The National School Boards Association is launching a campaign in support of public education — with some unexpected help.

Called “Stand Up4Public Schools,” the campaign’s goal is to persuade association members to be more forceful advocates for public schools and locally controlled school districts at a time when, in the name of reform, many school boards have lost their power to mayoral and even state takeovers and traditional public schools have come under attack. As an example, consider this: John Huppenthal, the reform-minded superintendent of public instruction in Arizona, is sending a message in robocalls promoting a voucher program that lets parents use public money to send their kids to private school, according to the Phoenix New Times.

The National School Boards Association, looking for some high-profile support, successfully wooed Sal Khan, founder of the famous online Khan Academy, who has been hailed as a visionary by many of the most powerful school reformers, including Bill Gates. The academy is a Web site that offers thousands of free video lessons in math, science and other subjects, such as art history, as well as interactive activities and assessments. While some reformers see the future of public education as moving online, Khan has said he sees his academy as an educational tool and expects his own children to attend brick-and-mortar schools for a full education.

Khan’s posters for the campaign include those that say: “Great Things Happen At Public Schools,” and “Who I am today began with public education.”

The association plans to highlight other well-known personalities to support public education as well. Here’s one of the posters starring Khan that will be distributed as part of the campaign:

(National School Board Association)
(National School Boards Association)