jaime escalante, 1930-2010

From the LA Times

Escalante was a maverick who did not get along with many of his public school colleagues, but he mesmerized students with his entertaining style and deep understanding of math. Educators came from around the country to observe him at Garfield, which built one of the largest and most successful Advanced Placement programs in the nation...

"His passionate belief [was] that all students, when properly prepared and motivated, can succeed at academically demanding course work, no matter what their racial, social or economic background. Because of him, educators everywhere have been forced to revise long-held notions of who can succeed."

Escalante's rise came during an era decried by experts as one of alarming mediocrity in the nation's schools. He pushed for tougher standards and accountability for students and educators, often irritating colleagues and parents along the way with his brusque manner and uncompromising stands.

I think one need look no further than the state of public education to know that Mr. Escalante was definitely pissing off the right people. We need more like him.

Escalante's work in East LA was portrayed in the movie Stand and Deliver, and thus indirectly inspired on of the better recent jokes in South Park:


Gino said...

and you know what? garfield hs was just recently placed on the list of one of the worst schools in the nation, or something like that.

they've learned nothing from him. not even in his own school.

(btw, i know a few who went to that school in the 80's, and in the 00's)

chris said...

He obviously had a much higher bullshit tolerance threshold than I did for the obstacles placed before him, not that I was ever even in the same league as him.