Escalante had solidified his reputation as a fine teacher despite accusations that his students had cheated on an AP test in 1982 — the subject of the movie.
But the results of the 1987 tests, which had no irregularities, were astounding.
The reality is that many elite college educators have little contact with the public high schools where AP is booming.
They don’t appear to know much about the students from low-income families pouring into AP classes. acker’s official title is College Board senior vice president for Advanced Placement and instruction. He once taught freshman college English but never a high school class.
They lived in a one-story house in Provo with a master bedroom and two other bedrooms stuffed with bunk beds. The nine siblings in birth order were Trevor, Cam, Chip, Spencer, Matt, Tiffany, TJ, Shalayne and Ce Lisa.
The family qualified for the federal free school lunch program, but after trying it for a few weeks, Packer’s parents decided that they didn’t want to take government handouts. Packer remembers how he and his rough-and-tumble brothers cried their eyes out during the final chapters of Wilson Rawls’s “Where the Red Fern Grows” while sitting on the floor between their bunk beds.The movement to unleash the potential of impoverished American teenagers through AP began with Escalante’s 1987 miracle.That year, his big barrio school, Garfield High in East Los Angeles, produced 27 percent of all the Mexican American students in the United States who passed an AP calculus exam.A dynamo in pursuing his objectives, Packer has built an army of inspired teachers that has grown from about 87,000 when he took over 15 years ago to 165,000 today. That is the stuff that makes me happiest.” In 2003, 95,065 students from low-income families took an AP exam.But his main focus has been opening AP to participation by students from disadvantaged families. By this year, that number had jumped to 608,707, a 540 percent increase.This is the first published article about him and his life. Tens of thousands of teenagers follow him on Twitter. About 16,000 public and private schools offer AP courses.The public schools with AP educate 89 percent of all public high-schoolers.Packer was reading before he was 5 and always had a book with him.“When he was born, I filled his crib with every kind and shape of ball from the world of sports, but to no avail,” Rand told me.If could spare her son some of that, it was worth it.She wrote the check, and after a panicked evening of cramming for the unexpected challenge, Packer took the test.