Jaime  Escalante

Retired Mathematics Teacher
Granite Bay, California
Total years as a classroom teacher 33 (24 years in the USA, 9years in Bolivia)

Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia, to two teachers who
worked in a small Aymara Indian village. After 9 years of teaching in
Bolivia, Escalante moved to the United States and worked as a busboy, a
cook, and an electronics factory technician while earning teaching
credentials and a degree in mathematics.

He is the host of an instructional television series on PBS,
“Futures,”which introduces students to a variety of math and
science-based careers. It is the most popular classroom program in the
history of PBS and has been honored with more than 50 awards from
educational and professional organizations, including the highest honor
in the broadcasting field, the George Foster Peabody Award.

A 1988 book, “Escalante: The Best Teacher in America,” provided an
account of his life. The 1988 film, “Stand and Deliver,” illustrated his
1982 struggle. His students tested so high in the rigorous Advanced
Placement exams that they were suspected of cheating by the Educational
Testing Service, which didn’t believe that poor barrio students had the
ability to pass any college- level test.

He believes in helping students find in themselves ganas, a desire
that must emerge from within, which allows them to overcome all

“Today, I continue to enjoy successes which I can attribute to one
powerful lesson I learned from Mr. Escalante: ‘You can do anything you
want to, its easy, the hardest part is that you have to believe you can
do it, the rest is a piece of cake.'” –Steve Robles, former student,
vice president, La Curacao

“What is most remarkable about Jaime is that even as his ‘fame’ grew,
he never lost sight of his underlying purpose: working to have children
believe in their ability to achieve at the highest levels and providing
them with the instruction they needed to succeed.” –Rudolph F. Crew,
Chancellor, Board of Education of the City of New York



University Mayor de San Andres, teaching credential in mathematics


Associate of Arts, Pasadena City College


Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, Cal State University at Los Angeles


standard teaching credential, Cal State University at Los Angeles

Teaching Experience


(10-12) mathematics, physics, La Paz, Bolivia


(10-12) calculus, trig, algebra, LA Unified School District


Calculus, East LA Community College


(10-12) algebra, calculus, Sacramento Unified School District

Special Recognition


Honorary Doctor of Humane letters


Free Spirit Award Freedom Forum


Andres Bello prize, Organization of American States


Presidential Medal for Excellence


Honorary Doctor of Education


Honorary Doctor of the Humanities


Honorary Doctor of Science


Honorary Doctor of Humanities