Make Us Your Puerto Rico Homepage!

Welcome to

Bookmark and Share

Professor Manuel Hernández
Essays Collection

Address: : 2012 Ernest St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741

Manuel Hernandez was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1963. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and finished a Master�s in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx in 1994. He has coordinated symposiums, produced and coordinated television interviews on the literature written by Puerto Rican and Latino/a writers from the Diaspora. He has done numerous presentations, workshops and seminars on how to integrate latino/a literature in the English classroom. In 2014, he participated in a TedxTalk (Connections) at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of three books, , Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003), The Birth of a Rican (Imprenta Sifre. 2008) and Living the Kingdom with purpose (Imprenta Sifre, 2013). He is a Language Arts teacher at Osceola School District in Florida.

Latino Education: Adequate Funding?
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright

There have been intentions of providing adequate funding to adhere to the academic necessities of the education of Latinos in the United States. Who can deny the good intentions of those interested in making a positive contribution to the education of Latinos? In the Obama administration’s proposed English Learning Education Program, an $800 million budget has been included in the president’s proposal for fiscal 2011 (Rosemary Salomone’s “Does NCLB Promote Monolingualism?). There is no doubt that adequate funding is necessary, but how about “specifics” on how English Language Learners will benefit from the proposal.

Statistics speak for themselves, and the National Center for Education Statistics posted very shrewd information on the present status of Latino education. America has always placed a strong value on higher education, but Latinos are being stripped of that opportunity by not scoring adequately in the SAT’s. An overview on “SAT score averages of college-bound seniors, by race/ethnicity: in selected years, 1986-87 through 2006-07” will show that Hispanic students are scoring below 500 in reading, math and writing. As a matter of fact, there has been very little progress, if any, during the last 22 years in these statistics.

During the eight years of the Bush administration, there were claims of how the No Child Left Behind Act encouraged and facilitated the progress of the education of Latinos, but an up and closer look at these statistics topple those claims. If Latino teens are scoring below average in the SAT's, then it makes it extremely difficult for them to receive a higher education. The incoming administration has yet to reveal how and when it will specifically tackle the academic necessities of the largest and most diversified minority of the nation.

In another table posted in the National Center for Education Statistics, in the "Percentage distribution of adults ages 25 and over, by highest level of educational attainment and race/ethnicity: 2007", Latinos have the highest percentage in the "Less than high school completion" category. The 39.7 percent is staggering and alarming at the same time. For years, the world-wide secret concerning the Latino high school dropout rate is that it is nearly an incomprehensible 50%. While the claims of educational improvement have been made, the reality of the education of Latinos continues to look discouraging. Who is responsible for the educational fallout of our children? Adequate funding without a specific vision may lead to academic improvisation, to say the least.

While the economy has taken the forefront of all the issues discussed today, we continue to ignore the fact that the largest minority in America is not only at an economic disadvantage, but because it is less educated; it is in high risk of becoming a “crisis within a crisis,” Although the Obama administration is receiving high marks for its “stimulus packages” for the America Recovery Act, there is no specific mention on how the Department of Education plans to help the millions of Latino children obtain the quality education that they deserve. After a year and five months of having received the support of the Latino people in the past historic election, there is no specific strategy on how the Obama administration plans to undertake these and other educational dilemmas faced by Latino children.

The Obama administration must define its vision on how to improve the educational quality of Latino children. There will be no surprises when the 2010 United States Census numbers are announced: Latinos will continue to multiply in numbers much like the Israelites grew in their 430 years of captivity in Egypt. But the only way they will advance through the desert is if their unattended academic needs are met. There are millions of Latino educators working towards the fulfillment of the Latino vision, but it will take a macro Presidential effort to unite and work with those like Jaime Escalante, who dedicated their lives to improve the quality of education of the Latino nation in the United States. This is the time!