What if Kids Could Study What They Love?
Why Open a School? To Close a Prison!

See Workshops, Updated Schedule for AEROx in MA Next Weekend!

We have almost 30 participants coming to the AEROx 2 so far and could probably take about 10 more to fill the residential spaces. We could easily take more people camping. The word seems to be spreading that this will be a fun and interesting event. There will be a great vegetarian menu and the foliage should be beautiful. 

Here's a link to workshops that will be presented there. This is in addition to Peter Gray's keynote. Parts and Crafts will have a maker event. 

Here is a link to the full schedule.

We will also be showing the documentary  Mother Nature's Child  

Peter Gray, unschooling and Sudbury expert who just keynoted the AERO in Portland will be a keynoter!

The cost is only $200, with $175 for students. But this includes everything:  registration, lodging, and meals from Friday night's dinner to Sunday lunch! You can still get a group rate, and we have worked directly with school groups to make it affordable for them.

There schedule is pretty full but there is always room for spontaneous workshops and activities.

You can see pictures of last year's event here.  
Enjoy living off-the-grid, in environmentally sustainable buildings for a weekend.  

To read more about AEROx go here.

To register go here. See you there!   

What if Students Could Study What They Love, at a Pace that Suits Their Needs?

All learning should be personal - we are teaching individual students, after all - but when advocates talk about "personalized learning" they are often describing programs and teaching methods that look unlike the typical school. They envision school as a place where students have more control over their own studies; where they are not constrained by age or grade level; where children can move through subjects as fast or slowly as they need.
Educators, researchers and advocates still quibble over  the precise definition of personalized learning, but most agree on this much: In these classrooms teachers don't pass out identical worksheets and tests to every student.

Read the rest here.
School Reform: What Went Wrong, What Went Right, And What We Should Do In The Future
By Valerie Strauss

For years the United States has embarked on an effort to reform its public education system, a civic institution, that has been based on market principles and the belief that standardized testing is the best way to assess students, teachers, principals, schools, districts and states. The results? Not exactly what market reformers had hoped.

A new book edited by William J. Mathis and Tina M. Trujillo takes a look at, as they write in the post below, "what went wrong, what went right, and what we should do in the future." The book is titled "Learning from the Federal Market-Based Reforms: Lessons for the Every Student Succeeds Act," and was published by the National Education Policy Center, a think tank at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mathis and Trujillo asked a number of scholars to assess key aspects of the reform agenda and they assembled the work in a smart, wide-ranging book.

Read the rest here.
Nadia Lopez: Why Open A School? To Close A Prison.
Nadia Lopez: Why open a school? To close a prison.
Nadia Lopez: Why open a school? To close a prison.

School Starters Postponed to Oct. 3!
Scholaship Fund Growing!
We had a wonderful outpouring of help for our last minute scholarship fund drive for school starters. So far we have had 24 donors from the AERO network donate over $2700 toward scholarships for people from low-income situations or developing countries. This is a bit more that half of what is needed. Significantly, some of the donors have been successful students from previous school starter courses! This means a lot to us. In addition, we still have five spaces unfilled by regular tuition enrollees.
Because of the need for a bit more time for scholarship funding, time to get a few more regular enrollees, and because our AEROx regional conference is next weekend, we've decided to postpone the start of the course for one week, until October 3rd. Since the conference is in an off-the grid location with spotty internet service, it would have been hard for us to respond to course posts at the crucial beginning stages.
So, we're hoping we can get enough donations to reach our $5000 scholarship goal and perhaps a few more regular enrollees who are still sitting on the fence.
We'd like to remind you that we can take monthly payments from those who need it. Also, and this is important, we help start homeschool resource centers and other programs, as well as alternative schools.
You can still see the school starters webinar  here and even send in a new question which we'll respond to. 

You can still register for the course here and reserve one of the 25 spots. 

The 11th AERO Online School Starter Course has been postponed a week, until October 3rd. It will run until January. Enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Up to five people can participate from each site without additional cost.
AERO has helped start more that 100 educational alternatives. You can see a partial list  here. Since AERO's mission is the Education Revolution, we try to help people create as many learner-centered alternatives as we can. This course has been the most effective way we have discovered to help people go from their dream and vision to the reality of a new, vibrant educational alternative.
Read the rest here.
First APDEC Held in Taiwan
David Gribble from the IDEN Network reported on the recent IDEC subgroup meeting, the 1st Asia-Pacific Democratic Education Conference, APDEC, that was in Taiwan from July 18 to 25. 

APDEC 2016
There were about 270 people attending full time, building up to 300 on some days; they came from India, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, as well as a great many from Taiwan itself. 
The conference produced a draft statement about the purpose of APDEC.  This is available for all to see at  http://goo.gl/Kq4tB  and the organisers will welcome your participation.
'Phenix Hsieh and all his team did a great job. They created something very special and I want to thank them so much,' said Amukta Mahapatra.

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!