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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hollywood, Education Reform, and a State Election

In our textbook, we mention the political role of the entertainment media, the politics of education reform, and the significance of state elections.  This item, from The San Francisco Chronicle, touches on all three:
Hollywood isn’t shy about putting its star status and cash behind big-deal political candidates.
But candidates running for the wonky state superintendent of public instruction job doesn’t usually draw A-list interest.
Until now.
Marshall Tuck, who is running against incumbent Tom Torlakson, has released a video featuring Joel McHale (“Community”); Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”); Dax Shepard (“Parenthood”); and Kristen Bell (“House of Lies”
The ad features Tuck at a kitchen table with McHale, Shepard and Bell, who are grilling him about public education in California. They ultimately throw their support behind Tuck, with Scott joining them between bites of pizza.
John Hrabe writes at
Election Day is still a month away, but Marshall Tuck’s campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction has already delivered the best ad of the 2014 cycle.
With the perfect blend of facts and humor, “Tuck Gets New Consultants” explains why the education reformer and charter school executive is qualified to oversee California’s public school system. In the ad, actors Joel McHale, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Adam Scott grill Tuck about his background and California’s under-performing schools, which rank 45th in math and reading.

There’s so much to love about this ad: It’s funny. It uses celebrities in a constructive way. It educates the public about California’s failing education system. It informs voters about Tuck’s background. It corrects the misconception that he’s the private school candidate. And it includes a dig on the San Francisco Chronicle.
“You’ve been endorsed by The San Francisco Chronicle. Who gives a (BLEEP)?” Shepard says.