Voices

Answers are closer than you think for rural schools

By HARRY AURORA // The value of an education cannot be overstated, but not all schools are able to provide students with opportunities to reach their full potential. Serving nearly 20 percent of the country’s K-12 student population, rural schools face particular hardships, with budgets, transportation, staffing, healthcare and distance from students’ homes being of particular concern. Fortunately, technology can greatly impact access to education, allowing students facing the challenges of the rural education system…


Par excellence: The niche deserve their own COEs, too

By PHIL RUGILE // It’s a mouthful, but stay with me: The New York State Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (thankfully simplified to NYSTAR) is housed within NYS’s Empire State Development Corp. (blessedly known as ESD). This is important, because NYSTAR is the funding mechanism (to the tune of $55 million) for 13 major Centers of Excellence throughout the state – venerable institutions doing grand research and development, with impressive names like the Center…


Albany changed NYS voting laws, and maybe LI’s future

By JEFF GUILLOT // Recent reforms in the way we conduct elections can help increase voter turnout on Long Island, change the scope of our elections and significantly affect the future of our region. Let’s not mince words here: The Republicans got hammered in the 2018 midterms here in New York. I disagree with many pundits who assert that this was a generationally massive rebuke of a sitting president, because there have been plenty of…


When it comes to ELL, everyone must learn the lingo

By HARRY AURORA // The makeup of the nation’s student body has changed dramatically over the past few decades. One of the most striking changes is that English Language Learners, students who must learn English in addition to typical American academic studies, now account for nearly one out of every 10 students. Educators and administrators are tasked with helping ELL students succeed in academic, social and emotional learning – and language barriers can make this…


From shadowing to Lego Night, careers start in school

By ROSALIE DRAGO // One of the most important business relationships an employer can invest in is the school-business partnership. Urgency in filling immediate and near-term jobs is an obvious priority. Advancing career awareness and skills development among the emerging workforce – those just entering the pipeline for future hiring – is just as critical. In junior year of high school, we ask students what they think they might want to do for a living….


For homebound-ed answers, ask the right questions

By HARRY AURORA // The distressing fact about American education is that the deck is stacked against many children before they open their first textbook. Much of the nation’s attention, as it relates to solving inequities in public education, is focused on whole school districts. But what about individual students for whom attending a traditional school is simply not possible? Whether it’s a student with disabilities or social/emotional issues, someone dealing with a family crisis…


Yes, there is life after HQ2 – if we’re smart about it

By PHIL RUGILE // With the Amazon pullout from Queens, politicians and businesspeople are apoplectic about our future. Well, hold on – when life throws you lemons, time to make lemonade. Maybe with vodka. The reality is, we are still in growth mode and we need innovation spaces more than ever. Labor Department data shows an overall increase in jobs, though many business owners will tell you finding talent is their biggest growth challenge –…


In this ‘Green Mile,’ the Island has a healthy head start

By JEFF GUILLOT // It’s been roundly embraced by progressive presidential candidates and panned by conservatives as a pipe dream dripping with bongwater. But regardless of your position on the package of legislative initiatives collectively known as the Green New Deal, Long Island’s longstanding commitment to environmental protection could put us in a unique position to reap the benefits of this dialogue. Regardless of whether or not this idea ever finds its way to the…


For your best innovation ROI, look to the ‘regulars’

By ROSALIE DRAGO // From the technological advances of the Bronze Age to the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, innovation requires people. It follows then that the capital investment with the most innovation ROI is the investment in human capital. Businesses are eager to innovate, but more often than not this is approached with investments in departments or initiatives or a select cohort of innovation experts. Real innovation – the kind that enables us to sustain…


Students have changed. Will 21st century education?

By HARRY AURORA // Close your eyes. Picture a classroom. What do you see? Chances are you see children seated in tidy rows of brown desks, a teacher standing in front of a large chalkboard, maybe a map of the United States hanging in the back. If you’re of a certain age, perhaps you even see Smart Boards and a sea of silver laptops. These are still familiar sights in the American classroom. This archetype,…


Island finally finds its footing on the co-working path

By PHIL RUGILE // Helping new companies get started has become a big part of the “Startup Economy.” Investopedia defines a startup as “a company that is in the first stage of its operations,” often bankrolled by their entrepreneurial founders, who are attempting to capitalize on a new product or service. It’s no easy task. Until you’ve experienced the terror of being an entrepreneur – of struggling to convince your target market of your product…


The shutdown and you: A Long Islander’s guide

By JEFF GUILLOT // One thing I drill into the collective consciousness of students every semester is that the role of the federal government in your daily life is minimal, compared to state and local governments. In normal, peaceful times, the average citizen only interacts with the federal government if they are interacting with the military or the immigration system. Virtually every other element of your day-to-day interactions with government are at more localized levels,…