Jaime Escalante, 'Stand and Deliver' math teacher dies, aged 79
Added under Obituary
Friends, family and former students were yesterday mourning the death of Jaime Escalante, an eccentric maths teacher from East Los Angeles who transformed a troubled inner-city school
by teaching advanced algebra to disadvantaged teenagers and inspired the hit film Stand and Deliver.
Escalante died at his son's home near Sacramento, California, after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 79. He was thrust into the public eye in 1982, when 14 of his students from Garfield High, one of the toughest schools in one of Los Angeles' toughest neighborhoods, passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam, the US equivalent of an advanced maths A-level, with flying colors.
Officials suspected that they had been cheating and, amid howls of institutionalized racism, forced them to resit the exam, under controlled conditions. Twelve of the 14 agreed; all of them sailed through.
Public fascination with Escalante, a balding, middle-aged Bolivian immigrant, swiftly turned him into one of the most famous teachers in America. Educators would travel from around the world to learn about the Garfield program, which became one of the biggest and most successful in the US.
Sources: Independent (UK)
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