Who is pushing Capital Prep Steve Perry’s Capital Prep Harbor Charter School application?

According to the charter school application submitted by Steve Perry’s private charter school Management Company;

 “The Capital Prep Harbor School (the “Harbor School”) is designed as a replication of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School (“Capital Prep”) in Hartford, Connecticut.  The founders of Capital Prep have developed an internationally recognized model designed to prepare children from historically disadvantaged populations to compete and ‘win’ in education.  Capital Prep has proven that all children when given the right conditions and environment not only succeed but excel in their academic as well as their social-emotional growth.”

As the Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the State Board of Education consider Steve Perry’s 600 page application to open a new charter school in Bridgeport, their first task will be to overlook the fact that Perry’s Hartford Prep Magnet School refuses to provide equal access to Latinos and other children who deal with English language barriers.

Perry’s Hartford school also fails to take its fair share of students who need special education services, and it is alleged that the special education students Capital Prep does enroll don’t get the services mandated in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). There are widespread rumors that Capital Prep is being investigated as a result of its utter failure to meet federal and state special education laws.

The data on Capital Prep’s failure to provide equal access is stark and extremely disturbing;

2011-2012 Hartford School System Capital Prep Magnet School
     
Latino Students 49.7% 21.7%
     
Students not Fluent in English (ELL) 18% 3.4%
     
Students who come from homes where English is not the primary language 39.7% ?
     
Special Education Students 13.5 6.3%
     

 

In addition, the disciplinary tactics utilized at Capital Prep Magnet School have raised equally serious concerns.  Students being forced to sit at the “Table of Shame,” students being required to stand while eating lunch, students being made to state during entire academic classes and students being made to stand facing the wall for long periods of time in administrators offices are all examples of disciplinary policies that may cross into child abuse.

Perry’s charter school application reports that he and his senior staff have been working with Bridgeport officials and community leaders for months.  The application reads;

“Founding members continuously met with local officials, including Mayor Bill Finch and his Education Adviser, Joshua Thompson, as well as local community-based organizations, religious leaders and representatives from Housatonic Community College.”

So who are these Bridgeport supporters?

Listed as Governing Council Members for Perry’s new Charter School are;

Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr., Senior Pastor Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

  • As directly quoted from his resume, Moales also lists himself as CEO/Founder C.R.E.A.M. Inc. and says that in that capacity he, “Earned endorsement from Mayor, local newspaper, Democratic District leaders and Democratic Clubs in Bridgeport CT for Board of Education” and “Exhibited tireless energy, positive attitude and visionary leadership” and “Revamped entire department bringing in all new Commissioner.” 
  •  Kenneth Moales Jr. who continues to serve on the Bridgeport Board of Education is also Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer.

Reverend Carl McCluster, Senior Pastor Shiloh Baptist Church, Bridgeport

  • McCluster also lists himself as Founder, Managing Director, Senior Program office for F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Inc. a National Economic Development Consulting Firm

Reverend William McCullough, Senior Paster Russell Temple CME Church in Bridgeport.

  • McCullough also lists himself as the Founder and CEO of U-Turn Ministries, FaithCARE and Safe Streets Kids (SSK)

Teresa Wilson, Executive Director V.I.P. College Preparatory Program, Inc., Bridgeport CT.

Wilson reports that she coordinates “college tours for areas high school students” and “collaborates(s) with various school districts and school administration in selection of students to attend tour….”

Gwendolyn Brantley, ACCESS Education Services, Bridgeport, CT.

Brantley’s adds her duties are to “Administer and manage an academic enrichment program for middle and high school students.”

Meanwhile, appended to Perry’s charter school application are a series of letters of support.  They come from:

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch who writes, “As Mayor of Bridgeport, I am writing to express my full support of the proposal of by Capital Prep Harbor School to open a state charter school in fall of 2014 that will serve the children and families of Bridgeport.  I am honored by the decision of the Capital Prep team to bring their outstanding academic model to Bridgeport within the context of a top-tier high school program…”

Other letters of support are from:

State Representative Charles Clemons

Teresa Wilson writing on behalf of the VIP College Prep Program. (Note that Wilson serves on the proposed charter school’s Governing Council.)

