Rapper launches charter school

by Robert Ballantyne11 Apr 2016

First music, then fashion and now education: there seems to be no limits to the ambitions of rap mogul, Sean Combs – also known by his other monikers “P Diddy”, “Puff Daddy” and “Puffy”.

In March, Combs announced that he would open a new charter in September. The school, which opens in September and is located in Harlem, will have 160 students in grades 6 and 7 (ages 11-13), before eventually expanding to 700 children in grades 6 to 12 (ages 11-18).

However, it is the job description of the staff that has raised some eyebrows. Combs said teachers will be referred to as “illuminators”

The school’s designated principal, Danita Jones, told the LA Times that the title was apt, considering the role of teachers.

“What I did as a teacher was not what illuminators do. Illuminators literally ... co-parent," Jones said.

As part of their duties, the ‘illuminators’ will be tasked with calling students’ parents every two weeks and discuss the social-emotional needs of their students on a daily basis.

In a statement about the new school, Combs said he wanted all children to pursue their dreams.

“I want to impact the lives of young people in my community, and build future leaders,” he said.

“The first step is offering access to a quality education. All our children should be able to pursue their dreams.”

The overarching theme of the school will be “social justice”, with students expected to work on “social justice projects” during their school career. 
 

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