Character Analysis The characters in “Stand and Deliver” went through a great deal in this movie and all brought something else to the movie. The star of the movie is Jaime Escalante played by Edward James Olmos. Escalante is the teacher of the students that quits his job with a computer company to teach at Garfield High School. He comes to teach computer science, but the school did not get the computers and he has to teach math. He takes over the math class and expects a great deal of his students and challenges the faculty to allow him to teach Mr. Escalante encounters some opposition to teaching calculus from Mr. Molina, the principal and Raquel Ortega, a teacher. Mr. Molina is the principal of
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The political culture gave higher ranked officials in the school the power. When Jaime brought up the thought of teaching calculus, he was laughed at. When the idea was finally considered, the department chair was upset that her objections were not listened to, and she left. She had mentioned that the students could not handle being taught calculus, and she said that what little self confidence they had would be shattered. Jaime Escalante wanted to challenge the political culture of the school to change the way things had been handled historically. The authorities in the school’s political structure had been worried about their students’ low test scores, but Mr. Escalante was the one who took action towards that. The graffiti on the side of a building that said “we are not a minority” was a symbol of their struggle in life and how they are viewed as outsiders. The students in the movie were oppressed, and ended up being motivated to fight it. As Paulo Freire mentions in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “they [oppressed] will not gain this liberation by chance but through the praxis of their quest for it, through their recognition of the necessity to fight for it” (45). They wanted to show that they were just as capable of achieving goals as people of other ethnicities. Through taking the AP calculus test, they were able to do just that.