One of the most dramatic passages in the movie tells the following story. Through long hours of early morning and after-school work, all of Escalante's students in 1982 passed the college-level advanced placement test in calculus. The organization administering the test believed that the students had cheated: how else could these kids from the barrio do so well on the test? Escalante was outraged at the accusation of cheating. When the students took the test a second time, they all passed again.
National Public Radio offers this appreciation of Escalante's life and work.
To read a first-hand account of how Escalante created his unprecedented teaching regime, use our library's JSTOR database, which contains the 1990 article "The Jaime Escalante Math Program," by Escalante and Jack Dirmann. In the article, Escalante wrote, "I exhibit deep love and caring for my students. I have no exclusive claim to these attributes; they are as natural as breathing is to most parents and teachers. The power of love and concern in changing young lives should not be overlooked."
Escalante, who was born in Bolivia, died on March 30. He was 79 years old.
Photo of Jaime Escalante from National Public Radio: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125398451