Who is behind the effort to destroy Hartford’s Clark Elementary School?

Clark Elementary School’s parents, teachers and community have a right to know what is really going on behind the scenes in the ongoing effort to stifle parental involvement and hand Clark over to an out-of-state charter school company.

The corporate education reform industry has targeted Clark, but who exactly is pushing these unfair, discriminatory proposals that seek to take over the school, fire all the teachers and hand control of the school over to those who have no understanding of the community?

It is time to find out,

Pursuant to  the Connecticut Freedom of Information act, the proponents of this Clark takeover need to produce any and all memos, documents, notes, emails and attachments that have been sent, received or produced over the last 60 days and relate to the Clark Elementary School.

If elected and appointed officials won’t do the right thing for the Clark community then at least the community deserves to know the deals that have been cut behind the scenes.

This Freedom of Information request will cover Stefan Pryor, Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Morgan Barth, Pryor “Turnaround Director” and Andrew Ferguson, Pryor and Barth’s point person on the effort to destroy Clark.

In addition FOI requests are being submitted for the same information from Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and Hartford Portfolio Director Oliver Barton.

Clark should refuse to engage in further discussion until these materials are handed over.

The request for these documents are being submitted today, it will be noteworthy to see if Malloy administration and the City of Hartford fulfill their legal duty and hand over the requested information in a timely fashion.

 

  • HartfordPirates

    I was originally going to run for mayor of Hartford in 2015. What is going on at the state level cannot be ignored and we need people who can shed light on this and get it under control. I am preparing paperwork to run for the 1st District State Senate seat against John Fonfara (1986) this year (South Hartford and Wethersfield).

    Fellow Pirate Robert Beamon ( http://www.beamon2014.com/about_robert ) is completing petitions to run against Eric Coleman (1995) for the 2nd district state senate seat (North Hartford/Bloomfield/Windsor).

    These long serving Democrats should be thanked for their decades of service to the state and sent packing – we need new representation that will actually respond to the needs of the citizens of our towns.

    But long serving they are and it will take a groundswell of support to put fresh blood into those offices.

  • Bill Morrison

    The citizens of Hartford made their wishes known last month at a Board of Education meeting that addressed this issue. They DO NOT WANT Clark to be handed over to any Charter School and made their concerns loudly. It is arrogant in the extreme that the Hartford Board of Education is moving ahead on this. We desperately need Hartford to return to an American-style democracy instead of the current Soviet style dictatorship in which the Commissars decide everything for the citizens.

  • Rafael G

    It appears us parents must again prepare to do battle with invading forces. I truly believe that at the core of these issues is systematic endeavor to force the Hartford schools into failing through budget cuts and I would go so far as to say INTENTIONALLY withholding much needed resources in order to gain the necessary leverage to propose their corporate reform agenda. When I see THE COMMISSIONER ask the state for a few more million for Magnet schools… but we just voted down the budget at the SAND sgc meeting because they cut our budget by 550k…Then they talk about a supposed surplus? Come on. Now that the law got pushed through I wonder if Malloy and Pryor are Medical Marijuana card holders because they have to be smoking SOMETHING!
    Hi everyone. Its been a while

    • Mary Gallucci

      You are so right, Rafael. On the one hand, the “corporate reformers” starve and then close public schools, and on the other they open charter schools and charter-like magnets. Adamowski did this repeatedly in Hartford and is trying to do it in Windham.
      Keep up your fight, though. We parents need to take back our schools!

      • Mary Gallucci

        I meant to add that I am sick of people like Adamowski and Pryor (and Kishimoto, from the sounds of it) forcing things on us (the Commissioner’s Network, Alliance Districts, charter schools), saying, it’s a way to get lots more money that you wouldn’t otherwise get–as though we would do anything for money. That’s their code of morals, not mine.
        They look us in the face and ask us to prostitute our school districts to them.

        • Rafael G

          In any other society a capital city is a shining metropolis surrounded by its more impoverished areas and yet here we have exactly the opposite. Its sad to feel your hometown should no longer be the capital city. But the truth most of hartford is poor, forced to be uneducated and enslaved to the notion that the only help they can ever receive comes in the form of an ebt card or ssi. Our downtown is nothing to boast about. Hardly any thing is open at night…but I hear blue back square bustles after hours. Th e educational system holds our children down and attempts to instill a sense of inferiority to things outside hartford lines. Here we see the supposed rising star struggle to remain bright and visible as a star..and if the rate of decay continues the star will not shine nor rise.

