Can You Get Smarter? More Member Videos
See 12 AERO Member Videos Below
Sugata Mitra, Keynote Speaker from the 2015 AERO Conference
Conference info here. 
Click for Portland AERO 2016 Super Early Bird
Contact AERO

Phone: (516) 621-2195

417 Roslyn Road, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577

Unique Documentary Added to AEROx

No matter what happens, the AERO regional at Earthlands in Massachusetts will be an intimate affair. It will be a chance to interact in depth in a way that may not be possible in bigger, more hectic venues. This will be particularly helpful for the schools starters who have already registered and others who may still come, as they will have AERO School Starter Course instructors Chris Mercogliano and Jerry Mintz to themselves for consultation on their projects. The same is true for the other workshop presenters. For example, anyone interested in Goddard College can find out all about it.

We have a new treat for attendees of this AEROx. When Jerry was in Colombia he had the pleasure of watching a new and original documentary about a fantastic treatment community in Ecuador that works with traumatized babies and toddlers. It is called Grandir. We probably have the only copy of this video in the United States.It has English subtitles.  It is a truly beautiful documentary. 
We've decided to keep the early bird rate for now, as many people still are making arrangements to participate. 

The early bird rate is only $195, and this includes registration, lodging, and meals from Friday night's dinner to Sunday lunch.  Children, presenters and low income participants are $150 this week. 

So, the first AEROx regional conference will be in the East, in  Petersham, Massachusetts  at  Earthlands Preserve November 20 - 22, 2015. 

Author/educator Chris Mercogliano will be a keynoter on Saturday the 21st. Chris was long-time director of Albany's Free School and has written many books, including How to Grow a School, and his latest, "A School Must Have a Heart."

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. 

Schedule and Workshops
Here's a link to the schedule and workshops from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 20-22. 

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  Earthland's 
resident chef. People can also camp on the site.
We are still collecting workshop proposals. Send them to, or  You can also e mail us to hold the early bird price. 

Full Schedule and workshops list here.

Hi Mr. Gatto,

I hope you will excuse the brashness of my title but I was hoping to catch your attention. I am sure you get thousands of emails a day, and hence my flashy email to try and grab your attention about my son.
Before I begin, may I say that it is an honor to be able to communicate with one of the greatest minds on education. I attribute a lot of my current situation with my son to your teachings. I have read most of your books and hence our reason for homeschooling.

As I write this email we sit at a crossroads. My son entered junior college at age eight and has now successfully completed intermediate algebra and geology, both with 4.0 GPA. He also received the highest marks in the math class. His average for geology was 106% before he wrote his final exam.
That being said, my husband has decided that we should leave this route because my son is getting too caught up in his grades. The argument is that if we put him in 3rd grade, he would still stress about his grades. I could go into so much more detail.
I simply would love your take on where to go from here? His math professor, while disappointed that he won't be pursuing college, has agreed to tutor him privately. My husband wants us to focus on a Socratic teaching style which is what I will be trying to delve into this year.
Your insight would be so greatly appreciated! All this being said, we have kept his identity under wraps as much as possible. Being in college, we have TV shows and newspapers approach us but we have reneged on all. I would appreciate your privacy on this issue.

Please don't feel as if you have to return an email. I realize you have extremely important issues to address. To the world he is just a boy but to me this boy is my world.
Best Regards,
Concerned Mama

Read John's response here.
Can You Get Smarter?
YOU can increase the size of your muscles by pumping iron and improve your stamina with aerobic training. Can you get smarter by exercising - or altering - your brain?

This is hardly an idle question considering that cognitive decline is a nearly universal feature of aging. Starting at age 55, our hippocampus, a brain region critical to memory,  shrinks 1 to 2 percent every year, to say nothing of the fact that one in nine people age 65 and older  has Alzheimer's disease. The number afflicted is expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation ages. Given these grim statistics, it's no wonder that Americans are a captive market for anything, from supposed smart drugs and supplements to brain training, that promises to boost normal mental functioning or to stem its all-too-common decline.

Read the rest here.
More AERO Member Videos Posted!
Two weeks ago we announced that AERO will now have videos of its schools on our member site! We invited member schools and programs to send in their favorite video link for us to post by their name, that we've now linked to their site on our member list. Below are the new ones that just came in this week, followed by the ones from last week. We're impressed by the quality of these. If you are an AERO member school or organization, send us your video for us to feature and link:


These videos give potential parents, teachers and students a glimpse into our schools and programs.

If you are an AERO member school just email the video link to us and we'll post it! You can contact us by replying to this email or writing to
If you are not a current AERO member school or organization you can join or renew here 
Obama Fails on Testing

Barack Obama is a pretty smart guy, so it is amazing that even his efforts to compromise on high-stakes standardized testing are so far off. On testing he keeps failing the test.

After six years of pushing high-stakes testing as part of his Race to the Top education initiative,  Obama decided there is now too much testing in American schools. This decision is a response to intense push back by parents and teachers against the testing regime.

It seems that the  average student in some United States big-city schools now takes over 100 hundred hours of mandatory standardized tests during their school career. Eighth grade students are the most tested. They sit through between 20 and 25 hours of standardized tests, which makes up about 2.3% of school time. The Obama Administration proposed that Congress cap standardized testing at 2% of instruction time when it votes on reauthorizing federal legislation governing elementary and secondary schools.

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