Kanye West To Urge Presidential Candidates To Focus On Education In New PSAs

Superstar rapper Kanye West and his Kanye West Foundation has partnered with Strong America Schools and will be featured in a series of public service announcements (PSAs) urging the presidential candidates to address issues within America's educational system.

West is the spokesman for the Ed in '08 campaign, a $60 million dollar nonpartisan initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and ironically, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

The PSAs will feature West calling on each candidate to focus on improving America's schools as an important part of their presidential campaigns.

In addition to the PSAs, West and his mother Dr. Donda West will make a live appearance during an ED in '08 event.

"For many youth in the U.S., there is a sense of hopelessness owed largely to cutbacks in federal and state funding for educational programming," Dr. Donda West said. "Our foundation focuses on providing qualitative programs in partnership with schools and communities. Engaging with the ED in '08 campaign is yet another way that working together can make a significant difference."

Almost 1 million children drop out of school each year.

According to recent studies, most states are failing to meet state-set goals for graduation rates under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind law.

Almost 1 in 4 students who start ninth grade will not earn their diploma.

"We look forward to working with the Kanye West Foundation to raise awareness about America's education crisis and urge the presidential candidates to put forward a plan to improve America's schools because in every community in America, too many children are leaving school without the skills to be ready to succeed in college, career and life," said Marc Lampkin, executive director of ED in '08.

West is currently preparing his new album Graduation, which hits stores on Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam on September 11.