Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Lessons for a lifetime

Jay Mathews with a wonderful story about Jaime Escalante's best-known student:


Anyone who has seen the film "Stand and Deliver," the story of East Los Angeles math teacher Jaime Escalante -- who died Tuesday of cancer at age 79 -- will remember the character Ana Delgado. She was the Escalante student whose father made her work at his restaurant. In the movie, the teacher goes there one night and persuades the father to put a desk in the back so she can do her homework.

The film started a movement to open Advanced Placement courses to all students and sparked national discussions, still going on, about what makes a good teacher.


Lessons for a lifetime

Leticia Rodriguez's experiences show just how successful Jaime Escalante and his colleagues were.

April 4, 2010,0,902758.story

Essential to that debate is the rest of the Ana Delgado story. She was the only teenage character in the film based on a real person, a thin, quiet, quick-tempered girl named Leticia Rodriguez. Rodriguez's experiences at Garfield High School, and the remarkable changes she underwent as an adult, shed new light on just how successful Escalante and his colleagues really were.

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