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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.

Beyond Sheer Trends: Latino Education: By Manuel Hernandez

There is no doubt about the Latino influence in the United States, but its presence is mostly visible in the world of music and entertainment. Latino actors, actresses and mega-star singers have knocked on doors, entered the house and moved in to stay. With more Latino politicians in Office throughout U.S. cities and Congress than never before, the 21st century promises to open new gates of opportunity for the largest minority in the United States. But the social, financial, educational and even spiritual development of the Latino community depends on its vision and its ability to go beyond sheer trends.

In the past, the educational system failed to meet the diversified demands and unique academic interests of American Latinos; this worked against those who wanted to follow the footsteps of a few megastars and politicians who became successful in a house closed to them before. These doors opened because of their commitment to hard work, perseverance and education. In the present, there has been a lot of commitment to information and planning but less commitment to action and results. How can these doors remain open if education serves a community that grows in number but diminishes in knowledge?

Trends in music are sometimes sudden and unexpected, but changes in education and the core curriculum require much more than sheer trends. Research, scholarly study and scientifically supported evidence are all required to convince those who have the keys to go beyond sheer trends and make things happen. Let us be specific and spearheaded about strategies in which to improve academic standards for Latinos. The current educational standards need to be revised and enhanced with vision and knowledge on how to improve interest in reading, writing and math. The new SAT will have three sections: reading, writing and math. These changes will encourage educational influences in the core curriculum across the United States that will without a doubt affect the education of Latinos and other American teens as well.

The five states with the largest Latino population deliver about two-thirds of the electoral votes to win the U.S. presidency. This influence has not been taken for granted by politicians on all blocks of the neighborhood. With that kind of influence, Latinos can and will rise above sheer trends and will devise a plan to improve the education of their children. The better educated a community is the more influence it will surely have in all rooms in the house. This week marks the forty-second anniversary of the ?I Have a Dream Speech? by Martin Luther King. It all starts with a dream and develops into a vision which will undoubtedly produce a higher quality of education for Latino