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NEA mourns the loss of Jaime Escalante

Innovative classroom educator leaves legacy of professionalism

WASHINGTON - March 31, 2010 -

On Tuesday, March 30, 2010, noted math educator Jaime Escalante passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer. A Bolivian-born American math teacher, Escalante was best known for his efforts to assist the under-achieving students of inner-city Garfield High School achieve unprecedented academic achievement. Their story was the subject of the film “Stand and Deliver.”

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Our nation has lost a great hero and great educator. Jaime Escalante was an inspirational, innovative leader in the classroom. His unwavering commitment to closing the academic achievement gap for his students set the standard for educational excellence that teachers aspire to even today. 

“A consummate professional, Jaime refused to allow the background and socio-economic status of his students limit their potential. The National Education Association mourns his passing and honors his passion for teaching and commitment to excellence. His example will stand as a model for future generations of teachers and education professionals for years to come.”

To learn more about NEA’s efforts to close achievement gaps, please visit,

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823,