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"Stand and Deliver" is a Rare Film about Education.

Updated on October 29, 2014

Few films and Books are Serious about Education

A Serious Film about Education
A Serious Film about Education | Source
An old school room.
An old school room. | Source

Stand and Deliver

Not that many serious movies or novels tackle education in a serious manner. Most are

Teen flicks about the cheerleaders and the jocks. Sometimes the story takes place in a school setting; however it is seldom about the educational process. The British seem to address the issue more often than others in Goodbye Mr. Chips, Up the Down Staircase and To Sir, with Love.

The 1988, film Stand and Deliver stands out as one of few films that deals directly with the educational process and is based upon the life of Jaime Escalante. Jay Mathews had written a book, The Best Teacher in America about Escalante’s brilliant success teaching math at Garfield High in East Los Angeles. Escalante left a good job in order to become a teacher. This was a school where rebellion ran high and teachers were more focused upon discipline than academics.

When his students did well passing a difficult Advanced Placement Calculus exam, everything was scrutinized and many felt he somehow had his students cheating on the exam. Everyone insisted that the students retake the exam and twelve of the fourteen who took it, passed it the second time.

A Similar Story by the Author:

Lean against the Wind, a story by Reynold Jay, that involved Special Needs children, is fiction by all accounts; however the problems of a superior teacher are similar to Stand and Deliver.

In that Lean against the Wind is based upon three decades of Special Needs teaching, the problems described, many would say, are very real today in the educational system. When the students do well, others doubt how it could have come about and stand in the way. Raymond Lancaster plays the lead in the novel as a businessman who is called to take a leave of absence for a year and become a teacher in a dilapidated rundown school. He does well under the guidance of Mr. Harrelson, the principal and his associates. However after the first year, he feels that his work is not finished and decides to continue for another year under a new administration in a multi-million dollar school. Mr. Harrelson is ejected from the school system and a new breed of administrators take over. Lancaster realizes that the old system had its merits and was much like Camelot, a perfect setting that has disappeared with the wind. The novel describes the battles of Lancaster and his dedicated associates as they take on the new administration while trying to do everything they can for the students.

Unlike Stand and Deliver where the students are apathetic in the first half of the film, the students and the parents in RJ’s novel accept their teachers as being godlike from the opening bell. Lancaster, the parents, and the dedicated staff join hands in order to bring about the education they want for the children.

The students steal the show while all this is going on. Readers will meet Big Jim, who always carries a badge, and Tiny Tim, who is bullied at his residence home and wishes he could own a television. You’ll meet Jon Causey who loved to sing and his dedicated mother who battled for a decade to get an education for her son. When all is over, you will wish it could go on. You will fall in love with the students and staff and more than likely say, “Good riddance and don’t come back!” to the bad guys as you turn the last page.


Lean against the Wind is available at

Lean against the Wind Signed copies are available directly from the author.

"To Sir, with Love" and "Lean against the Wind"

Read a short story about RJ when he was a DJ. A touching story "A Hundred Bucks." LIfe is not all about money.

Lean against the Wind: Teaching story


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    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I Just checked out your web site. Very nice! Thanks for stopping by. If you are around tonite stop by for Razzle Dazzle story that will be posted...You might enjoy it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi RJ, thanks for finding my hubs which has led me to find your great creative writing, well done

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Bless you Sue for these great comments. I knew that you would love this as it takes special readers to appreciate what is in that novel. I'll write you an email shortly and the good news is that I have a goody for you that I wrote over the weekend. Lancaster goes to the Special Olympics and will be posted tomorrow night in a HUB. It's called Razzle Dazzle and you are one of few in the entire world who will completely understand it!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi RJ

      I just finished reading Lean Against the Wind.

      I have never been so moved by a story.

      Heart pounding, heartbreaking, heartfelt and most of all heartwarming are the emotions I experienced while reading it.

      Raymond Lancaster is a hero because he saw the potential in his special need students. Instead of focusing on their disabilites, he focused on their abilities.

      Society is so quick to cast aside those who don't fit the so-called norm.

      “Everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their lives. Sometimes the simplest bit of caring can make all the difference.”

      God not only chose the Lancasters to be the seeds for his godly mission but he also chose you.

    • Daisy16 profile image


      9 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Phil--Thanks for the edit. I like to get it right! Credence--I enjoyed it too.

    • Credence2 profile image


      9 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Ditto rJ, good luck on your work of fiction. I saw Stand and Deliver" a great flick

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      9 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I'll add 'Stand and Deliver' to my Zip list, thanks for the review. You may want to check out the difference between depilate and dilapidate.

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Raymond Lancaster, of course is, Ci's Dad. An entire novel on Dad, another on Ci and her boyfriend?... Could it be that all this is leading somewhere? As Sarah Palin would say, "You Betcha!"

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You're right, I would love You said that after reading the hub I wrote about my fave male celebrities and how I loved them all because they were like my husband. You're still pushing me toward a Kindle, darn But, I'm currently reading another Jay novel titled The Gold of Mansa Musa...can only handle one at a time. :-) Mr. Jay, you're amazing. So grateful to know you!

    • mslizzee profile image


      9 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      This sounds interesting. Good luck with your novel.

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Carsisa, Please write me after you read it. I love corresponding with my readers. If you have any problem at all making a purchase, write me. RJ

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      9 years ago from Jamaica

      I must get a copy of this RJ. Thanks for the comparison and the summary of the story.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      9 years ago from United States

      Absolutely. It would be my pleasure to do a hub on your book! Thanks for everything!

    • Reynold Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      Reynold Jay 

      9 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Dexter! Wow-We are fans of each other. Your photos of the old schoolhouse are a perfect fit for Lean against the Wind. If we ever offer a printed edition, I'll see that we get some of your photos in there. So far I have 3 links from 3 articles using your fab photos. Artists must stick together. I now paint with words. Buddies forever! Please plan to do a HUB on Lean against the Wind when you finish reading. We gotta get the word out on this. A BIG thank you. RJ

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      9 years ago from United States

      Mr. Reynold Jay, I am officially a member of your fan club. Not only is this a great hub (not because a photo of mine is present) but I am getting the kindle version of Lean Against the Wind to share with my family.

      I also saw the Linda Kolhagen review. Outstanding!

      Thank you, Thank you!


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