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Jaime Escalante, the high school math teacher in Los Angeles who inspired the movie “Stand and Deliver,” died last week after battling cancer for several years. He was 79.
Mr. Escalante gained national attention for his efforts to improve a tough East Los Angeles high school by motivating inner-city students to master advanced math. Those efforts led to the 1988 film based on his story.
An immigrant from Bolivia, Mr. Escalante helped overhaul Garfield High School’s math curriculum and pushed his students to do their best until the school had more Advanced Placement calculus students than all but four other public high schools in the country.
“To this day, I still think of the example he set—the study skills, how not to give up,” said Elsa Bolando, 45, a former pupil.
Mr. Escalante left Garfield in 1991 to teach in Sacramento and retired to Bolivia in 2001.
A version of this article appeared in the April 07, 2010 edition of Education Week as Teacher Who Inspired ‘Stand and Deliver’ Dies