Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jaime Escalante, 1930-2010

Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles high school math teacher who was made famous by Edward James Olmos' portrayal of him in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 79. He had been undergoing treatments for bladder cancer in Reno, Nevada, but was brought to his son's California home on Monday by Olmos (who remained close with Escalante throughout the years).

The Bolivian-born Escalante is perhaps best known for helping to turn the math program at East L.A.'s Garfield High School into one of the finest in the country. Escalante's success was dramatized in the aforementioned Stand and Deliver, which he described as "90% truth, 10% drama". He stated that several points were left out of the film:
  • It took him several years to achieve the kind of success shown in the film.
  • In no case was a student who didn't know multiplication tables or fractions taught calculus in a single year.
  • Escalante suffered a gall-bladder attack, not a heart attack. This distinction was clouded over in the film.

The news of Escalante's death is up on Edward James Olmos' website. He is survived by his wife Fabiola and his sons Fernando and Jaime Jr.

Below is a scene from the movie Stand and Deliver:

The real Jaime Escalante talks about being a teacher: