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Star attraction

Fresh from his eight-award sweep of the Grammy Awards last month, rock-music legend Carlos Santana can now be seen in a new venue: promoting teaching careers to California minority students.

The Mexican-born musician is currently appearing in a public-service TV spot that the California Teachers Association is co-sponsoring with California Business for Educational Excellence as a part of a CTA campaign to recruit minority students into the profession.

"Do you love music?" Mr. Santana asks viewers in the 30-second spot. "Do you love art, books, science? We all love something. Whatever you love, think about teaching. As a public school teacher, you can have a position of respect in your community. Teachers help change the world."

Even though members of minority groups make up 61 percent of the overall population in California, they constitute only an estimated 22 percent of the state’s teaching force.

Increasing that number could help persuade more minority students to stay in school, said Wayne Johnson, the president of the CTA. He added that the union, an affiliate of the National Education Association, was "thrilled" to have Mr. Santana’s help.

"His commitment is a tremendous boost to our efforts to inspire more people of color to enter the teaching profession," he said.

The union is also working to establish an after-school program in high schools in 15 California cities called "Club Ed: Teachers for Tomorrow." The program would be targeted to students from racial and ethnic minorities, but would be open to all students interested in teaching.

—Jessica L. Sandham

Vol. 19, Issue 26, Page 24

Published in Print: March 8, 2000, as State Journal
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