I must admit I didn’t know much about Pitbull, the international superstar musician also known as Mr. Worldwide and Mr. 305. But the audience of the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington DC sure did! And I was smitten by his heartfelt speech and his personal story of how his family fled Cuba where “parents were denied the freedom to decide where and how to educate their children.”
Pitbull, alias Armando Christian Perez, was at the conference podium at 9 a.m. after flying overnight from a performance in Milwaukee. Why? He is not only a passionate charter school parent, but he is founder of a new public charter school called SLAM opening in Miami this fall. SLAM is a charter middle/high school and stands for Sports Leadership & Management. He founded it in Little Havana in the inner city of Miami where he grew up. The school stands for the Three R’s: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationship. He wants to add the Three E’s: Engage, Entertain, and Educate.
Pitbull told stories about the great teachers in his life who believed in him and helped him achieve the American dream. He continued, “Charter schools respect great teachers and give them freedom to teach. For all the teachers here today, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
He ended the speech to a standing ovation: “Charter schools are here to stay. They are revolutionizing education in America and there is no going back now!” Hear his passion for yourself here—you too will be touched.