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Jaime Escalante is a new teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. It is a poor school in danger of losing its accreditation. Escalante was hired to teach computer classes, but is assigned, on his first day, to remedial math. He believes his students should take higher level classes, and sets out to prove it. Battling his students’ boredom, hopelessness, gang culture, and poverty—as well as his own health problems— Escalante leads his students through algebra, geometry, and calculus. After obtaining a commitment to attend extra classes, Escalante prepares his students for the AP calculus exam. All eighteen of his students pass, many with the highest score possible. This feat leads the Educational Testing Service to suspect cheating among his students. After battling the ETS, Escalante arranges to have his students retake the test—with only a day’s notice. His students retake the test and, again, every student passes, some with perfect scores. The students’ success initiates a trend in achievement that brings lasting success to Garfield High. It is the story line of the ‘Stand and Deliver’. Directed by Ramon Menendez. Menendez also had co-written the story of this 1988 film with Tom Musca. Jaime Escalante was a character who represented himself as an epitome of brave personality who was skilled and persistent with a readiness to sacrifice himself for a cause. Edward James Olmos has played the role of Jaime Escalante. Mr. Olmos has transformed himself so completely. His hair has been thinned and pasted unflatteringly across his pate; he looks heavier, wears glasses and has none of the complexion-improving makeup used for his television role. Mr. Olmos has turned himself into the complete embodiment of a hard-working, knowledge-loving public school math teacher whose greatest ambition is to see his students get ahead, and he has done this to inspiringly great
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effect. If ever a film made its audience want to study calculus, this is the one (Janet Maslin 1988).
Because of Escalante, many of these students went on to attend prestigious colleges with full scholarships (Perfect Learning Corporation 2002). Considered one of our nation’s top educators, Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia, in 1930. He had a degree in mathematics, but was forced to take a number of menial jobs to earn a living when he arrived here. After earning a math degree at an American university, he took his first teaching job at the impoverished Garfield High. There, he inspired his students to achieve the nation’s highest levels in math and calculus. As part of the struggle to achieve this fiat Escalante had to go through a number of conflicts. Conflicts between Escalante and the administration, between Escalante and his students, and between the class and the Educational Testing Service. Each conflict follows in miniature the arc of the play. That is, action progresses and the conflict builds. There is a climax, and the action is altered by the resolution of the conflict. Through the conflicts, he draws the opposing parties closer together. He explains to students that opposing forces have interests or needs in common.
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Jaime Escalante has a teaching credo which tells the students encouragingly that you are the true dreamers and dreams accomplish wonderful things (Henry A. Giroux 2002). His exhortation here is logical and powerful, though it seems to be duplicated copy of what we have been heard for long. As long as we work hard our dreams will come true because we live in the land of freedom and democracy. He displays his bravery in to bring together collective efforts by the youth, knowing the fact that, in actuality, the American dream has only been experienced by very few
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privileged ones. He encourages the youngsters to climb the socioeconomic ladder successfully in support of each other united with the children of poor working class families.
Once again in his struggle to address a larger social issue, the energetic teacher encourages the students to retake the AP calculus exam. He brings forth a complete victory. The hero of the movie faces with a moral crisis when he evinced by the larger educational community. In fact, both in the film and in reality the children of the working class families have limited access to the resources and a little financial support from their low income families. Escalante reveals to the people that conformity is seen as virtue, and as a result of this virtue, he earns vindication for his individual endeavors and heroic deeds, at the same time, the children earn back their probity by retaking their exam.
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Stand and Deliver is an entertaining and inspiring movie, but it is also complex. The movie’s conflicts and achievements are difficult to convey in a simple, compelling way. Jaime Escalante was a person who showed remarkable skills in bravely bringing a new achieving bunch of people.