Jaime Escalante – ‘Master Teacher’ => “Stand and Deliver”.

How can group dynamics affect high achievers in a negative way?

Learning Target: How group dynamics affect high achievers in a negative way.

Do Now (20 points): What is the difference between envy and jealousy?

Jealousy: _________________________________

Envy: ____________________________________

  • How and where did you learn to be envious or jealous?       (Think about TV, Stories, other people….)

Article read aloud: “Jaime Escalante, Master Teacher, Envious System” https://www.lewrockwell.com/2010/04/gary-north/killing-the-spirit-of-learning/

Key Excerpt: 

If you are really good at what you do, you have a problem. Some of your peers are gunning for you — not to beat you by outperforming you, but by taking you down or out. To understand why, you would be wise to know the story of Jaime Escalante.

Jaime Escalante died of cancer on March 30, 2010. If you ever saw the HBO movie, Stand and Deliver, you know who he was. If you have not seen it, you probably don’t know.

He was a mathematics teacher in a Los Angeles high school from 1974 to 1991. The school was Garfield High. It had nothing going for it in 1974, either athletically or academically. It was in East Los Angeles, in what was functionally an Hispanic barrio.

When he arrived, there was no course in calculus. The school was about to lose its accreditation. It was arguably the worst school academically in the state, or close to it. By the time he left, it was the #3 school in the United States for the number of students enrolled in the Advanced Placement program for calculus. By then, there were almost 600 students enrolled in various AP courses, not just calculus.

One man’s presence produced that change. This is the enormous power of one . . . for a time. But then the law of large numbers reasserted itself: regression to the mean.

HBO broadcast the movie in 1988. He resigned out of frustration in 1991. He grew tired of the resentment of other teachers, who regarded him as a prima donna, which he surely was. Today, there are few students enrolled in AP courses at Garfield. It is no longer the best tax-funded high school in California to study for the AP exam in calculus.”


  • Non- Fiction
  • Bolivian born calculus teacher
  • Taught at Garfield HS – Central LA
  • Had high expectations for himself and his students
  • Created an exceedingly successful math program – this was unexpected
  • Was the object of institutional envy
  • Eventually driven out of the school

Movie Preview:  


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