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|
|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.