The Weekly Newsletter of Educational Alternatives -
Details of NYDLA/AERO Partnership for Conference; Intro by NYDLA Executive Director

Hello! My name is Thomas Capone, Executive Director of the  and also the Director of Sales and Marketing for the  I'd like to briefly introduce myself to you in the AERO network. This year we will be partnering with AERO to create what we hope is a really amazing and synergistic conference. It seems to me that the mission of both of our networks is very similar, but we both bring different things to the table. Of course AERO already has many noteworthy members that are involved with distant learning, some, like Goddard College, who have really pioneered it. 

Every year we have a national and regional conferences with hundreds of participants (live) and thousands attending virtually via technology. This year we expect many of our members will participate in the AERO conference and its events and we invite AERO registrants to participate in events we will have. This includes keynote presentations by celebrities, famous authors, and athletes from the NFL, NBA and others. See "TALENT" on the site. In partnership with the Times Square Alliance, we have multiple venues and concurrent sessions throughout the city. We shall also have events at the Hard Rock Cafe, Microsoft's showcase Times Square building as well as at Polycom's "Experience Center" near Madison Square Garden with one of the most spectacular views of New York from the 48th floor. Many of NYDLA's vendors and sponsors will be  demonstrating at the AERO conference and will be giving away hardware and software. Many of you will go home with a new Microsoft Surface Pro and other free distance learning tools!
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. 
We look forward to an exciting month of May in New York City!
Thomas Capone
Thomas Capone will present a lunchtime keynote at the AERO conference. This is a keynote he did at Quinnipiac University. View it here.

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! 
A Video Nancy Tilton Made About Why She is Going to the AERO Conference

Pat Farenga to Lead Homeschool Discussion; New Montessori Workshop to be Presented

Pat Farenga Homeschool Discussion

We're happy to announce that Pat Farenga, who worked with John Holt and ran Growing Without Schooling, will be leading a discussion group on the topic "Homeschooling Towards Positive Social Change: Challenges and Concerns for Building a Movement." Farenga, who has keynoted previous AERO conferences, will present his workshop during the last session on Sunday, May 24th at 10:30 AM.  He will bring copies of Holt's books with him,  some of which he now publishes.


Remarkable Montessori Presentation

Maria Montessori's life and philosophy is far more central to education than the proliferation of her schools.  Physician, educator, scientist, anthropologist, Montessori stands today as the only one in pedagogical history to craft a complete primary curriculum based on scientific findings and the natural laws of learning.  Yet, her Method is most often misunderstood and misconstrued, mostly due to a concerted bureaucratic effort to oust her from America in 1915.  Discover the true story of Maria Montessori and how we can use her work to properly educate young children from 3-12 years of age.


Mimosa Jones Tunney began her career at 22 as executive speech writer to Governor Bob Miller of Nevada.  She founded the Entertainment Development Corporation of Las Vegas in 1998 and the CineVegas Film Festival in 2002.  In 2006, she began her writing career working for Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin and has also written several projects with Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, HBO, Starz, ABC and USA.  Her current project is the life story of Maria Montessori entitled "The May Number".    

Opt Out and Visit an Alternative School!
For the last two years, in cooperation with Fairtest, AERO member schools have provided a place for students to go whose families have opted them out of high stakes testing. We are doing that again this year for families choosing to opt their children out of the draconian, year-end, high-stakes testing at their public schools. It is every parent's right to do this. Alternative, learner-centered schools in AERO's network are volunteering to let students who have opted out to visit their schools during this time. Visiting another school is usually an excused absence at most schools. We have had a great initial response from our network of schools happy to do this. We're hoping many more are added to the list. If your school is open to this, just write to If you are a parent interested in opting out your student from these tests and don't see a school near you on this list, you can write to us and we'll suggest one near you for you to contact. But we expect the large majority of schools listed as AERO member schools would be happy to accommodate you.

See the list of schools here.
A Place to Grow

Ed: A Place to Grow is an AERO member school that AERO helped to start. 

