His biography describes his approach as one in which, “every single detail matters. T’s are always crossed, I’s are always dotted. Shirts are always buttoned and tucked in.
As the principal of Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School he brags that his “daily routine of tough love and high expectations” always succeeds.
And to prove it, Steve Perry says, “If you don’t want to go to college, don’t go to Capital Prep. Go somewhere else.”
Of course, what he doesn’t reveal is that while nearly 1 in 4 students Hartford public school students aren’t fluent in English, more than 97.5% of Capital Preparatory Magnet School’s student body is fluent in English.
Meanwhile, about 13 percent of Hartford’s students need special education services, but Capital Prep’s number is a fraction of that.
And the list goes on. For example, Perry boasts that “every graduating member of its senior class” goes on to a four-year college, never explaining that you can’t graduate from his school if you don’t get into a four-year college.
But it makes for great rhetoric and Perry has successfully parlayed it into a variety of positions including serving as a regular education commentator on CNN.
But his relationship with CNN may be coming to an end.
A source, knowledgeable about recent developments, confirmed today that Perry will no longer be holding that coveted role.
It is unclear exactly what happened, but his rhetoric probably made him a better candidate to serve as a commentator on Fox News than on a network dedicated to providing viewers with a fact-based and balanced approach.
For example, despite the fact that poverty, language barriers and special education needs are widely recognized as the greatest factors influencing test scores, when Ohio’s right-wing, tea-bag governor proposed actually tying teacher pay to test scores, Steve Perry got on CNN and called it a “great idea.” But when asked for evidence that such a system had any chance of working, Perry couldn’t quite answer the question.
Often his diatribes were simply factually wrong, such as in the case where he was explaining the difference between No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top Program (see link).
At other times, it was his vehement anti-teacher, anti-union rhetoric that created the impression that his disregard for teachers and their unions made it difficult to know when his explanations were fact or fiction. For example, here is Perry on the Chicago teachers’ strike (see link).
But in the end, his problems were probably best exemplified by his comments in the following link, where he tries to explain why algebra is taught at his magnet school even though, in his mind, it apparently isn’t a particularly useful subject (see link).
Or even more to the point, here Perry explains that the controversial CREDO report on charter schools was put out by the teacher unions when in fact it was paid for by the charter school advocates including the ultra-conservative Walton Family Foundation. (See http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1005/06/cnr.06.html)
Updates will be added if more information becomes available, but for now, apparently CNN has an opening for an education commentator.