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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RIP Jaime Escalante

The man who Edward James Olmos played in the movie “Stand and Deliver”, who transformed an inner-city Los Angeles math program into the highest achieving math program in the state between the mid 1970’s and 1980’s, has died in Reno, Nevada.

Jaime refused to accept the status quo, and drove his students to perform at much higher levels than the school system expected them to.  At its peak, the Garfield High School Advanced Placement Calculus program hosted 570 students, the highest percentage of overall student body in the country.

Many math teachers in the ’80s were inspired by Jaime, and those teachers went on to inspire yet another generation of formerly underperforming math students to become math geeks.  One such teacher was my ninth grade Algebra-Trig teacher.  Today, I’m an Engineer, thanks in part to Jaime Escalante.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:40 am  

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