Get Up Stand Up and Deliver by Salvador Rojas

Jaime Escalente teaching at Garfield High School

Jaime Escalante: [to his students] ... There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. *MATH* is the great equalizer... When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You're going to work harder here than you've ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is *GANAS.* *DESIRE.*

Get Up Stand Up and Deliver by Salvador Rojas

Jaime Escalante passed away last year on March 30, 2010. He is best known as the teacher from the hit movie �Stand and Deliver�. The movie was based on his teaching AP Calculus courses to East Los Angeles students at Garfield High School. �Stand and Deliver� made him the most famous teacher in the nation; Escalante�s success made him many enemies who were jealous of his achievements.

Jaime Escalante was born on December 31, 1930 in La Paz, Bolivia and was raised by his mother. After he graduated high school he served in the army during a short lived Bolivian rebellion. He then enrolled at Normal Superior, a Bolivian teachers college. That�s where he met Fabiola Tapia, a fellow student and his future wife.

With three thousand dollars in his pocket, Escalante flew to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve 1963. He couldn�t speak any English and his first job in the States was mopping floors in a coffee shop across the street from Pasadena City College where he enrolled to learn English. He moved up to cook and began working on his associate degrees in mathematics and physics at night. This led to him being hired as a technician for the UNISYS Corporation. He earned a scholarship and continued his education at Cal State University of Los Angeles, and received his teaching credentials.

In 1974 he left his high paying job to teach at Garfield High School with a starting salary of $13,000.

In the sixties Garfield was one of the East Los Angeles-based high schools along with Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt where Chicano/as held the �Brown Outs�. The �Brown Outs� were in response to the inferior education they felt they were receiving compared to affluent high schools.

Not much had changed at Garfield when Escalante arrived in 1974. He was assigned to teach the lowest level of math. He was dissatisfied with the watered-down math text books and the hard to teach students. He wished for his old job back.

Escalante didn�t give up! Instead he started his reputation for motivating some of the toughest students. By 1978, he had 14 students in AP Calculus with two students passing the AP exam. In 1980, seven of nine students passed the AP exam; 1981, 14 of 15 passed. In 1982, he had 18 students in his AP Calculus class. �Stand and Deliver� is based on Escalante�s 1982 class.

Actor: Edward James Olmos and Teacher: Jaime Escalente Mural (Location: Downtown Los Angeles | Photo: Salvador Rojas)

The movie was released in March 1988 and the role of Jaime Escalante was played by Edward James Olmos. Olmos became the first American-born Latino to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante.

In Loving Memory of Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutierrez (December 31, 1930 � March 30, 2010)

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