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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.

Education: A Three Part Series Report (Part Two) The following report was written, revised and submitted by: Manuel Hernández, Erika Robles and Burt Posner to the National Hispanic/ Latino American and Migrant Agenda

This report is the culmination of numerous hours of hard work by the
members of the committee. After a series of regional meetings and a
national conference, which was held in Chicago last June, the report was
voted on and approved by the Summit participants. Recommendations are
made at the end of the report. The report will be included in its

Part Two:

The reauthorization of child nutrition programs which includes the
National School Lunch Program is a top priority for Hispanic/Latinos in
this country. Some of these programs are the only meals that millions of
children depend on to eat during the day. The present proposals seek to
greatly undermine this program by imposing new needs criteria that will
result in a substantial decrease of children who need this program for
their sustenance.

Education funding in the past year has seen a decrease that does not
take into account the severe ramifications such level of spending has on
the increased enrollment of Hispanic/Latino students. The No Child Left
Behind Act has drastically changed the federal bilingual program from a
competitive to a state formula which is assumed to reach an increased
amount of needy schools that use English language learners program (ELL).
There has been a tremendous amount of disconcertion regarding the
present level of federal funding committed to this program and it is
recommended that the bill be revisited and scrutinized for a possible
funding formula increase.

No program sets the life theme for education for young children of
disadvantaged Hispanic/Latino families as the Federal Head Start program.
Unfortunately, the lack of funding for this program in migrant workers’
communities has impacted very unfavorably on the pre-school children of
this important constituency of the Hispanic/Latino community.
Furthermore, there has been an insidious attempt to disqualify large
number of pre- school students from this program by imposing arduous and
unreasonable testing standards.

School vouchers which will permit parents to apply for annual grants
which will allow them to send their children to a school of their choice
is very popular among Hispanic/Latino parents but not among those
involved in school administration.

It is a subject that carries merit on both sides of the fence since we
need to insure that public education does not suffer due to the
filtering away of much needed funds especially to underserved school
districts. However, the tilt toward the acceptance of school vouchers
lies in the indisputable fact that no parent should be forced to allow
their children to be used in a failed experiment that will impact
profoundly on their children’s future. Until and when the public
education system cleans their house, Hispanic/Latino Americans and
migrant parents overwhelmingly support school choice voucher programs.

Nonetheless, acceptable formulas which would make refunding for school
vouchers contingent upon the failing school districts ability to redeem
themselves should be explored and if possible implemented. We recommend
that the present formula be further improved by establishing criteria
for proportional spending allocations and refunds to schools that
improve their educational performances