I never thought I would see the day when NPR ran a story complimenting a misogynist rapper for opening a charter school. This rapper, who calls himself Pitbull, writes lyrics that are too filthy to repeat on NPR or on this blog.
But there is Claudio Sanchez, reporting on the charming phenomenon that celebrities who are not educators and who apparently have no education themselves are opening charter schools! Isn’t that wonderful! Shouldn’t we all be impresssed!
Well, no, it is not that Mr. Pitbull has a heart overflowing with love of children or love of learning. He is making a lot of money. Fortunately for the readers of this blog, we have read Jersey Jazzman and Mother Crusader, both of whom did the sort of research that NPR did not do. Mr. Pitbull has another name: Armando Perez. In Jersey Jazzman’s article, you will see Mr. Pitbull-Perez has hired Academica, a for-profit charter chain with revenues of $158 million, to run his new charter school. Academica is owned by Mr. Fernando Zulueta, who controls some $115 million in real estate in Miami, all exempt from property taxes because his for-profit schools are “public.”
The story–and the money trail–gets way more complicated, but NPR did not see fit to discover any of the backers of Mr. Pitbull’s school.
The story gets entangled in Florida Republican politics, as Mother Crusader shows.
As always, it is a good thing to follow the money. Who is putting up the money, who is getting the money, who is making out like bandits?
But there is a lingering question: Why does anyone think it is a good idea for celebrities to open their own schools and to get public dollars for their profitable vanity project? How are we supposed to “outcompete” the globe by turning our children over to uneducated sports stars and rappers?