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May 30, 2006

Major Conference on Alternatives

The International Association for Learning Alternatives will hold its annual conference at Ocean Shores, Shilo Inn.jpg Washington June 29, July 1, 2006. This meaty and significant conference features the theme, Education for Everyone, and emphasizes that many types of alternatives are necessary to meet different learning needs and student-centered philosophies of education: magnet school, charter schools, homeschooling, democratic schools, virtual schools, Montessori, and more. Make this a summer vacation trip with your family to this lovely setting.

Conferees will enjoy the Shilo Inn conference site on the Pacific Ocean with a variety of family activities. Ocean Shores is a 6,000 acre peninsula at the mouth of Grays Harbor, the only deep water port on the Pacific coast north of San Francisco. Ocean Shores was originally developed in 1960, and is one of Washington’s most popular resort destinations. In Ocean Shores, you’ll find 6 miles of sandy beaches which extend north of town 15 miles to Moclips. The city also features 23 miles of interconnecting lakes and canals, and 12 miles of scenic bayside. Ocean Shores is about a two hour drive from Seattle.

Conference information and registration information is posted on the IALA website.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Canada's Education Secret

Imagine a public school system where families are encouraged to go shopping for the school of their choice. Imagine that the choice includes a sports school, an art school, a military academy, a religious school, and Mandarin immersion. Imagine a world where all the school results are public, where schools compete for kids, and the bad schools are shutdown. Imagine a world where the students regularly outperform the rest of Canada.

Margaret Wente.jpg
So begins an article by Margret Wente about the public schools of Edmonton, Canada. This 80,000 student district has long been known for its decentralization of decisions to local school. While many school districts have claimed site-based or school-based management, few did more than adopt the words. Edmonton piloted site-based decision making in the 1970s and went systemwide by the mid-1980s under the leadership of a forward-looking superintendent, Mike Strembitsky. Remarkably, the district continued and extended the program to include parental choice of schools after his retirement in the mid-1990s.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2006

Alternative Training Programs

We've compiled a list of higher education institutions Handshake.jpgwith programs for training teachers and administrators for educational alternatives. Most are graduate program leading to post-baccalaureate degrees. Most of these have arisen the last decade. For some, the program consists of a single course or two. Others are full-blown programs such as the Masters degree program in Alternative Educaiton at Lock Haven University. We're happy to add to the list as people discover new programs.

A further reference is available by searching on the term "Training" under Categories within this site. See also the entry below: New Journals on Alternatives and Choices.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)