Wednesday, March 31, 2010


A previous Immigrant of the Day, Jaime Escalante, the former East Los Angeles high school teacher who taught inner-city students calculus, died Tuesday. He was 79.  Here is an obituary from the L.A. Times.

Escalante was a math teacher famous for his work at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, California.  At Garfield, he taught predominantly Chicano students calculus, from 1974 to 1991.

Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia. In 1964, he decided to move to the United States. He studied science and mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico. He moved to California when he still could not speak English. Escalante studied at night at Pasadena City College and earned a mathematics degree at California State University Los Angeles.

From 1974 until 1991, Escalante taught in the Los Angeles Unified School System. From 1991 until 1998, he taught algebra and calculus for the Sacramento Unified School District. In 2001, after many years of preparing teenagers for the AP calculus exam, Escalante returned to his Bolivia.

The 1987 film Stand and Deliver, starring Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante, introduced the nation to the dramatic story of Jaime Escalante.


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