It's said that Jaime Escalante's biggest problem with the 1988 movie about his successes with East L.A. Latino students at Garfield High School was that Stand and Deliver made it seem like they achieved academic excellence overnight. He said the process of getting his kids to understand the likes of calculus was a long, tough road.

As NPR reports today, ” … fact is, Escalantes' kids ate, slept and lived mathematics. They arrived an hour before school and stayed two, three hours after school. Escalante drilled them on Saturdays and made summer school mandatory. Some parents hated it, and they let Escalante know it.”

But the results for the famed teacher, who died in Reno, Nevada Tuesday at the age of 79 after battling cancer, were the stuff of legend. NPR:

“Escalantes' remarkable success at Garfield High got lots of attention, not all of it good. In 1982, all 18 of his advanced math students passed the calculus AP (advanced placement) test, a college-level exam. The test maker accused the students of cheating, though, and Escalante accused the test maker of racism. The students retook the test and passed again with pretty high scores … By 1991, 600 Garfield students were taking advanced placement exams, not just in math, but in other subjects, which was unheard of at the time.”

LA Weekly