Make us your home page

Teacher who inspired 'Stand and Deliver' dies



Stand and deliver Jaime Escalante, who transformed a tough East L.A. high school by motivating inner-city students to master advanced math and inspired the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, died Tuesday at age 79 of cancer, the AP reports.

Edward James Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for playing Escalante in the film based on his story. Lou Diamond Phillips was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor. (Alas, that was the year Rain Man cleaned up at award ceremonies.)

"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 told the AP. "Because of him, that destructive idea has been shattered forever."

Beginning in the early '80s, Escalante overhauled Garfield High School's math curriculum and pushed his classes until the school had more advanced placement calculus students than all but four other public high schools in the country. According to the AP, Escalante retired to Bolivia in 2001, where he was receiving alternative cancer treatments.


5. "If I teach you sex, I have to give you sex for homework."

4. "Tough guys don't do math. Tough guys fry chicken for a living."

3. "Wouldn't want anyone thinking you're intelligent, would you?"

2. "It's not that they're stupid, it's just they don't know anything."

1. "You only see the turn, you don't see the road ahead."

[AP photo]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:57pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours