Stand and Deliver

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Stand and Deliver is a 1988 American drama film. The film is a dramatization based on a true story of a dedicated high school mathematics teacher Jaime Escalante. Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in the film and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.[1]

Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles mathematics teacher whose story inspired the movie Stand and Deliver, died from bladder cancer at his son's home on March 30, 2010.[2]

Contents

Plot

In the predominately Chicano area of East Los Angeles, California, in 1982, in an environment that values a quick fix over education and learning, Jaime A. Escalante (Edward James Olmos) is a new teacher at Garfield High School in Los Angeles County, California determined to change the system and challenge the students to a higher level of achievement. Leaving a steady job for a position as a math teacher in a school where rebellion runs high and teachers are more focused on discipline than academics, Escalante is at first not well liked by students, receiving numerous taunts and threats. As the year progresses, he is able to win over the attention of the students by implementing innovative teaching techniques, using props and humor to illustrate abstract concepts of math and convey the necessity of math in everyday lives. He is able to transform even the most troublesome teens to dedicated students. While Escalante teaches math 1A, basic arithmetic, he realizes that his students have far more potential so he decides to teach them calculus. To do so, he holds a summer course of what is implied in the movie as pre-calculus material, such as advanced algebra, math analysis, and trigonometry. Calculus starts in the students' senior year.

Despite concerns and skepticism of other teachers, who feel that "you can't teach logarithms to illiterates", Escalante nonetheless develops a program in which his students can eventually take AP Calculus by their senior year, which will give them credit toward college. This intense math program requires that students take summer classes, including Saturdays from 7:00 AM to noon, taxing for even the most devoted among them. While other students spend their summers working or becoming teenage parents, Escalante's students learn complex theorems and formulas. The vast contrast between home life and school life, however, begins to show as these teens struggle to find the balance between what other adults and especially their parents expect of them and the goals and ambitions they hold for themselves. Several students must confront issues at home. In a memorable scene, Escalante follows a crying girl as she leaves the classroom and runs through the school. Reaching out to the girl, Escalante puts his arm around her shoulder, in a rare display of compassion. With Escalante to help them, they soon find the courage to separate from society's expectations for failure and rise to the standard to which Escalante had set for them.

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