Stand and Deliver
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The protagonist of this awe-inspiring story (Jaime Escalante) is a wonderful example of what can happen when a person chooses to adapt to certain environments and NOT adapt to others. When he's given the task of educating a group of kids that includes some scary gang-member type looking kids, instead of acting like a teacher he acts tough right back (reminding them that they're in HIS domain). Yet, when he's brought into a room with the other teachers and school staff, he goes against the grain. When the school's head advisor tells the principle that everyone is doing their best, he immediately says that he's not. And when she tells the principle that Escalante is asking too much of his students, he boldly tells her that the students will rise to the expectations of their teacher.
This alone makes the movie interesting. But what adds even more drama to situation is the fact that each and every student in the class Escalante teaches has their own peer pressures to deal with. Some students have unsavory friends who would laugh at their taking a class seriously. Some of the students have boyfriends or girlfriends who don't understand their sudden interest in school.Read more ›
The film contrasts the results of an educational system where no one cares enough to do anything more than to emptily, heartlessly "go through the motions," with what can be achieved through the labors of a single teacher who cares enough to demand more. The film argues for this more caring kind of educator. Each contrast suggests the inherent superiority of educators putting more than just their time into teaching their students; they must put in their hearts and souls as well.
The story is told from a several perspectives. The primary perspective is that of Jaime Escalante, a man who leaves the private sector to teach public High School in Eastern Los Angeles. There are a couple of secondary perspectives told concurrently with that of Escalante.
One is that of Angel, a troubled youth who is Escalante's most challenging student. Another is the ongoing romance between two of Escalante's other students: Lupe and Pedro. These differing perspectives serve as a narrative device in the film. The shifting back and forth between these story lines helps to break up the film into comprehensible segments within the linear whole. These alternate perspectives help build the viewer's affection for and interest in the students portrayed; while at the same time building the dramatic tension of the plot.
All in all, Stand and Deliver is successful in its aims (namely advancing the argument that there are no "uneducatable" students) while remaining compellingly entertaining.Read more ›
There is a good backgroud article at:
that describes how the process took ten years, so that the original group of future-burger-flipping students were not the ones who passed the AP calculus exam. Jaime Escalante (played by Edward James Olmos of "Miami Vice" fame) actually built up the system of excellence one grade at a time, reaching back to the junior high school that fed Garfield High.
The way that the movie was done, however, allows the viewers to see some of the decision-making processes that the students went through in understanding that they could achieve and did have a chance in life to be more than others around them, especially their parents.
Remarkably, at one point there were as many as 400 students enrolled in math enrichment classes under Escalante's leadership. That's 400 fewer future employees for KFC and MacDonald's. (As Escalante said in one of his taunts to a reluctant student, "So tough guys don't do math - tough guys deep fry chicken for a living?")
Eventually, it appears that the Education Establishment won out, driving the brilliant teacher out, and sending the kids back to a guaranteed failed future.
The idea is great, that no student should be regarded as hopeless, and that all should be encouraged to try, but obviously there is a lot more work involved in that goal than this movie shows.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is an excellent teaching tool for modeling resilience, grit and persistence!!!Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have a group of boys who are having difficulty with math, but they felt motivated because they could relate to some of the characters.Published 9 days ago by Luz Lopez
This is a really inspirational movie that can be enjoyed over and over!Published 9 days ago by Jessica
Just a great feel good movie that reminds us all if we put in the effort we can get some results.Published 16 days ago by Susan