Readers Write: Manhasset: A vote with local consequences

The Island Now

While on assignment as a magazine reporter, I visited a public high school in California that was re-inventing education. Several days a week, students had longer classes, so that a biology teacher could take students out to a stream to do water samples—then they’d work with an English teacher to write reports on their findings.

Years have passed, but I still remember the enthusiasm of the students, teachers and administrators in that school as they talked about igniting curiosity and collaboration. Manhasset’s schools need that spark, that sense of re-imagining classroom and lab experiences. That’s why I support Frank Bua’s courageous run for the Board of Education here.

Manhasset has very good schools, but we shouldn’t settle for very good. With the soaring value of homes here and the high property taxes we pay, we should demand cutting-edge schools that lead the nation in innovation. All three of our schools could use a jolt of innovation, of disruption, of excitement.

Frank Bua is an educator, father and activist who has put his considerable energy into revamping nonprofit groups that make a difference for families. Rather than discuss the litany of his ideas for our schools, I’ll mention one.

Many mothers and fathers in this community make their living in international finance, media and business. Yet-incredibly — Manhasset schools don’t start teaching another language until seventh grade.

Frank Bua wants to start language instruction in elementary school. He thinks our schools should find smart, cost-effective ways to do that. That’s a long-overdue goal for a community with global aspirations in a global era.

Our school board has had steady leadership for years, and that’s a point of pride in Manhasset. Now it’s time for fresh ideas about education—from an educator.

Dave Marcus


Dave Marcus is the author of “Acceptance” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a book about Long Island students applying to college.

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