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Collins FDC Catalog


B5601 / Scott 5100

Jaime Escalante

High School Calculus Teacher

Cover Announcement 

Jaime was born on December 31, 1930 in LaPaz, Bolivia. He taught mathematics and physics for twelve years before

immigrating to the United States. Once in America he had to learn English and earn another college degree before he could return to the classroom. In 1974 he began teaching at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Shortly after his arrival, he offered an advanced placement (AP) course in calculus. He promised prospective students that he would prepare them for jobs in engineering, electronics, and computers. Escalante stressed to them that they would have to learn math to earn those jobs.

In the early years, he was threatened with dismissal for coming too early, staying too late, and raising funds for his students' advanced placement tests. The Union and administrators didn't like it because it set high standards for other teachers. His results in the classroom were amazing. Of the five students in his first calculus class, two passed the AP test. The next year, seven of nine passed. By 1981 he had 15 calculus students and 14 passed the rigorous AP examination. In 1982 this talented teacher found himself in the national spotlight when 18 of his East LosAngeles students passed the AP test, and by 1987 the incredible number of 73 students passed the AP calculus rest.

In 1988 a book by Jay Mathews "Escctlante; The Best Teacher in -America " was released. Shorty thereafter he was the subject of the movie "Stand and Deliver." Dunng this time, educators and teachers asked to observe in his classroom. Jaime received many visits from political leaders and celebrities including President Ronald Reagan and actor Amold Schwarzenegger. Later Escalante would describe the movie as 10% drama and 90% truth.

Eventually faculty politics and petty jealousies emerged victorious. By 1990 his acciaimed math enrichment program had grown to over 400 students, but citing the 5O-plus class sizes, Escalante lost the chairmanship of the Math Department. The next year, 570 students enrolled in the program but finally Jaime could no longer tolerate the ill-feelings toward him and left the program. By 1995 , the number of students who passed the AP calculus test had dropped by 80%.

Now ready is my hand painted philatelic tribute to the incredible teacher Jaime Escalante who in the classroom did indeed Stand and Deliver. Collins # B5601 - $15.00.

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