No one is above the law, not even Capital Prep Steve Perry (a re-cap)

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.

  • educationmatters

    What would be interesting to see is how many of the 700 are applications for the full day pre-school program, which for working families is a golden ticket. And so many of those families then send their kids to other schools for kindergarten.

    • guest

      Do you know how many schools in Hartford have full day PreK ?- Just about all.

      • Luv2Teach

        How many are extended year (aka “year round”)?

        • jonpelto

          Excellent point – many parents need extended day since they work – checking on that now

      • educationmatters

        It’s not all. I did reach out to CREC to ask about this for an independent third party view, but from an organization in the lottery system. Since they have a number of Magnets that have won national awards and are recognized for their contributions to community and academics. The response I got was:

        There are a lot of Hartford parents who love the idea of a full day pre-school that is year round. They can drop their kids off and don’t have to worry about the expense of day care. It is about saving money and convenience.

        You’ll note if you walk into one of the two Pre-K classrooms at CP there are few if any white children. While the CREC person would not confirm, Perry is notorious in the suburbs and gaining negative notoriety every day. So the idea that his school may actually be below 9% white is a gift – it could be even lower.

        Even while Hartford parents are aware of Steve Perry and his antics, they are hopeful that the teachers are different. The main parent complaint that CREC hears is that the school has such a high turnover of teachers that parents are getting first year teachers every year.

        And then there is the turnover of students and lack of replacement. So this is a complicated issue that would really benefit from a fact based analysis.

        • guest

          Sorry but you are insinuating “Hartford” parents are looking for free daycare. Not true. Many choose half day and there are over 23 schools in Hartford which offer PreK.

          Montessori schools are also highly sought after as is Reggio due to the early childhood philosophy and track record. There are several Montessori programs offered in Hartford. I’m just appalled by your statement attributed to “CREC “- if someone from there did say that and they are hardly an independent 3rd party of all organizations: “there are a lot of ‘Hartford” parents who love the idea a full day pre-school that is year round”.

          And there is also Head Start. Some Hartford parents just want a good PreK and are NOT looking for free babysitting. What a racist statement.

          Could you be more insulting to the people of Hartford? My friend assists in the PreK at C Prep and her daughter attends and she’s white. Students come from all over and I visited as I teach at Head Start. Saw quite a few white children and children of color. It was a mix.

          I wasn’t there long enough to say good, bad or indifferent about the C Prep PreK program as developmentally appropriate, but your judgement of Hartford parents is appalling.

          We have half and full day at Head Start and many parents (inner city) choose half day! They are not looking for full day, free daycare and our program is very child centered. Many opt out of the summer program too which is available. I just find your comment to be so judgmental against people of color from Hartford.

          OMG – you are the one supporting the Pirate Party! WOW! What a thing to say about Hartford parents.

        • educationmatters

          Uhm….you’ll note that I was reporting what the CREC person was saying. At no point did I say anything that I had experienced myself or even inject my opinion. From your response 1) Hartford parents are all poor and of color. 2) Only poor parents of color are looking for full day childcare for the savings. Fortunately your stunning ignorance is not contagious. In addition, I do not support the Pirate party, I am a Democrat, but like the idea of third parties in Hartford – something that is desperately needed to protect the people from thoughtless, factless, and unsupported ignorance like yours. Why do I get the feeling that this is Perry again just not bothering to even create new sign ins.

        • hartfordtruth

          Guest is right, “education”, your comments were racist. Just like many posts on this blog.

        • Ebony in Hartford

          I rather think being called ‘racist by ‘Dr’ Perry and his minions is something of a compliment what with their qualifying and parsing of who is ‘really black’ and ‘not black enough’ based on… what exactly?

          I got off the phone last evening with the parent of a former CPrep parent and she tells me her kid is constantly being teased for her supposedly lack of ‘black authenticity’ while also being cruelly taunted for having dark skin and kinky hair. Will the biracial ‘Dr’ Steve and his staff have the cultural competency to address these issues?

    • Guest

      And if you are going to get numbers correct. Count all students who applies for Capital as their 1,2 or 3 choice. Dr Perry never says “first choice”.

      • jonpelto

        why not choice 4 and 5 too?

        If they wanted to go to Capital Prep as their first choice they would have said so. He said I’ve got 2,400 applications. 700 is an impressive number – go with that – but the truth is he doesn’t go with the real number he always goes with the public relations spin.

      • tera the parent

        @ Guest and we should look @ the other Htfd schools to see what their
        #1,#2 & 3 they choose as well. We both know Perry plays on the numbers including grad numbers & I question test scores w/ the help of the VP 😉

  • Luv2Teach

    How many of the lottery schools have the same extended year calendar as Capital Prep has?

    • Guest2

      Zero

      • Guest

        What’s your point? I think you made Dr Perry’s. Capital is a school that has something others do not. That’s why there are so many applicants.

        • Luv2Teach

          ANY year round school calendar would be more attractive to parents. That’s my point, while trying to figure out why anyone would put Cap Prep even 4th on list of four considering all the questionable practices and mediocre results as reported by the school itself to the CT State Dept of Ed.

          So, highly visible (celebrity wannabe) principal touting false statistics, the only school offering extended year classes, no wonder it’s checked off as one of several preferences on the choice list.

  • hartfordtruth

    WOW! Practice what you preach Pelto. Kind of creepy!

    Leave the young girl alone please!

    http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d54eafbea5df83610788df24a&id=179d4f61ab&e=de54d586db

    • buygoldandprosper

      One can only wonder who is behind this “twenty-something” blogger with “time on her hands”…

      The blog is very creepy, lacking in substance, and stinks of the usual suspects.

      Unlike many blogs,it lacks attribution and it is similar to :
      http://www.therealmalloy.com/
      and agree or not it smells (stinks) of disingenuous politics in an election year.

    • Kerri

      Steve,

      Nobody needs that many exclamation points in one comment. Let substance, not punctuation, speak.

    • jonpelto

      Funny, it was a nice long letter talking about how much we had in common and offering to meet and talk about the issues. Why don’t you reach out to her and ask her for the full letter and then get back to me. Meanwhile, more importantly, do you want to tell us what Mr. Perry was doing meeting with Bridgeport legislators a couple of weeks ago?

    • Cprep parent

      Steve instead of spoon feeding that blogger focus on not misstreating the”real” minors in your care who are below the age of 18 (My children)!!!

    • educationmatters

      Interesting that she didn’t post Jon’s comment, but instead chose to excerpt parts of it. But that sort of thing would appeal to you, wouldn’t it Steve?

    • LewArcher

      Megan,
      It is a little pathological to refer to yourself in the third person.
      Your rant was described this way at the Courantblogs:
      It’s been deleted, but Desombre and Pelto provided me with the text, which was an attempt to respond to Desombre’s more personal attacks, which called him a coward and referenced where he lives as well as his children
      Is that what was taught at Brick HS? Or more like over at the shore at Pt. Pleasant?

  • Sue B.

    How many Capitol prep kids are from middletown?
    I’ve heard 200 plus

  • Tom Burns

    If he gets another school–public school teachers across the state will revolt–he already has one school too many–

  • eelo

    So, Steve Perry posts in this blog under multiple names. This is pretty cowardly.