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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.

Why the Focus Needs to Be Education?

By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright

The 2016 Presidential Campaign is still on the rise, and it promises to be the most active one in recent history. There are many pre-candidates, and the debates have caught worldwide attention, but there has been hardly any discussion at all about the most important value of all: education. The recent terror attacks in Europe and the United States have shifted the discussion almost exclusively on terror and immigration. But the shift threatens to send America into an educational abyss. In a recent article on BBC, the United States comes in 28th in the global rankings on education ( In a time of world crisis, America strives on its might, economic and technological gains to maintain its place as the world’s superpower, but a country that ignores its role in education risks its place in history. America needs to refocus its vision on education.

Nelson Mandela stated that “the single most powerful weapon in the world is education.” He knew from personal experience that physical weapons did not have any long term effect on changes in society. The African American struggle in the United States was exemplified by the foundation of schools, Black Colleges and other educational institutions in a time when education was almost entirely segregated. It is no coincidence that the first minority President in the US is African American. The only way that America is going to regain its respect and influence throughout the world is if it refocuses its vision on education.

While we debate and discuss who is and who is not an American, hundreds of children continue to lag academically behind in schools. While we discuss who is and who is not banned from our borders, high school teenagers are dropping out of school. While we determine which candidate is up on the polls, thousands of high school seniors are at risk because they failed their state standardized exams. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 required state accountability and rigorous levels of academic expectations, but it has primarily dwelled on “teachers teaching for the test”. And students continue to struggle and fall behind.

Ignorance is painful. Yet, the political rhetoric continues to sway the house of public opinion. Sustained economic growth is synonymous of educational advancement. Education is what sustains the foundations of a nation. The more America delays action the faster its unsurmountable downfall. A vision in education is the only situation in which people connect with true values. Why the focus needs to be education? You answer the question.