The film "Stand and Deliver" showed a classic example of student's needs not being met. Jaime Escalante recognizes this and devotes his career to correcting this. The students were not being taught material that was appropriate for their developmental level, thus they were unmotivated and didn"t care. Although the developmental issue wasn"t the only reason for their previous poor performance, it certainly played a role. When he took over as their teacher, he recognized right away that these students were not being taught college prep.classes. He made it his mission to prepare them so that they could attend college. This seemed ludicrous to many administrators as they felt these students had performed so poorly in the past, how could they succeed in college? He felt it was necessary to bring these students to a new level to better prepare them for their future.
We also saw in this film the role that culture plays in education. Most students were minority and from poor neighborhoods. Many of the student's families didn"t see education and college as a priority because they needed their children to work and provide income to the home as soon as possible. Therefore, the families didn"t initially support their children in Mr. Escalante's class. Additionally, we see that there was institutional racism that was occurring in this high school. The administrators assumed these kids would fail these math classes and had no faith in them. They hired teachers who admitted to the students that they weren"t qualified to teach them. I don"t think they would do this in schools with a population of high SES students. In addition, when the students did succeed, it was assumed that they had cheated because of their ethnicity.
Jaime Escalante was able to relate to his students on many levels. First, he was of the same ethnicity as most of his students and he lived in the same neighborhood as them.