LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock & roll legend Carlos Santana and the National Education Association (NEA) have announced they will join forces in an effort to help attract Hispanics, African-Americans and other talented minorities to the teaching profession. TV viewers will soon be seeing an eye- and ear-catching public service announcement featuring the Mexican-born Santana, whose thirty year career is at an all-time high with platinum sales surpassing 10 million units worldwide and 11 Grammy nominations in 10 different categories for his latest Arista CD "SUPERNATURAL." (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000220/LASU004 ) Santana was chosen as a widely known and respected artist whose appeal bridges all age groups and cultural heritages. The multi-honored singer/songwriter/guitarist will be explaining our educational system's important need for more teachers of color, and issuing a challenge designed to create excitement among Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders about becoming educators. According to the US Department of Education, 90 percent of America's public school teachers are white, while about 8 percent are African-American and 3 percent are Hispanic, with other groups accounting for the remaining 2 percent. Yet, the overall student population reflects a vastly different ethnic mix: roughly 70 percent white and 30 percent minority. In praising Santana for lending his voice to the issue, NEA president Bob Chase pointed out that America's student population is increasingly minority, while most teachers are white -- and female. "Classrooms everywhere are starved for good teachers of color, particularly black and Hispanic men," Chase said. He noted that over the next 10 years, growing student populations and teacher retirements will create the need to add more than 2 million teachers to America's workforce. "Becoming a teacher sends a strong message into one's home community about the value of public education, and can inspire children to stay in school and perhaps go to college when they graduate. Our hope is that this public service announcement will help kindle the excitement of potential teachers and turn them on to teaching." The NEA is a non-profit organization representing 2.5 million men and women working in schools and colleges across the United States to help all students achieve. For additional information please contact www.nea.org. The public service announcement was created and produced by Woodenship Productions in Monterey, California.
SOURCE Carlos Santana