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.