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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.

What is the Core Issue for Hispanics? Immigration? Education?

By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright

There has been a permanent debate concerning the issues that affect the largest minority in the United States, and the general consensus is that immigration and education are one and two on top of the needs assessment of the Latino community. But education continues to be relegated to the backdoor of local and even national political debates. The United States was founded by the sons and daughters of European immigrants, and even before they arrived Native Americans dwelled in this great land for centuries before “Of Plymouth Plantation.” Why the need to push the immigration debate to such extreme sides of the political arena?

Latinos have the largest percentage of illegal immigrants (76%, Pew Hispanic Center, April 2009), and the highest percentage of high school dropout rates in America (22%, The Condition of Latinos in Education: 2008 Factbook, December 2008). Illegal immigrants face deportation, family separation and imprisonment, but high school dropouts face less per-income capita, fewer job opportunities and an uncertain future. A workforce without education simply cannot contribute to the advancement of the economy of a superpower that prefers to look the other way and dismiss education with citywide and statewide proposals but without a national vision to help improve the education of Latinos. According to a recent BBC report, the United States is 28th in education, and continues to

The United States needs to focus on the needs of Latino students. President Barack Obama said in a CNN article on March 28, 2011 that, "Our workforce is going to be more diverse; it is going to be, to a large percentage, Latino. And if our young people are not getting the kind of education they need, we won't succeed as a nation." The President himself recognized that the achievement of America's workforce is fundamentally related to the development of the education of Latinos. Nonetheless, four years have passed since that declaration, and schools that are heavily Latino populated continue to academically fall behind