Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Stand and Deliver" Teacher Dies

Famous math teacher, Jaime Escalante died today at age 79 after battling cancer for several years. Escalante's teachings inspired the movie Stand and Deliver, which was about a high school teacher who motivates his struggling inner-city students to excel in advanced math.

Famed Mexican-American actor Edward James Olmos played Escalante in the 1988 film and has said ""Jaime exposed one of the most dangerous myths of our time --that inner city students can't be expected to perform at the highest levels," Olmos said. "Because of him, that destructive idea has been shattered forever."

Escalante's story is an American Dream. As a immigrant from Bolivia, he overhauled East L.A.'s Garfield High School's math curriculum and pushed his students to do their best until the school had more advanced placement calculus students than all but four other public high schools in the country. He had to learn English to get his California teaching credential and the rest is history

 Escalante left Garfield in 1991, taught at schools in Sacramento and retired to Bolivia in 2001.

The cast of "Stand and Deliver" recently appealed for donations to help Escalante pay for his alternative cancer treatments.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, and six grandchild.

Escalante's story is truly heart-warming. I've seen this movie a dozen times in school because it leaves you with such a powerful message.....that you can do anything once you put your mind to it and you work hard!

There's so substitute for hard work!

R.I.P. Mr.'re true angel!

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