Voices

It’s summer, and educational inequities are widening

By HARRY AURORA // Everyone loves summer vacation. But it’s vital that school districts and parents acknowledge the consequences of taking an extended period of time away from learning. Multiple studies have supported that a “summer slide” truly exists. Over the course of a typical summer, the average student loses more than two months of math and reading skills and one month of overall learning – and it can take up to two months for…

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Vehicle of change: licensing undocumented residents

By JEFF GUILLOT // The face of our region is changing, both politically and socioeconomically, and it’s time we had some tough conversations. So, let’s get right to it: Long Island lawmakers and stakeholders should embrace state legislation that allows undocumented people to obtains driver’s licenses. Let’s throw the morality and racial politics out of the conversation – our region has dealt with enough of that. I could wax poetic about fundamental fairness and social…


Diverse opinions fuel C3E Women in Energy event

By ROSALIE DRAGO // In any industry, “diversity” means intentionally incorporating views and perspectives different from our own – an essential practice for both personal and professional innovation and advancement. We all know it’s easier and faster to move something forward with someone who agrees with us. It doesn’t mean you get the best outcome, though. It can be uncomfortable, to have your voice heard and to listen to that “other” voice, and difficult to…


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…