Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A great article on Jaime Escalante

Thomas Sowell said:

"At one time, one-fourth of all the Mexican American students who passed advanced placement calculus -- in the entire country -- came from the school where Jaime Escalante taught."

My father sent me a link to a great, but sad, article on Jaime Escalante. In Stand and Deliver Revisited Jerry Jesness gives us "The untold story behind the famous rise -- and shameful fall -- of Jaime Escalante, America's master math teacher."

I read the whole article. The article is well written. I had heard snippets about Jaime Escalante, but never knew the full story. At one level this is a powerful story about how one man can make a difference. At another level it is the shameful story of how a bureaucracy destroyed the potential of hundreds of students.

Jaime Escalante helped hundreds of students stretch to a level they had never been to before. Hundreds more students could have had a much better education if Jaime Escalante had not been chased out.

Now I want to track down the movie Stand and Deliver.

Technorati tags: Jaime Escalante, children, education, government schools, children, public school, public education


Paula said...

I spent my first two years of High School in Bolivia, with a math teacher who had know Jaime Escalante (he was Bolivian). She worked hard both to teach and to motivate, hoping to emulate his success.

Sebastian said...

My math methods teacher HATED Stand and Deliver. He referred to it as a movie that showed all the ways for a teacher to get fired. He was especially scornful of the idea of using a knife to cut fruit for the fractions demonstration.
I think that this instructor's comments and attitude toward teaching had a lot to do with why I have an MS in Education but choose to homeschool. There are too many bars to innovation and doing what works in the schools bureaucracy.

Treasure Your Relationships said...

You can currently watch Stand and Deliver on netflix.com with their instant streaming video.

MiaZagora said...

I've had this post "starred" in my Google Reader because I wanted to be sure and read the article. I've never seen "Stand and Deliver" or read the book, but I'm wondering why this man wasn't considered a "master teacher" by most to be emulated instead of being criticized? The first thing I thought when I read about his success as a math teacher is, "I wonder if he's written any books on math teaching?" so I could buy it for myself. If I were a paid teacher, I hope I would be thinking the same thing.

Henry Cate said...

I wonder about how teachers in general get upset when a master teacher does a good job. They seem to feel threaten and attack. It is almost like the crabs in the bucket, if one starts to climb out, then others will pull him back.

Sebastian, I think the math methods teacher was upset that the current theories weren't working, and mad that Jaime Escalante, without the proper credentials, did such an amazing job.