        • speaking up

          Rafael, your passion is (and will continue to) inspiring the sparks of change. I look forward to working with you to make a difference in Hartford and beyond.

    • Guest

      I also wonder why the children @ Capital Prep have been told this is Steve Perry’s last year? (Seems the deceitful Hartford BOE didn’t even acknowledge the overwhelming complaints against Steve Perry and his unethical practices at Capital Prep and the state had rewarded him with a Bridgeport Charter School). Not even a slap on the wrist did he receive.

      My children still attend Capital Prep and am I trying to get them out (YES). Have I also applied for the magnet lottery yes.Please note that I was afraid to show my face at Hartford BOE meetings before because I was afraid of retaliation from Steve Perry and Vice Principal Richard Beganski. I have felt their wrath before when I was complaining about the inadequate SPED services at Capital Prep. But here we are again another year is coming to a close this May. Can I count on one hand how many teachers mysteriously left (yes) and that is only in one of my children’s grade. Have I heard of countless other teachers that are NOT coming back next year (YES). Have my children received their modifications and services on their IEP this year (NO). Do parents from Capital Prep have to act as their child’s case manager (YES). As a parent I am extremely tired of the Hartford Board of Education who is only out for one thing $$$$ and not garnishing Steve Perry’s name.

      Does it also bother me that Steve Perry has pulled the wool over the African American and other communities eyes nationwide (YES) An example would include him receiving the BET ICONN Man of Change award this year. I was utterly repulsed. Here we have a man who lies to America about his schools stats, over rides the school lottery to allow athletes into his school, kicks children of color out of his school if they do not meet certain test scores, the small portion of SPED children that he does have in his school he dismisses and treats them as second class citizens and doesn’t give them their modifications and follow their IEP, provides developmentally inappropriate discipline practices for pre -k to 12th grade, has a high retention rate of children 9th to 12 th grade (note I already know of 6 high school age children that t will NOT be returning next year), has a high teacher turn over which is exceeding the state average at other schools.

      I am just wondering why the Hartford Courant never prints my story and countless other parents who have written them about Steve Perry’s treatment of our children or our issues with the Hartford BOE?????

      • Remember The Maine!!!!

        Hartford courant is the mode of propaganda for HPS. Compare courant coverage of HPS leading up to Adamowski regime against its coverage since and to date. HPS is by no means an improved district from 10 years ago. The only numbers they boast about are those that can be manipulated. I’d like to see graduation rates from colleges and employment rates for competitive jobs.

        The Courant like most other corporate media outlets employed the same yellow journalism tactics against teachers and public schools as those used against Every foreign government our country has fought wars against. First step demonize… Failed schools, ineffective teachers, achievement gap…. Weapons of Mass Destruction, War on Terror, Dictator, Threaten our Democracy, Our Freedom, Axis of Evil…. Step 2 engage… Destroy. Step 3 Rebuild to meet the needs of those in power.
        Keep in mind that cunning and deceitful Matthew Poland was the VP of HR for the courant prior to him becoming CEO of Hartford Public Library (a very corporate title that he created) and an active member of the HBOE serving as former chairman. Keep an eye on this new partnership between HPS & HPL… Poland now has 2 big public money pots to exploit.

        • R.L.

          EXACTLY!

  • R.L.

    I’m wondering why there aren’t more lawsuits. These people in “leadership” positions seem to have their own agenda, don’t abide by the law, and are not serving the communities they are charged to serve. This is happening throughout the country and around the world. It is being orchestrated purposefully in order to privatize what should be public and to further concentrate the wealth and power away from the people and to the elite. It is the Shock Doctrine, Friedman economics, in action. I begining to fear that the only way to curb it will be through violence.

