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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.

Latino Education: Beyond The Millenium
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright 2007

The Latino preschool, elementary, secondary and high school population has grown and become an important factor of the education in America today. Much of the recent growth in enrollment in elementary and secondary schools may be attributed to the rise in the number of Latino students. Latinos continue to come into the United States at unprecedented rates. Although it is a matter of survival at the beginning of the immigration process, Education is key value cherished by Latinos, but at the same time, are many times less likely to receive a quality education than other American ethnic groups. The educational journey is rough and bumpy, but Latinos have realized that their opportunities are based in the educational empowerment of the people.
After numerically proving in the past two major elections that they should not be taken for granted; the education of Latinos must be a top priority for the President's administration and the newly appointed Congress. While the War on Terror continues to be the number one priority today in America, more and more Latino children find themselves out of school and without the academic support needed to walk within the American educational school system. Census projections go as far as placing them over the 100 million mark by mid-century, but the numbers are meaningless unless high school drop out rates, national testing scores and other educational mishaps are addressed immediately by the Department of Education.
However, despite the fact that Latinos have recently made some academic gains, disparities still exist in academic performance between Latinos and non- Latino White students. Very few Latino immigrants have the ambitions and aspirations for anything more than providing a decent living for their families here in the United States or in their native countries. Most of them are hard workers,and they seem satisfied just with living life with whatever they can get from their labors. Latino education is in dire need of role models willing to go back and visit these inner city neighborhoods and talk and speak out on the power of education, it being the key to success.
The journey in itself is fast-paced, and technology is ever-changing; Latino education needs a clear vision and a steady direction. Although the journey is filled with uncertainties, Latino education will undoubtedly, cast away its traditional mentality and will rise to its academic expectations. But we Latino leaders must do it ourselves, now and today; our generations will benefit from our passion and efforts, but we gotta act "ahora"...tomorrow may be too late.