Reverend Carl McCluster writing on behalf of Shiloh Baptist Church. (Note that McCluster serves on the proposed charter school’s Governing Council.)

Gwendolyn Brantley writing on behalf of ACCESS Education Services.  (Note that Brantley serves on the proposed charter school’s Governing Council.)

And Kenneth Jackson, founder of Kenneth Jackson’s Mentoring Services

Considering that Stefan Pryor, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, has consistently supported charter schools at the expense of public district schools and has ducked his obvious conflict of interest when it comes to his support for charter schools, it will be interesting to watch whether Governor Malloy and Commissioner Pryor are successful in railroading this controversial and flawed charter school application through the State Board of Education.

Stay tuned…

  • Charlie Puffers

    “The founders of Capital Prep have developed an internationally
    recognized model designed to prepare children from historically
    disadvantaged populations to compete and ‘win’ in education. Capital
    Prep has proven that all children when given the right conditions and
    environment not only succeed but excel in their academic as well as
    their social-emotional growth.”

    Seriously???

    I work in a Hartford school. I know nothing of this Internationally recognized model. What’s up Capital Prep? How does the world know your secrets and those of us in schools right down the street have no idea? Why don’t you share at PDs? Why don’t you attend PDs?

    If you have a model that is worthy of replication no one wants to hear about your results in isolation (which are easily manipulated) . We want to learn about your model. What are you doing that is different and where is the data that supports your success? Hmmmmmmm?????

    A curious Hartford wants to know!!!!!!

    • Linda174

      That’s odd…international? Maybe Perry thinks his speaking engagements, never ever in CT, are worldwide affairs.

      He does suffer from delusions of grandeur.

      If he wants to brag about test scores, he might want to take a closer look.

      Compared to other HPS magnets CP is average to low average. So what exactly is he boasting about?

    • WEP55

      The lies he tells are nauseating. ANY school can be successful when the principal cherry picks the kids, is given extra money to enable small class sizes, and parents are recruited and in order to have their child included in what is sold as a special school, they have to take the initiative to apply.

      The model: take college bound students who have strong parental backing, along with extra money from the state, and claim a successful model.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Sure looks like the separation of church ands state is getting thrown out, along with an administration that is pissing away precious resources.
    Dan Malloy is behind this when it is all said and done. He is doing it for cheap votes…public debt for the black vote in Bridgeport. And the Malloy Clan has SUCH a good history of embracing people of color!
    Where are the letters from Adam Cloud, Earl O’Garro and Pedro Segarra? Too busy with other things to pen a note on behalf of Steven “OJ” Perry?

  • Mary Gallucci

    This charter school madness must stop.
    Let’s have some real scrutiny of the existing charter schools in Bridgeport and elsewhere–Jumoke, Achievement First–before we replicate their mistakes, their punitive shaming rituals, their racism, and all the other issues that are inherent to this model.

  • Disappointe in CPrep Teachers

    I am very disappointed in the founding members for this charter school, (Capital Prep teachers). Each of you know that Capital Prep Magnet is not known for their Special Education Services and it is disheartening that you would endorse this and the same goes for the ELL. Please put down the Steve Perry kool aide and remember why you got in this field to begin with. If you really want to help our children work on helping Steve Perry fix the Hartford Capital Prep model first.

    • Luv2Teach

      They’ve sold their souls.

      • jonpelto

        Yup!

      • speaking up

        I’m very disappointed in them, too. I have personal experience with some of them, as a parent of a former (bullied) Capital Prep student. A few of them likely have sold their souls; proof once again that capitalism reigns supreme in our nation – regardless of profession or “product” (kids!).

        A few of them, though, seemed to be honestly baffled by some of Dr. Steve Perry’s actions and behaviors. A few of them seemed to want to say something… they seemed to be biding their time. The most sanguine of my tendencies chooses to believe that these few believe that, when they are heading ‘their own’ school (when they are out from under Dr. Steve Perry’s immediate view), they will be free to no longer pretend to sip the Perry Kool-Aid while throwing it over their shoulder or pouring it in the potted plants.

