Asher Roth, DMC In High Profile PSA As Education Debate Rolls On
Rapper Asher Roth and Hip-Hop pioneer Darryl "DMC" McDaniels are part of Get Schooled, a new five-year educational public service announcement (PSA) campaign focusing on education.
The campaign kicks off tomorrow night (September 8) with a :30 minute documentary titled Get Schooled: You Have the Right.
Get Schooled features President Barak Obama, LeBron James and Kelly Clarkson that will air across all Viacom platforms, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. The documentary will include profiles on White House speech writer Sarah Hurwitz, Kelly Clarkson's music director Jason Halbert and Latesha Williams, who serves as LeBron James' marketing executive.
The goal of the Get Schooled campaign is to increase interest in education amongst youth, by providing information on scholarships, careers and other helpful opportunities to pursue higher learning.
The campaign is under written by Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said he was "shocked" when he viewed statistical data about educational trends in the United States.
"I don't think people are aware of the low rates of graduation and the lack of preparedness of people who graduate from high school. We are going to get people to understand that and get outraged," said Dauman, who revealed he was encouraging Viacom creative executives to incorporate educational story lines into the network's programming.
Tomorrow (September 8), U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller will be featured on a panel in Los Angeles featuring Dauman, Bill Gates, Davis Guggenheim, Arianna Huffington and Stephen Colbert, who will host.
The launch of the PSA comes as President Obama prepares to deliver a controversial back-to-school speech tomorrow (September 8), to United States students.
The speech will call for "shared responsibility" and commitment from students to educational excellence, in order to compete with the global economy.
Conservatives have blasted the speech as an attempt at "socialist indoctrination."
Educators in a number of states, including Minnesota, Colorado, Texas and Missouri have left the decision to air the speech up to individual schools.
At a minimum [the speech is] disruptive, number two, its uninvited and number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it," said Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty last week.
The White House issued a statement addressing the opposition to the President's speech, calling the scuttlebutt "just plain silly."
I think weve reached a little bit of the silly season when the President of the United States cant tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said during a press conference. I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success.
Get Schooled: You Have the Right airs tomorrow evening (September 8) on all Viacom properties.