A True Hero of Urban Education Reform Passes

The legendary teacher Jaime Escalante died yesterday. Portrayed in the great film, “Stand and Deliver”  Escalante taught Math at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles from 1974 to 1991. He’s best known for the incredible outcomes of his students on the AP Calculus exam.  After 5 years of teaching at Garfield he defied the expectations of his fellow teachers and administrators by preparing 5 students from Garfield to take the AP Calculus exam, two of whom passed. This was an act that had never been accomplished by Garfield students. By 1987, 73 students at Garfield passed the AP Calculus test.  A pioneer in the fight for educational equity, Escalante was once asked “Do you think American education needs to be restructured or reformed?,” he replied, “One hundred percent.”

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