‘Stand and Deliver’ Teacher Jaime Escalante Dead at 79

The former East Los Angeles high school math teacher Jaime Escalante who inspired the 1988 film ‘Stand and Deliver,’ died this afternoon after a battle with bladder cancer. Escalante was portrayed in the film by Edward James Olmos. From the Los Angeles Times:

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 passed away at his son’s home in Roseville, California.

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