Why the Book was Written
Henry Gradillas, Jamie Escalante's principal at Garfield Hight School during the period depicted in the film "Stand and Deliver", has written a book ( with co-author Jerry Jesness) that will challenge many common assumptions about public education. In this book, Dr. gradillas shares both his upbeat philosophy of education and the practical school management techniques that helped translate that philosophy into success for thousands of students over three decades. The book focuses on three areas that are key to the operation for an effective school: School Climate, instructions, and curriculum. It includes many references to the Garfield High School experience, as well as to other schools where Dr. Gradillas was at the helm.
' Academic achievement is one of the most important responsibilities that educators have towards the nation’s student population. The mastering of important concepts in the various subject fields is of the utmost importance if young people are to be trained well enough to enter the field of work, at pay many times higher than minimum wage, or enter the arena of post secondary education. Preparation for the future is of the greatest importance and every student, no matter what his ethnic affiliation, socioeconomic standing, gender, race or religions must be given the tools and the knowledge to use those tools to survive in this most competitive economy. Equity objectives, that will insure their success after graduation, must be a mandate from all school administrators.
Many students are not being challenged by their school work and academic rigor is not present to the degree that mastery of critical subject matter content is achieved. Students are not challenged to their highest level and educators are therefore forced to accept sub-standard work and award it with high grades afraid to put in tough rules that would curb the class cutting, excessive absence, homework problems, and an “I could care” attitude. Many educators do not have high student expectations and settle for mediocre performances. The book will address the tactics used to obtain maximum student performance at the secondary level." Quote from Dr. Henry Gradillas
Copies of "Standing and Delivering - What the Movie Didn't Tell" can be ordered at any bookstore or from the publisher Romand & Littlefield.
Here are some reviews by Jay Mathews writer for the Washington Post