With very little media coverage and not much fanfare, the American teaching legend Jaime Escalante passed away a few days ago at age 79.
The immigrant from Bolivia, who arrived in America not knowing how to speak English, succumbed to Cancer outside of Sacramento, California, on Tuesday of this past week.
Escalante was an extremely effective teacher, who became the subject of the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver” starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Edward James Olmos. (Olmos was nominated for an Academy award for his portrayal of Escalante in the film.)
Escalante was able to deliver education in a unique manner and was a strong motivator. He was able to lift up his students, from one of the most poverty stricken schools in Los Angeles, to achieve top scores on difficult state administered Calculus exams.
So much skepticism surrounded Escalante’s students, that he was accused of cheating and facilitating his student’s cheating. When a forced re-test was demanded by the State, all of Escalante’s students passed the exam again, under heightened scrutiny.
Anyone who has not seen the film “Stand and Deliver” needs to. An excellent re-cap of Escalante’s career can be found here.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.