Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School Principal Steve Perry out as CNN commentator?

16 Comments

He calls himself “America’s Most Wanted Educator” and is a member of the Premiere Motivational Speakers Bureau. (See www.dr-steveperry.com)

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.

  • Linda174

    I guess it wasn’t a “good fit”. He was counseled out I suppose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabrown2 Gloria A. Brown

    Hey Steve-

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

    So glad to see this anti-teacher, anti-public education, anti-union, ignorant, pompous fool is on his way out. I may actually tune in to CNN again.

    • Linda174

      Maybe he wanted to spend more time with his family.

      • jonpelto

        Good one!

        • Linda174

          He also coined the term “not a good fit” for the kids who didn’t quite make it at his miracle school…..you know the ones who don’t test well, don’t speak
          English, don’t walk in straight lines, tuck in their shirts,
          SLANT and chant…that kind…not a good fit.

          • jonpelto

            I think I’d have been in the “not a good fit” category.

  • mookalaboona

    He sounds like he should be educator consultant for the Honey Boo-Boo show.

  • Pingback: Jonathan Pelto Reports: Has CNN Dropped Dr. Steve Perry? « Diane Ravitch's blog

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    If CNN is looking for a real gas bag then Paul Vallas will need another gig after destroying Bridgeport. Bring lots of cash.

  • suesylvester

    We were sucked in with his “presentation” and got out as quickly as possible. The Board of Education said “we are still working out the bugs” sure….

    • srjelks

      At least you got a response back from the Board of Ed! I guess they will wait until he hurts kids beyond just the emotional and educationally malpractice he’s practicing!

  • AM

    Wow. He might actually have to stay at that school longer than he thought then if his media career isn’t working out.

  • srjelks

    I am a parent of former Capital Prep students (one week ago) and I regret not having looked for reviews of the principal Steve Perry and this school. After several months of red flags from pervasive, poor communication to parents to poorly implemented programs and curricula to severely strict uniform policies to uncaring responses to discipline issues to just not having created a warm, nurturing environment for young kids, we were finally just biding our time until the end of the school year to escape and find new options for our children. Unfortunately we left sooner! With just 2 months of school left in the school year, we have withdrawn our daughters (ages 8 and 5) after having my 5 year old be harshly disciplined for having a missing belt on that day. Without my notice, was required to eat standing! Even more outrageous is that I have yet to get any response from the Board of Ed regarding my concern over this harsh discipline. Don’t send your kids here. You will regret it and it’s not worth the trauma to your kids. We need to stop allowing these fame-seeking, fake reformers to ruin our kids and schools! This principal is way worse than the teachers and unions he complains about!

  • Jh

    I just read that Govenor Malloy mentioned that Hartford may reach a 40% dropout rate. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Dr. Perry over the last year and more importantly some of the students that have recently graduated and are now in College ; to hear some of them speak is just remarkable . To hear them speak about how much they appreciate everything they have ( simple stuff- hot shower: 3 meals etc.) and their perspective on life is just amazing. To see the students quietly and respectfully go from classroom to classroom with order; and respect is amazing. To see the books they have to write before graduating ; is amazing. I can’t comment on every little thing I’ve read; all I can do is comment on what I see ; and I’m not talking about him; it’s his kids; from my perspective they are amazing; and I think he is too. Against the unions; yes; against some teachers; yes. Against the students -NO. For a better future- yes. He gets my vote : all day long.

  • teach

    There are many untruths here, most notably, Dr. Perry is indeed anti-union but that does NOT mean anti-teacher, just anti-ineffective teachers. Also, kids are never dismissed for language or learning barriers or even behavioral issues. They are dismissed if they simply don’t do anything, and trust me, we have kids with straight fs who we still push to do better everyday. I have more IEP kids in my current classes than I did in Springfield, MA. The Sheff law means that schools like ours – that parents actually want their kids to go to- attract and must accept many suburban students. Our kids go to college because of the way the school is set up- college courses starting in 11th grade, mandatory sports, senior project and community service, help with the application process, and applying to college in Sept when other kids wait until Dec or Jan. And because of this, they really are all accepted. I love these kids, help them complete college essays, plan projects and analyze their data, write their recommendations. Sorry if it’s hard to accept that this is real – certainly not perfect, but real.

  • educationmatters

    Children are run up and down stairs, or to exhaustion outside the building as corrective punishment. It is not unusual to see students holding books at shoulder height for 30-45 minutes in the hallway for public ridicule. There is no gym program and art consists of geometry and research papers. Parents are pulling their children after having a first year teacher every year for three years due to the turnover. An email was sent out by a math teacher stating that half the students were failing geometry. The school is an absolute disaster.