The Postal Service will issue a stamp July 13 to honor Jaime Escalante, the Los Angeles teacher known for using unconventional methods to inspire inner-city high school students.
Escalante came to fame unexpectedly.
In 1982, 18 of his students took the Advanced Placement calculus exam. Controversy followed when the testing service accused 14 of the students of cheating — an accusation Escalante believed was due to the students’ Mexican-American heritage.
The testing service denied the allegation and proposed a solution: the 14 students could retake the test.
All of the students passed the second exam, and when the news media began reporting on their success, Escalante and the students became famous.
Six years later, Hollywood released “Stand and Deliver,” a film starring Edward James Olmos as Escalante. The movie earned Olmos an Oscar nomination and helped make Escalante one of the nation’s most beloved teachers.
Escalante was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1999. He died in 2010.
The Jaime Escalante stamp will be dedicated at a League of United Latin American Citizens convention in Washington, DC.