Harry Aurora

No. 450: Worlds war, bombs blast and Delta delivers – plus, an all-time LI great calls it a career (kinda)

  Wicked Wednesday: Boo! Didn’t mean to scare you, dear reader, though today is the day before Halloween – and, of course, the midpoint of this ghoulish week of socioeconomic innovation. Slim pickings: Perhaps in anticipation of tomorrow’s candied costumery, there are very few “holidays” to highlight this (and every) Oct. 30. Today is National Checklist Day, which is as exciting as it sounds (though it started with a bang), and National Text Your Ex…


As teacher shortage grows, a virtually ideal substitute

By HARRY AURORA // It’s no secret the teacher shortage facing school districts across the county is a legitimate crisis. A widely distributed 2019 study by the Economic Policy Institute called the teacher shortage “large and growing,” and analysts point to two key issues: Public schools are hiring fewer teachers and fewer people are pursuing teaching careers, a perfect storm for a public-education epidemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 60,000…


No. 444: In which supernovas explode, Northwell’s blood flows and Nikola Tesla goes Hollywood

  It all adds up: It’s addition by subtraction, dear readers, as we count off the days of this latest busy workweek and multiply our chances for socioeconomic success. Welcome to your Wednesday newsletter, which according to Innovate LI’s mystifying numbering system (Kominicki didn’t count the first half-dozen or so, and we kinda forgot to number the Monday calendar newsletters) is No. 444 – a blessing, according to numerologists. On your Marc: It’s Oct. 9…


A preemptive approach to postsecondary success

By HARRY AURORA // For some, preparation for postsecondary education starts at a young age. Many children who aspire to be doctors, lawyers and scientists understand the required commitment to academic achievement, and that it continues well beyond high school. These particular students typically have not only the support of their family members, but also a role model – a teacher or guidance counselor, perhaps, instilling in them a drive to achieve at their highest…


No. 438: With stops in Cuba, Bulgaria and the Peconic Bay – plus, a V2G rollout

  Well-balanced: A palindromic 9-1-8-1-9 to you, dear reader, as we welcome Wednesday and the midpoint of another busy workweek. Going for Yucs: It is indeed Sept. 18 out there, and if you had the 12th baktun of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar kicking off on this date in 1618, jach maʼalob. A little Yucatec Mayan right there. Anyway, five-hundred cacao beans for you. Hot air: Before we take off, all rise for old friend…


As suspensions mount, schools have homework to do

By HARRY AURORA // One of the most extreme ways to discipline a student is the out-of-school suspension – but this punishment only bandages a problem, without actually fixing it. With little to no academic guidance at home, suspended students often suffer long-term negative consequences. Suspensions should only be used as a last resort – and if it’s absolutely necessary, schools should take steps to ensure that students are learning from their mistakes, and learning…


No. 427: Mean streets, herbal treats and fiscal feats – plus, supermarkets for robots

  Warmest greetings: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we slog through a sticky summertime stretch of socioeconomic innovation. It’s Aug. 7 out there, and we’re at the steamy center of Summer 2019 – the mathematical midpoint between the June 21 summer solstice and the Sept. 23 autumnal equinox. Party on, Côte d’Ivoire: To our readers along the Ivory Coast, a joyous Independence Day. Here in the States, Aug. 7 is National Lighthouse Day, celebrating…


No. 417: Riding the Cyclone, battling preterm births, ERASE-ing racism – and the truth about Abner Doubleday

  June swoon: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as we hurtle toward the end of June and the end of the first full week of Summer 2019. “School’s Open, Drive Carefully,” the old bumper stickers said, but that never made sense to us. It would seem that when schools are closed (most across Long Island go dark today, for the next 10 weeks) and kids are playing outdoors is when safety is paramount. But we…


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…


No. 409: Affordable rentals, sudden departures and Fulbright scholars, starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby

  Welcome to Wednesday: And a happy midweek to you, dear reader, as we speed through another exciting (and blessedly abbreviated) week of socioeconomic innovation. Hard to believe, with Memorial Day over and summer unofficially started and all, but it’s still May out there. May 29, to be exact, and if you had Roman Emperor Julian defeating the Sasanian Army in the Battle of Ctesiphon on this date in 363 A.D., you’ve won 100 gold…


To ensure college success, level the HS academic field

By HARRY AURORA // Education is the cornerstone of success, a college degree is paramount and K-12 schools are committed to doing everything possible to help students excel at the college level. It appears to be working: National high school graduation rates are among the highest they’ve ever been. But accommodating for the wide range of variables that exist for every individual student is never easy, and requires significant resources that may not be available…


No. 401: Manufacturing optimism, planning to win and crusading in capes – plus, the importance of summer schooling 

  May day! Don’t panic, dear readers – it’s merely the first of May and the midpoint of another busy week of socioeconomic innovation (being Wednesday and all). For the record, with a long (and sometimes dark) history extending back thousands of years, May Day is not all maypoles and pies. Let freedom ring: Here in the 21st Century, May 1 marks Armed Forces Day in Mauritania and Constitution Day in both Argentina and Latvia….


Books, online learning key to battling ‘summer slide’

By HARRY AURORA // Longer days, warmer weather and the approach of summer vacation excite students, but many educators and parents worry about the toll that long break from school can have on academic gains students worked hard to achieve. Dubbed the “summer slide,” the time spent away from the classroom can be especially hard on students in lower socioeconomic areas that lack the same opportunities as their wealthier counterparts (access to private tutors, summer…


No 393: Cuomo’s big budget, Wei Yin’s smarter entrepreneurs and the prototypically helpful MTRC

  Welcome to the show: Hello and happy Wednesday to you, dear reader, as we speed toward the back nine of another busy workweek. Welcome especially new newsletter subscribers Ron, Mindy, Lauren, David, Nicholas, Christine, Dianne, Liz and Connie. Lace up, kids – you join us on National Walking Day, the American Heart Association’s first-Wednesday-of-April reminder to stretch those limbs once in a while. A.K.A. “Think Twice Day”: April 3 is also National Don’t Go…


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…