'Stand and Deliver' math teacher dies at 79

Joseph Finlay
Jaime Escalante, the brilliant teacher who shattered the liberal educational establishment's notions of academic achievement and expectations for inner city students, and who was portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the inspirational 1988 film "Stand and Deliver" has died at the age of 79.

Per his obituary in the LA Times:
Jaime Escalante, the charismatic former East Los Angeles high school teacher who taught the nation that inner-city students could master subjects as demanding as calculus, died Tuesday. He was 79.

The subject of the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," Escalante died at his son's home in Roseville, Calif., said actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed the teacher in the film. Escalante had bladder cancer.

In fact, Escalante's prowess and motivational ability as a teacher led to an eventual investigation of his students' testing results on Advanced Placement Calculus exams as the educational powers that be in California did not believe that such success was possible with inner city students:

Escalante gained national prominence in the aftermath of a 1982 scandal surrounding 14 of his Garfield High School students who passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam only to be accused later of cheating.

The story of their eventual triumph -- and of Escalante's battle to raise standards at a struggling campus of working-class, largely Mexican American students -- became the subject of the movie, which turned the balding, middle-aged Bolivian immigrant into the most famous teacher in America.

Escalante saw that the students under his tutelage were getting left behind by educators and leadership who were all too eager to assign victim status and to accept mediocrity.  Escalante recognized that the remedies were not to be found in more money simply being thrown at the problem or by "dumbing down" the curriculum.

By instilling the virtues of discipline, hard work and self-worth in his students - while refusing to compromise the demand for excellence, Jaime Escalante truly changed the world around him and leaves a lasting legacy that American educators would do well to remember and emulate.

Michelle Malkin has more.
Jaime Escalante, the brilliant teacher who shattered the liberal educational establishment's notions of academic achievement and expectations for inner city students, and who was portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the inspirational 1988 film "Stand and Deliver" has died at the age of 79.

Per his obituary in the LA Times:
Jaime Escalante, the charismatic former East Los Angeles high school teacher who taught the nation that inner-city students could master subjects as demanding as calculus, died Tuesday. He was 79.

The subject of the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," Escalante died at his son's home in Roseville, Calif., said actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed the teacher in the film. Escalante had bladder cancer.

In fact, Escalante's prowess and motivational ability as a teacher led to an eventual investigation of his students' testing results on Advanced Placement Calculus exams as the educational powers that be in California did not believe that such success was possible with inner city students:

Escalante gained national prominence in the aftermath of a 1982 scandal surrounding 14 of his Garfield High School students who passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam only to be accused later of cheating.

The story of their eventual triumph -- and of Escalante's battle to raise standards at a struggling campus of working-class, largely Mexican American students -- became the subject of the movie, which turned the balding, middle-aged Bolivian immigrant into the most famous teacher in America.

Escalante saw that the students under his tutelage were getting left behind by educators and leadership who were all too eager to assign victim status and to accept mediocrity.  Escalante recognized that the remedies were not to be found in more money simply being thrown at the problem or by "dumbing down" the curriculum.

By instilling the virtues of discipline, hard work and self-worth in his students - while refusing to compromise the demand for excellence, Jaime Escalante truly changed the world around him and leaves a lasting legacy that American educators would do well to remember and emulate.

Michelle Malkin has more.