The entertainment world doesn’t always lean to the left.
Sure, Hollywood will greenlight sure-fire duds like Robert Redford’s “Truth,” but occasional real truths emerge and are embraced.
Take the promise of charter schools.
A few brave stars understand the potential they offer students. And they’re sick of public schools and the unions that too often prevent scholastic improvement.
Just ask Pitbull. The hip hop mogul created the first Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) school in 2013. The charter school is near Miami’s rugged Little Havana neighborhood he once called home.
The middle and high school level building helps children learn about jobs within the sports industry.
Clearly, the Cuban-American rapper didn’t get the memo that the public school system offers everything today’s kids needs.
“This isn’t a trick — it’s obtainable,” he told The Washington Post. “I didn’t grow up here seeing things that were so motivating or inspiring. Down there,” he nods to the pavement below, “you don’t see the ways out.”
Pitbull subsequently opened a second and third charter school under a similar vision.
Now, P Diddy/Puff Daddy is getting into the charter school act.
The erstwhile/future Sean Combs just opened the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School.
The entrepreneur, along with Steve Perry of Hartford, Conn.’s the Capital Preparatory Magnet School, have been planning the new school for the past five years.
The Harlem chapter, near where the rap guru grew up, will take cues from that existing school.
Not every charter school is a success story. Failures suck up taxpayer dollars, a grim reality. Still, the competition they bring can be a net positive for the greater educational picture. And then there are findings like this 2015 report which point to even more potential progress:
Across the 41 cities studied, students in charter schools learned significantly more than their peers attending traditional public schools – 40 more days worth of learning in math, and 28 more in reading.
Struggling inner city neighborhoods need every chance they can get to succeed. That often starts with the local school system.
Failing schools. Failing students.
Charter schools offer an alternative to the status quo. It’s often liberals who won’t give them the chance they deserve, although the subject can find some surprising ideological bedfellows.
Pitbull and Combs probably won’t be voting for Donald Trump this fall. They still understand the value of choice in our education system.
They’ve already voted for the future of local kids by putting their charter school plans in motion.