    • Bill Morrison

      I agree with the lawsuit idea. I do not want us to degenerate into a violent revolution against the corporate reformers, but I fear that it is coming. The reformers are counting on the support of the Warren Buffets and Bill Gates’ of our world to keep them in power with their dollars. Given that 88% of the population only controls 7% of the wealth in America, the people (victims) of the corporate reform movement might have no other recourse than violent resistance. Vladimir Lenin once said, “One person with a gun can control a hundred without one.” Mao Zedong elaborated, “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” I fear that the victims might get to the stage where they see no other recourse. I hope that they can see the ballot box and lawsuits as a viable alternative.

    • speaking up

      This was decided yesterday in Kansas. School districts and students got together, brought a suit against the state – and won. I’m sure we have plenty of students in CT willing to take this route…

      http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-kansas-schools-funding-20140307,0,6001755.story#axzz2vNKZYgcs

      • Rafael G

        This is definitely something hartford parents need to look at! Thank you Speaking Up!

  • WEP55

    So much for parent choice! LOL. what a sham.

    • Mary Gallucci

      Take it or leave it, that’s your choice!

  • Castles Burning

    Thank you, Jonathan, for pursuing this information. We are beholden to you; it is a good time to show our appreciation by helping you fund such requests, etc.

  • Colonization Blues

    This is about keeping the people divided so that we are easier to control. Think about it.

    My sister at Jumoke is getting something from the State, but my other sister at Clark is getting threats and the promise of money when it is contingent on playing out someone else’s desires. My sister across town at Betances is getting a pat on the head for being good and compliant, though might have received a slap on the wrist for being sloppy with how she cheated. My sister at Milner/Jumoke has been neutralized, at least for another year or so. They keep the rest of us panicked. Look at how they closed one school. Look at how the principal turnover at SAND.

    No mistake — this is not about what is best for the children. This is about the best way to keep the poor and working class from having agency over our own lives and children.

    • WEP55

      You said “This is about the best way to keep the poor and working class from having agency over our own lives and children.”

      I don’t see it that way. I believe it’s just that they’re after the most vulnerable population. It’s all about money in the end, and the poorest are the easiest to conquer. the group most desperate for solutions to what is a real problem (under-resourced, under-supported, hence under-performing schools). If wealthy families were available as cash cows, the privateers would be going after them.

      Ultimately, it’s always about greed and money. Look back at the beginnings when NCLB and Ignite! were born, almost like conjoined twins.

  • Htfd CT Capital Prep Parent

    I also wonder why the children @ Capital Prep have been told this is Steve Perry’s last year? (Seems the deceitful Hartford BOE didn’t even acknowledge the overwhelming complaints against Steve Perry and his unethical practices at Capital Prep and the state had rewarded him with a Bridgeport Charter School). Not even a slap on the wrist did he receive.

    My children still attend Capital Prep and am I trying to get them out (YES). Have I also applied for the magnet lottery yes.Please note that I was afraid to show my face at Hartford BOE meetings before because I was afraid of retaliation from Steve Perry and Vice Principal Richard Beganski. I have felt their wrath before when I was complaining about the inadequate SPED services at Capital Prep. But here we are again another year is coming to a close this May. Can I count on one hand how many teachers mysteriously left (yes) and that is only in one of my children’s grade. Have I heard of countless other teachers that are NOT coming back next year (YES). Have my children received their modifications and services on their IEP this year (NO). Do parents from Capital Prep have to act as their child’s case manager (YES). As a parent I am extremely tired of the Hartford Board of Education who is only out for one thing $$$$ and not garnishing Steve Perry’s name.

    Does it also bother me that Steve Perry has pulled the wool over the African American and other communities eyes nationwide (YES) An example would include him receiving the BET ICONN Man of Change award this year. I was utterly repulsed. Here we have a man who lies to America about his schools stats, over rides the school lottery to allow athletes into his school, kicks children of color out of his school if they do not meet certain test scores, the small portion of SPED children that he does have in his school he dismisses and treats them as second class citizens and doesn’t give them their modifications and follow their IEP, provides developmentally inappropriate discipline practices for pre -k to 12th grade, has a high retention rate of children 9th to 12 th grade (note I already know of 6 high school age children that t will NOT be returning next year), has a high teacher turn over which is exceeding the state average at other schools.

    I am just wondering why the Hartford Courant never prints my story and countless other parents who have written them about Steve Perry’s treatment of our children or our issues with the Hartford BOE?????