"Rising to Meet High Expectations"
What You Need To Know:
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution because of some bad language, but commends the filmmakers for a story filled with self-sacrifice, dedication and perseverance.
(BBB, LL, V, D, A, MMM) ; Very strong biblical worldview featuring self-sacrifice, compassion, and perseverance; 11 obscenities and one profanity; student very gently slaps a teacher as a message of disrespect; students get in a fight; no sex or nudity; some alcohol consumed at a meal; teenagers smoke; very strong ethnic prejudice (exposed as evil).
STAND AND DELIVER is the story of a teacher in Los Angeles helping raise expectations until 18 of his students from a very poor school excel in a national calculus test. While some caution is advised for bad language, the story itself, based on an actual teacher and class, shows that high expectations can lead to high achievement.
The movie opens with Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) giving up a good job and accepting lower pay because he wants to teach. The school in South Los Angeles is so bad it’s on the verge of losing accreditation. It’s surrounded by high chain-link fences. The teachers expect poor achievement, and get it. The students are disrespectful. On his first day teaching the radio is stolen out of his car.
Starting slowly, Mr. Escalante shows his students that he expects more from them than the average teacher. Gradually, progress is made. On a field trip to a corporate office filled with computers, Mr. Escalante is inspired to push his students to learn calculus and qualify for vastly higher paying jobs than they’ve ever dreamed of. Mr. Escalante is ridiculed by his school’s authorities for even wanting to offer a calculus class at their school.
Not only does he do so, but he inspires his students to come for Summer School and weekend classes to prepare for a national exam. When the students from this notoriously bad school do well on the exam, they’re accused of cheating.
Mr. Escalante must battle prejudice, health issues and discouragement to defend his students.
While STAND AND DELIVER deals largely with high expectations for academic achievement, the message is just as true for moral conduct. When expectations are low, behavior can follow suit. When expectations are high, children are more likely to rise to those expectations.
MOVIEGUIDE® recommends caution because of some bad language, but commends the filmmakers for a story filled with self-sacrifice, dedication and perseverance.