Jaime Escalante

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Jaime Escalante was the greatest American math teacher of the 20th century.[1] He prepared public high school students in Los Angeles for the Advanced Placement test in mathematics; see "Stand and Deliver".

Conventional pedagogical wisdom holds that the poor, the disadvantaged, and the "culturally different" are a fragile lot, and that the academic rigor usually found only in elite suburban or private schools would frustrate them, crushing their self-esteem. The teachers and administrators that I interviewed did not find this to be true of Garfield students.[1]
If a team begins losing after a coach is replaced, sports fans are outraged. The decline of Garfield's math program, however, went largely unnoticed. [2]