it if you could forward this issue to people in your networks. 
More Detailed Podcast info
Next AERO Conferene Announcement!
We have just finished the creation of the first AERO podcast. We're very excited about this. The first podcast consists of three interviews on the topic of how homeschooled and alternative school graduates go through the process of applying to colleges, what happens when they get in, as well as financial considerations. We interviewed an actual admissions director of an alternative college, an author/expert of the whole process and the questions to expect from admissions people, and the director of an alternative high school with his perspective. The sound quality is pristine. 
When we announce it this week we would like you to repost this far and wide, to your mailing lists, organization members, Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc. If it is successful we will greatly extend the reach of learner-centered education.
We'll be posting this very shortly and informing you when it becomes available.
Next AERO Conference!
We're about to sign a contract for the next AERO. Hopefully we can tell you where and when next week. 
Huge Protest over Forced Closing of German Democratic School! AERO help Needed!
A Day Of International Solidarity With The Sudbury School Ammersee 
On 10 November!
After two years of successful operation, a German School listed on AERO's democratic school site,  Sudbury Schule Emmersee, has been "summarily closed by the 'responsible' authority, the regional government of Upper Bavaria, allegedly because 'not enough was being learned there'." A massive protest is being organized by the them, European Democratic Education Community and others for November 10th.
After communication with them they thought it could be helpful for AERO community members to flood the German Minister of Education with protest notes.
This is his name and website.
Dr. Ludwig Spänle 
Salvatorstraße 2
80327 München
This is his e mail:
Here's contact info for the school:
Sudbury Schule Ammersee
Hauptstr. 18
86934 Reichling/Ludenhausen
Tel.: +49.8194.99 88 910

You might want to copy your letters to them. 
Click here to see their English description of the backgroup for this inexcusable action.
We need to let them know that the world is watching. 

Call for a show of solidarity

Read the English background details  here.
At The Heart Of The Progressive Divide Over School Choice
Ron Matus is a long time AERO subscriber

By Ron Matus

Gainesville, Fla. is a liberal college town that  prides itself on being "green."And if there's a classroom that channels that vibe, it's Wanda Hagen's at  Heart Pine School.

Hagen's seventh graders raise tadpoles, hike in a park where buffalo lounge under live oaks, and hunt for shark's teeth in Gainesville's cherished urban creeks. On a whim, they might go for a stroll before a storm, to see if they can smell the change in the air. When children overcome the "nature deficit" of modern life, Hagen said, they and the planet benefit.

Plenty of folks in Gainesville would agree. And yet, the fingerprints of Gainesville progressives are all over two lawsuits that sees to end a school choice program that helps Heart Pine parents. Both take aim at the Florida tax credit scholarship for low-income and working-class students, which 26 of 62 Heart Pine students use.

Read the rest here.
Young Adolescents as Likely to Die From Suicide as From Traffic Accidents

It is now just as likely for middle school students to die from suicide as from traffic accidents.

That  grim fact was published on Thursday by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They found that in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, the suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 had caught up to their death rate for traffic accidents.

The number is an extreme data point in an accumulating body of evidence that young adolescents are suffering from a range of health problems associated with the country's rapidly changing culture. The pervasiveness of social networking means that entire schools can witness someone's shame, instead of a gaggle of girls on a school bus. And with continual access to such networks, those pressures do not end when a child comes home in the afternoon.

"It's clear to me that the question of suicidal thoughts and behavior in this age group has certainly come up far more frequently in the last decade than it had in the previous decade," said Dr. Marsha Levy-Warren, a clinical psychologist in New York who works with adolescents. "Cultural norms have changed tremendously from 20 years ago."

Death is a rare event for adolescents. But the unprecedented rise in suicide among children at such young ages, however small the number, was troubling and  federal researchers decided to track it. In all, 425 children ages 10 to 14 killed themselves in 2014. In contrast, 384 children of that age died in car accidents.

"This graph is really surprising," said Sally Curtin, an expert at the National Center for Health Statistics who analyzed the data. "We think of traffic accidents as so commonplace."

Read the rest here.
Along The Way To Accreditation for a Progressive School
Exclusive to AERO

By Karen M. Giuffre', M.Ed. Founding Director, Voyagers Community School

Voyagers' Community School in Eatontown, New Jersey, is proud to announce that we have been recommended for accreditation by the Middle States Association visiting team! Our Prekindergarten through High School program offers "Traditional academics in non-traditional ways" based on a constructivist philosophy.

For those of us in the progressive education field, the challenge of explaining and often defending our approach has become part of an ongoing dialogue that reaches well beyond the classroom. Although we know, as professionals who work closely with children everyday , that our pedagogy is successful, there are times when we are called to prove ourselves by parents, students, educators, community leaders and others. Sometimes the call comes from collaborative colleagues around a table asking,"How do we know?" About three years ago, Voyagers' Community School committed to taking a good look at itself through the eyes of Middle States Association (MSA). We decided to seek accreditation through a rigorous process set forth by an impartial entity.

Through our first ten years, we measured success by looking at our process and ensuing outcomes. We were certain of our effectiveness. Then came a time when we decided to prove it to the naysayers, and to allay the fears often expressed by unknowing prospective students, parents and grandparents. We thought, "Accreditation could help "prove" that our approach is valid." It was a risk because the opposite could be found and revealed, or worse yet we could find ourselves shifting and changing to meet the standards expected by MSA.

Read the rest here.
Bob Greenberg Finally Gets to do Jerry Mintz Videos
AERO has been posting Bob Greenberg's amazing short Brainwave Videos ever since he came to the AERO conference and was able to do a video of Sugata Mitra. He wanted to also do one of Jerry Mintz "but he never stopped moving at any time during the conference," Greenberg said. 

He has now made an incredible 449 videos of about anyone you can think of in our field, including, Ken Robinson and Yong Zhao, just to name a couple of AERO's keynoters. You can see a list and subscribe here and see categories here. 

So this week he came to the AERO office on Long Island to make two videos of Jerry, one on alternative education and one about one of his favorite teachers. Here they are:

 60 Seconds with Jerry Mintz
Jerry Mintz Alternative Education  
Links 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!