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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.

Latinos and The Power of Education
By Manuel Hernandez

A door opens when a key is used to unlock it. Education
is the key that unlocks the door to a new world of
opportunities. Without education, humanity merely survives and
risks its existence. Research and statistics have supported the
fact that a quality education is much more than a fixed set of
norms, rules and regulations. In the dawn of a new
administration come new ideas, new strategies and new
methodologies. A new beginning is the motor that ignites the
power of education.
The importance of education is often misconstrued by those
who have the power to implement strategies and initiatives to
improve the current high school drop-out rate. Without a high
school diploma, Latinos are prevented from obtaining a college
education and a prospective career. With high voting turnouts
and population statistics, Latinos have gained ground and
continue to nullify Census experts and pollsters alike. But
there are less Latino graduate students across colleges as
compared to other minorities.
How do we try to comprehend the power of education and
its role in America? An action plan is needed. The educational
crisis is a problem of implementation. When a team of academics
wrote an Education Report for the President of The United
States of America in 2004, they found similar patterns in the
assessment of education of Latinos in America. There is no easy
solution. It is a process, but the new administration has
already received a plan about ways in which to improve academic
standards for Latinos. Standards need to be enhanced with
vision and knowledge on how to improve interest in reading and
writing, math and science.
Sociologists predict that by the year 2050 half of the
United States population will be Latino. These are huge
numbers, but they do not mean anything in mainstream America.
As the numbers continue to develop and grow (45 million
Latinos), the causes augment too. By the end of the decade, if
a plan is not implemented, the war on terror will take second
place to the true nature of the educational dilemma in America.
For eight rounds, Muhammad Ali studied George Foreman’s
weaknesses (assessment), and then he set forth a plan and
implemented a strategy. Why wait another hundred days?
There will always be time, but the time is now. We may not
have eight more rounds to assess, evaluate and investigate. The
power of education must not be underestimated. A better
educated community means less social problems at all levels.
Let us do it. Our children and generations deserve a better
today not tomorrow.