*Tonight “Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important to Fail” will air at 8 pm (7 pm Central) on PBS. Author, activist and journalist Tavis Smiley issues yet anothor of his primetime specials.  This one in particular takes on the gripping reality that many of our schools are failing boys; who are systemically performing at lower academic levels and are more likely to become high school drop outs.  Smiley has become renown for asking the hard questions and taking on issues of advocacy, diversity and accountability.  Tonight’s special will approach the significant crisis in our educational system as it relates to African American young men.

Tavis Smiley’s attention to this subject extends beyond the airing of the PBS special, it is just one peg in a  year long educational initiative that will also include: parent summits, a reading mobile truck tour, an on line public forum and a companion e-book of the same title ” Too Important to Fail: Saving America’s Boys,”  available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com  The book lists 130 organizations committed to solving this monumental challenge.

TeachersCount selected Smiley for their “Behind Every Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher” campaign, which sends over 100,000 posters to schools across the U.S.   “Too Important to Fail” is part of American Graduate, a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis.

TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS:“Too Important to Fail” airs Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 8pm/7c on PBS (check local listings).


Story by Larita Shelby