Call Davis Guggenheim! Time for a new movie about a remarkable public school in Los Angeles!
Cedrick Argueta, the son of immigrant parents, received a perfect score on the AP Calculus exam, one of only 12 students in the world to do so. Some 302,000 students took the exam.
Cedrick is a student at Lincoln High School, which has 1200 students. His teacher is Anthony Yom. Lincoln is a regular neighborhood public school, not a magnet or a charter.
“As far as math whizzes go, Cedrick is unassuming. He likes to play basketball with his buddies, and his favorite reading of late was the Harry Potter series. Knowing he was going to do television interviews this week, he donned a blue LHS hoodie and sneakers.
“Math has always just made sense to him, he said. He appreciates the creativity of it, the different methods you can take to solve a problem.
“There’s also some beauty in it being absolute,” Cedrick said. “There’s always a right answer.”
“When asked about his perfect exam score, Cedrick just thanked everybody else in his life.
“It just sort of blew up,” he said. “It feels kind of good to be in the spotlight for a little bit, but I want to give credit to everybody else that helped me along the way.”
“Cedrick is the son of Lilian and Marcos Argueta, both of whom came to the United States as young adults – she from the Philippines, he from El Salvador. Lilian, a licensed vocational nurse, works two jobs at nursing homes. Marcos is a maintenance worker at one of those nursing homes. He never went to high school.
“Lilian Argueta, pausing during one of her shifts this week, said her son’s accomplishment is still sinking in. He texted her when he found out, and she told him it was great but, she said, she didn’t understand the magnitude until reporters started calling.
“Argueta said that she always told Cedrick and his younger sister to finish their homework and to “read, read, read,” but that they knew she’d be proud of them whether or not they got straight A’s.
Cedrick’s teacher was very proud too, although he is accustomed to good results.
“All 21 of Yom’s AP Calculus students who took the exam last year passed; 17 got the highest score of 5. It was the third year in a row that all of Yom’s kids passed the test.
“Yom, 35, said he treats his students like a sports team. They’d stay after school, practicing problem solving for three or four extra hours, and they’d come on weekends. On test day, they wore matching blue T-shirts sporting their names, “like they’re wearing jerseys to the game,” Yom said.”