        Then again, it’s been 2 years. Maybe the tiny, pantomimed sips of Kool-Aid soaked in.

        Either way, I’d love to have a face-to-face conversation with them.

  • educationmatters

    This is a damn joke. Fryar – with all his free time – should spearhead a lawsuit!

  • jrp1900

    “The founders of Capital Prep have developed an internationally recognized model designed to prepare children from historically disadvantaged populations to compete and ‘win’ in education. Capital Prep has proven that all children when given the right conditions and environment not only succeed but excel in their academic as well as their social-emotional growth.”
    The author of this passage must have a nose that just keeps on growing. I thought there were laws against untruths in advertising! The passage is a classic instance of education reform corporatese, so it is well worth taking a closer look at some of the language.
    “internationally recognized..” This is the typical bullshit of the Confidence Man. If one person from Luxemburg was to visit Capital Prep and speak highly of it, technically speaking this would make the school “internationally recognized,” as Luxemburg is as much a foreign country as China! Whenever you hear the words “internationally recognized,” beware: you are about to be conned. Tom Clancy was an “internationally acclaimed” author and he was still pretty awful. No doubt, McDonalds is “internationally acclaimed” American cuisine. Whoever wrote that phrase about Capital Prep knew what they were about, and for their sin against truth, they should be consigned to the 8th circle of hell…
    “children from historically disadvantaged populations.” In plain English : American “blacks” and “browns.” The phrase “historically disadvantaged” is always a nice conservative touch, as it suggests that racial discrimination is mostly BEHIND us, and is not an ongoing problem in the contemporary United States. Political radicals back in the 1960’s pointed out what was wrong with the word “disadvantaged”–it’s a nice gentle substitute for a harsh truthful word like “oppressed.”
    “prepare children to compete and ‘win’ in education”. Here we arrive at the heart of the corporate monster. We educate children not to fulfill their humanity, but to teach them how to “compete.” I win, you lose: that’s the meaning of American life, and the sooner the children get the message the better it will be for them and us. Schooling exists to inculcate that message. Who cares about Shakespeare, plant biology and the wonders of the ocean? You have to like the author’s sensitivity by putting ‘win’ in quotes: he or she doesn’t want to suggest that winning is everything (isn’t that what we tell “the kids”?), but at the same time s/he appeals to the competitive spirit of the red-blooded American who knows damn well that life is war and who would do just about anything to ensure that their child wins. The parent reasons: If dogs are going to eat dogs, then I might as well make sure that my dog has the biggest teeth. The author of the Capital Prep statement is well aware of this sentiment.
    “all children…succeed..excel..” Another whopper . The author pretends that the school “environment” can be the negation of the child’s wider world. Suppose a child lives in desperate conditions; is it to be believed that in ALL instances the school will win out over such conditions? To say “yes” is not only preposterous, it is deeply insulting to poor people. It suggests that their poverty does not really touch them, is only skin-deep. But in fact poverty is often an ordeal and, through no fault of their own, some children just don’t have the strategies to fight the good fight. They end up being claimed by “the streets.” Capital Prep is simply a school; it is NOT a full-scale alternative to the social and economic world of Hartford. Of course, any child might learn and thrive and this is good. But there is no evidence that “all children” at this moment in American history can follow that path. The author should not lie because raising false hopes among vulnerable people is a damnable sin. And the author, like Dr. Steve Perry himself, should be a little more humble. Contrary to what they say, they aren’t able to work miracles. They should practice being ordinary humans like the rest of us.

  • WEP55

    Well, the numbers are growing of people who have learned the truth about Steve Perry and it’s just as easy to attend Bridgeport meetings, call and email Bridgeport board members and officials, and lawsuits are just as easy to file against Bridgeport officials as they would be to file against Hartford officials. We will not go away; we will not be silent. And we WILL recruit others to join the effort!