Lefty Parent


Circle of equals

Posts Tagged ‘alternative schools’

Day 4 – The AERO Education Conference in Portland

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The last day of the conference, with just a short morning session. I did not attend any of the workshops but was there for the final keynote by Linda Stout and her closing call out to the youth at the conference to have their moment to speak.

Linda told her story of being the daughter of poor white agricultural workers in North Carolina, and how she managed somehow to get an education and go on to become a grassroots organizer. An organizer who built and led an organization that brought people together across racial, gender and class lines to help over 40,000 people overcome the obstacles of racist Jim Crow laws and vote for the first time.

Linda is a Baby Boomer like me, representing a generation that fought the battles for civil rights, women’s rights, and for peace instead of war. From that experience, her wisdom is that a movement for educational change needs a full spectrum of efforts on at least four fronts. First, activism for profound structural change in the U.S. education system. Second, “reform” efforts by people working within that system to try to hold the line and support individuals as much as possible until structural change can happen. Third, providing educational alternatives to conventional public schools to demonstrate new models that public schools can adopt. Fourth, setting in motion a shift in consciousness and intention, some would say the spiritual aspect of change.


Day 3 – The AERO Education Conference in Portland

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Another jam-packed day at the conference, and probably no more than an hour and 15 minutes of usable brain power to write before I can do no more than stare out the window or at the TV.


Day 2 – The AERO Education Conference in Portland

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Once again experimenting with this thing of blogging each day from an event. Not terribly satisfied with yesterday’s quickly written piece… but on with the experiment!

As I said yesterday, this my third AERO conference, my strategy has evolved to focusing on connecting with people, not so much in attending workshops for the content of those sessions. Today I continued to reconnect with (and introduce Sally to) people I had previously met, while also meeting and connecting with some new folks.


Day 1 – The AERO Education Conference in Portland

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

I have never tried this thing of blogging each day from an event. My typical blog piece requires about four to twelve hours of work writing or at least staring at the computer thinking what to write. Tonight I figure I have about an hour to pound this out.

This my third AERO conference, my strategy has evolved to focusing on connecting with people, not so much in attending workshops for the content of those sessions. Reconnecting with people I already know, plus making new connections with a few people that I don’t already know that I can include in my circle. Also with Sally in attendance as well, I really wanted to introduce her to a handful of people that I have either met at previous conferences or interacted with through the phone or the Internet on various projects or discussions.


Day 0 – On the Train to the AERO Education Conference

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

When it was announced that this year’s Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) conference was going to be in Portland OR, I decided I would go, and rather than fly to Portland, I would take the train up the coast. I had journeyed back east to previous AERO conferences in 2007 and 2008 in Albany NY, but had not been able to attend the past two years. And this go round, Sally decided she would come too.

So our train was three hours late arriving in Van Nuys where we boarded, but once we were on the train and soon headed up the central California coast, it was “all good” as they say. So we spent the night in our cozy little sleeping compartment overnight and are now in northern California approaching Mount Shasta. As a means of transportation, the train is not about just getting from point A to point B, but enjoying the journey.


The Case for Many Educational Paths

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Many PathsStarting in third grade with learning the multiplication tables, our son Eric started having a problem with school. By seventh grade he would not do any homework, had been diagnosed with ADD, was taking Aderall, had been through an IEP, and had had a number of sessions with an educational therapist. When he got to the point in eighth grade of writing “F**k Math” on his standardized math test, we pulled him out of school. (more…)