Daniel Doherty

Nice catch by the Heritage Foundation:

What do researchers at The Heritage Foundation and Miami-born rapper Pitbull have in common? A belief in the power of charter schools.

Pitbull, whose given name is Armando Christian Perez, delivered the opening address at the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., last week. Perez has six children, three of whom attend charter schools.

“I believe in the system. I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” the entertainer told the crowd of charter schools advocates at the conference. “Every day I see firsthand how my children are becoming highly motivated thanks to the charter schools they attend.”

Perez is so convinced of the power of charter schools to “revolutionize education in America” that he is providing backing for a new charter school in his old inner-city neighborhood of Little Havana.

Charter schools “are fundamentally about freedom, and freedom is what America is all about,” the rapper proclaimed.

For what it’s worth, here’s a succinct definition of what school choice actually is:

As Heritage’s Israel Ortega writes, “School choice, put simply, is the ability of parents to send their children to schools of their choice. It’s a simple concept, but the reality is that this choice is often limited—particularly among low-income Americans and minority communities.”

The fight for school choice is the fight to ensure that parents everywhere can provide their children with the educational opportunity necessary for success. As Heritage visiting fellow Virginia Walden Ford writes, “Parents are made to feel hopeless and helpless when faced with failing neighborhood schools that their children must attend because they don’t have the resources to either move to a neighborhood with better schools or to pay private school tuition.”

School choice initiatives are often ignored and neglected by the American media. So when high-profile entertainers celebrate and defend them, it’s a really big deal. Pitbull’s presence at the conference therefore is not insignificant -- especially because he supports a political party that, in some ways, is hostile towards this movement.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography