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Jaime Escalante

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Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia. While in Bolivia he taught Physics and Mathematics for fourteen years. In 1964 he decided to migrate to the United States. His first stop was the Universidad de Puerto Rico, where he took some Science and Mathematics courses. After moving from Puerto Rico to California, he found himself not knowing how to speak English, and without any teaching credentials. Despite the odds against him, he studied at nights at the Pasadena City College earning a degree in Electronics. He then took a day job, and continued studying in order to get a Mathematics degree.

In 1976 he began teaching at Garfield High School, in east Los Angeles, California, where drugs, gangs and violence were facts of daily life. Despite these obstacles, Escalante was able to motivate a small group of students to take, and pass the AP calculus exam in 1982. The Educational Testing Service, which administers the test, invalidated the scores, believing that the students had cheated. Most of the 18 pupils retook the test and passed, making Escalante a national hero almost overnight.

By 1991, the number of Garfield students taking advanced placement examinations in math and other subjects had increased to 570. That was the year Escalante left the school, citing faculty politics and petty jealousies. He was hired by the Sacramento school system almost instantly. The district pays his salary, but the National Science Foundation, the Atlantic Richfield Co. and the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education underwrite much of his equipment and special programs.

Today, Jaime Escalante is considered one of the most famous educators in the United States. He was the subject of the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, which dramatized his efforts to help underachieving Latino students beat the odds and pass an advanced placement calculus test. This splendid semi-documentary on the life of ghetto school teacher Jaime Escalante (played by Edward James Olmos) has already become one of the classic films about American education. As a result of its faithfulness to life, the film is a profound tribute to the positive impact a good teacher can make.

In recognition of his incredible achievements, Escalante was awarded the United States Presidential Medal and the Andres Bello award by the Organization of American States.

References (Melanie Cole, "Escalante Tech", Hispanic, 11-30-1994, p .* "Stand and Deliver", Magill's Survey of Cinema, 06-15-1995. * Gary Libman, "Success Keeps Multiplying for Jaime Escalante"; Home Edition, Los Angeles Times, 05-23-1995, pp E-1. * Roberto Bustamante, "Jaime Escalante el maestro de todos los tiempos", El Diario/La Prensa, 12-02-1995.)

Stand & Deliver
1988 - USA
Director - Ramon Menendez

Stand & Deliver stars Edward James Olmos as a math teacher in a tough East LA high school. Faced with a largely Hispanic class labeled as losers and trouble-makers, Olmos (as true life teacher Jaime Escalante) leans into the struggle and finally convinces the kids that it's up to them to change their lives. The resulting success is challenged by the establishment as some sort of chicanery, but the ultimate triumph is the proof that these people have learned to take control of their lives.

Jaime Escalante; Sensational Teacher
By: Byers, Ann

Library Binding//Illustrated
128 pages

Presents the life of the Bolivian-born teacher who immigrated to the United States where he inspired and motivated his inner city students to excel in mathematics.

Publication Date: July 1996;
Publisher: Enslow Publishers
Poster for the Math...who needs it?! Displaying smaller images in the poster of scenes form the video.

Math . . . Who Needs It?!
Author: Featuring Jaime Escalante
VHS
Number of Pages: 58 mins.
Year Published: 1991
Grade Level: 5-Adult

A one-hour entertaining and inspiring TV special starring Jaime Escalante, the renowned math teacher who inspired the Academy Award nominated movie "Stand and Deliver," and his students with guest appearances by Bill Cosby, Dizzy Gillespie, Teri Garr, Joe Piscopo, Marla Gibbs, Paul Rodriguez, Jeff Altman, Rosana DeSoto, Paula Poundstone, Charles Fleischer, D.L. Hughley and world class professionals, engineers and designers at their workplaces from the Futures (6-tape set) and Futures 2 (6-tape Set) series.

Starting in Jaime Escalante's East Los Angeles classroom, Math Who Needs It?! is a fun and exciting adventure giving viewers a new perspective on how math is used in real life. From application in skateboard design and today's high-tech rollercoasters to fashion, sports, and music, you've never experienced math like this before!

 

Futures (6-tape set)
VHS
Number of Pages: 30 mins. ea.
Year Published: 1990
Grade Level: 5-Adult

Hosted by Jaime Escalante, this series of exciting videos demonstrates the broad applications of math and science in various industries while connecting them to students' goals, plans, and desires. Industries covered in the six tapes are:

                  • Agriculture & Aircraft Design
                  • Cartography & Fashion
                  • Putting Man In Space & Sound Engineering
                  • Water Engineering & Optics
                  • Statistics & Sports Performance
                  • Architecture and Structural Engineering & Automotive Design

Meredith Berrier, 12th Grade Geometry and Algebra II
Jaime Escalante Mathematics Teacher Awards 1996
Teacher: Lisa Young, Cleveland High School, Los Angeles Unified School District

 

Futures (6-tape set)
VHS
Number of Pages: 30 mins. ea.
Year Published: 1990
Grade Level: 5-Adult

Hosted by Jaime Escalante, this series of exciting videos demonstrates the broad applications of math and science in various industries while connecting them to students' goals, plans, and desires. Industries covered in the six tapes are:

                  • Agriculture & Aircraft Design
                  • Cartography & Fashion
                  • Putting Man In Space & Sound Engineering
                  • Water Engineering & Optics
                  • Statistics & Sports Performance
                  • Architecture and Structural Engineering & Automotive Design

***Peabody Award

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