By Hussein Lucas

A Place To Grow is a home-schooling annexe housed in a couple of yurts in a field just outside Stroud, Gloucestershire. Currently attended by 12 children aged between 6 and 10, it is open three consecutive days a week from 10 am to 3.30 pm.


It was founded two-and-a-half years ago by Sharon Gimpel, from Israel, and Jo Robins  and Becky Koos, local parents, all of whom were home educating their own children. They are known as the core group and have the ultimate decision about how things are run. The land was donated by David Michael, a local man who is very supportive of and involved with social initiatives. The place is open for five hours a day on three consecutive days a week. Albert Lamb, the principal adult, says, 'It's just enough of an alternative to home to give the children space and time away from their parents. Home-schooled children need time away from their parents, time that is theirs.' All the children are registered as home-schoolers, but the deal is that parents do not attend or influence the shape of the day.


Albert himself was a pupil at Summerhill, and later a member of staff there, but it is his experience of homeschooling his own four children that has most influenced the structure of the day and increasingly child-led projects.


Read the rest here.
Positive Power Teaching Telesummit
(Jerry Mintz is one of the Presenters)
By Linda Cordes

Ready to start engaging every child and unleash their inner genius? Hear 21 leading education experts unleash their high impact strategies for boosting student growth.

Jerry Mintz, founder of the A lternative Education Resource Organization and 20 more inspiring educational thought leaders come together sharing their best take away strategies and techniques for positive powerful teaching in this complimentary Positive Power Teaching Telesummit, hosted by RED Hot Teaching Coach, Linda Cordes.

Your free registration includes: access to 21 forty -five minute enlightening conversations and 21 special bonus offers to support you on your journey toward off the chart student growth.

Join me now. Register HERE to  learn how you can create a positive, engaged, eager to learn class!
New Book by Sir Ken Robinson
AERO has made a special arrangement to be able to sell pre-publication copies of Sir Ken Robinson's new book, Creative Schools; The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education. This is partly because AERO helped with the creation of the book. Some of this stemmed from Sir Ken's keynote at the AERO conference in 2012. You will see many AERO related people and organizations mentioned in the book, Such as Ken Danford and North Star, John Taylor Gatto, Yaacov Hecht and the democratic schools in Israel, Nikhil Goyal, whose book AERO published, Peter Gray, the IDEC, Summerhill, and of course, Sugata Minta, one of this year's AERO keynoters. It should be available within a week or two. To order a pre-publication copy go here.
The Baffling Question of Education
The story of her journey to homeschooling, this article Special to Education Revolution e news. 

By Lisa Hartman

What is education? What, exactly, is an educated person? There has been much screaming in the public square about education, but what are we really talking about? Intelligence, competence, common sense? Knowledge and wisdom? Book learning? And is learning ever really complete? It seems, to me, that the richest lives are marked by an endless quest for knowledge and learning. Oxford tells us that education is, "The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university." To say that someone is "high-school educated" or "college educated" is, however, very limiting and often quite misleading. At face value, these labels refer to the completion of a standardized course of study perhaps even the completion of one's 'education'. But can this measure mean the same thing for everyone? Probably not. My father, for example, is high-school educated and yet he is more thoughtful, more well read, indeed, more educated than many, if not most, college graduates that I have known. And, conversely, how many college graduates have you met who can't think their way out of a paper bag?


Educator E.D. Hirsch believes that there is a specific body of knowledge that, when digested, confers a proper education. This is his "Core Knowledge" principle and it has become quite popular and respected among educators of all stripes. Its cousin, the "Common Core Standards", has been adopted by most of the country and is getting loud, and not always friendly, press. This program dictates what every child "needs" to know, within a very specific, narrowly defined and rigorously measured curricular structure. Everyone receives the same, standardized dose of instruction meant to build an educated citizen. If a child does not master designated skills within a deadline, that child is deemed "behind", maybe even "slow", a reductionist and arbitrary result, bolstering the corporate standardization of knowledge.


Read the rest here.
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
In This Issue
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