The Hartford Board of Education will be holding its rescheduled board meeting tonight at the Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School which is located at 150 Tower Avenue in Hartford.
The public may address the Hartford Board of Education at 5:30pm
The executive session on Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry has not been re-scheduled.
Considering the extremely serious allegations that have been brought to light about Capital Prep and its principal, Steve Perry, it is hard to imagine that Hartford Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto plans to prevent the Board from having a meaningful discussion about Perry and his failure to uphold the fundamental principles, ethical behavior and regulations that apply to Hartford school principals.
A weekend Wait, What? post entitled “Hartford Board of Education’s “Perry Problem” must still to be addressed” highlighted a list of some of the issues that have been raised to date. Those issues include:
- Perry using his Twitter account to make threats that would have gotten a student or teacher arrested, suspended or fired, yet no action was taken by Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto or the Board of Education to date.
- Although Perry is responsible for an 800-student school, he has missed approximately 20% of the school days during this academic year qualifying him as “excessively absent” and a “truant” under the State Department of Education’s policies concerning school attendance. If he was a student, the school would have been required to institute special efforts to try to get Perry back into the school.
- To date, Perry has sent out more than 32,200 Tweets from his Twitter account, many during school hours. A conservative estimate is that Perry’s obsessive Tweeting while working (Tworking) has cost Hartford and Connecticut taxpayers in excess of $12,500 in wasted salary payments and benefits to Perry.
- When Perry is at school and not Tweeting, he is often conducting media interviews to promote his private speaking business. The use of school time and resources to further his private company is a violation of Hartford ethics policies and state law.
- Allegations continue to mount that Perry and Capital Prep are utterly failing to provide their special education students with the services required in each student’s IEPs (Individualized Education Plans). The reports suggest that Perry and the school are in gross violation of federal and state law. An independent investigation by the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government is needed, although there are new reports that such an investigation has already begun.
- Parents and teachers report that abusive discipline policies continue at Capital Prep. Perry’s policies lead to students being forced to stand during entire class periods, forcing students to stand during lunch, forcing students to sit at the “Table of Shame” and even more serious allegations of abusive discipline policies.
- Parents and teachers also report that bullying continues to run rampant at Capital Prep and that Perry’s failure to fulfill his legal duties under Federal and State bullying laws is only the tip of the iceberg. Direct reports and dozens of Tweets on the subject reveal that Perry has created an unhealthy workplace in which teachers and school staff are regularly bullied by Perry and his fellow school administrators.
- And the list goes on… including allegations of telling selected parents to fill out applications in such a way as to ensure acceptance to the school or urging parents to falsify demographic information so that Capital Prep can collect extra public funds under the Sheff racial desegregation case and laws.
Meanwhile, Achieve Hartford Inc., the corporate funded education reform advocacy group came out swinging in a broad defense of Steve Perry. Achieve Hartford Inc. claimed that concerns about Perry were nothing more than an inappropriate attempt to count the number of times Perry has used his Twitter account. Of course nothing could be further from the truth.
You can read more about Achieve Hartford’s claim that Perry is above the rules and laws that apply to everyone else at: Corporate funded education reform group speaks out for Steve Perry.
And at the same time, concern about workplace bullying is garnering more and more attention. The need for better enforcement of existing laws and a stronger workplace bullying law is covered in a Wait, What? blog entitled, “Workplace Bullying: Capital Prep isn’t the only abuser.”
Finally, Perry has the propensity to attack others for “making up numbers” while excusing his own reliance on rhetoric that is not based on facts.
For example, in defense of his demand for a second “Capital Prep,” last week Perry Tweeted “Can someone explain how CPrep can currently have 2,300 apps” and yet isn’t getting another school.
Of course, hyperbole being what it is, according to the official documents only 700 not 2,400 of the applicants for the school lottery requested Capital as their first choice school. The number Perry cites includes 1,700 students who actually chose a different school as their first choice in the upcoming lottery. Considering 700 is a perfectly legitimate number, it begs the question about why Perry is just completely unable or unwilling to tell the whole truth.