Look out Bridgeport, here comes Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry

According to the website that hosts his “inspirational” speaking business, Steve Perry is the “Most Trusted Educator in America.”

His “non-nonsense” approach to education takes many forms, including an obsession with his Twitter Account.

Just the other day Steve Perry Tweeted,

“Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Let your kid get used to somebody digging in the ass! That’s life, get over it.”

Despite having a full-time job as a principal in the Hartford School System, a job that he is absent from more than 20% of the time due to his fee-for-appearance speaking tours, Steve Perry has created a private charter school management company and now wants to open a charter school in Bridgeport.

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the Connecticut State Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the proposal to open what would be called the Capital Prep Harbor School.

Connecticut taxpayers would pick up 100% of the costs of Perry’s new school, while Bridgeport taxpayers would continue to have to pay for the transportation and special education costs at Perry’s school, although the local Bridgeport Board of Education would have no control over the school or its activities.

You can read the application by clicking here: [PDF]

Readers will note that two of Perry’s key backers are Mayor Bill Finch and Finch’s campaign manager and disgraced and ousted Board of Education Chairman, the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.

The application doesn’t indicate whether Perry will be bringing his notorious “Table of Shame” to Bridgeport should the state approve his charter school application.

In Hartford, Perry’s discipline policies are enforced by humiliating children by making them sit at the Table of Shame, making them eat standing up, making them stand up during entire academic classes or making them stand up for extended periods of time facing the wall.

The March 18, 2014 will be held at the Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School which is located at 840 Old Town Rd. in Bridgeport.

Although Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the State Board of Education don’t take kindly to public input, the hearing is supposed to be “an opportunity for the general public to comment and submit written testimony on the school’s application.”

The hearing will take place from 6-8 p.m. Speakers will be limited to three minutes.

Anyone who has experienced Perry’s educational philosophy or care about the children of Bridgeport should plant to attend the public hearing.

Those who can’t attend but want to submit testimony should send their comments to the State Board of Education via the following email address: [email protected].

The State Department of Education will also hold a mass public hearing on all charter school applications, including Perry’s, on April 2, 2104 in Hartford.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Hey Mon!
    Let’s do the MALLOY-PRYOR LIMBO!!!
    Lower dat bar,Mon!
    How loooooow can you go?!

  • Guest

    The language Perry uses in his professional capacity as “The Most Trusted Educator in America” is jaw-droppingly appalling! How he continues to be allowed to be a principal of a Hartford school or be considered for another school in Bridgeport is tragic and beyond comprehension. Hartford and Connecticut have got to be the laughingstock of the rest of the country! He is an embarrassment.

    • speaking up

      He is the keynote speaker at a frighteningly large number of universities and other organizations’ events. He would be a laughingstock if anyone knew the truth, but he is being permitted to use false data touting “his” school’s success with students of color.
      He is embarrassing and tragic to anyone who knows what he has done to students, their parents and teachers.
      Officials in Hartford and CT have been nothing less than negligent and complicit in his deceit of outsiders who may buy into and replicate “his” school model and THEN find out how unskilled, uneducated,unprofessional, inappropriate and harmful Dr. Steve Perry has been in Hartford (and will be in their community).
      Dr. Steve Perry is an excellent example of what we all need to fear about charter schools.
      We, here in Hartford, are in a unique position of being able to attest to this.
      Please, everyone, speak up.

  • Linda174

    Is he a total lunatic? Who uses this language and then wants to be considered a principal of a school? He is disgusting..just pitiful:

    “Let your kid get used to somebody digging in the ass! That’s life, get over it.”

    When will this maniac implode?

    • R.L.

      He should have imploded by now. I’m still waiting to have a bye bye strap on Steve party.

  • brutus2011

    If I used language like that, even in a tweet, I could possibly be brought up before a district and even forced to resign. CT SDE has a published code of ethics and behavior for CT educators and Perry’s language does not seem to fall within acceptable behavior.

    First, Vallas gets preferential treatment on certification and now Perry’s questionable language receives no sanction from HPS or CT SDE?

    Double standard? And where are our union managers? They should be howling about all this….but no…just silence…

    • educationmatters

      Perry received a pass for certification as well – he has never taught in a classroom and that is a requirement to become a principal in CT – 5 years classroom experience. It’s all a sham.

      • Castles Burning

        So America’s most trusted educator has never been an educator? Actually, that would fit in with the views of many as once you are a union teacher, you are suspect. Just as TFAs make better “teachers.”

    • R.L.

      Where are our union managers? That is a very good question. Right now they’re trying to kiss Malloy’s ass.

  • Philip Stull

    Just another step down the road to our bright future, where every child in America will have the same curriculum K-12, and local school boards will become powerless to change curriculum, scheduling, course selections, testing, scoring, and the list goes on and on as you think about how these school systems function. As Ms. Ratvich this pass week said in Texas, “we will win, because all of their supporters have a financial interest when they speak, but on our side we volunteers.”

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Bridgeport has shown its strength in beating down Vallas, Finch, and Holy Moly, the illegal BOE. Let’s “strap it on” and show this empty suit that all roads lead out of town for con men and BS artists.

    • speaking up

      Please, please anyone who is able, do show up for and speak at this meeting. I will be submitting testimony via email as I cannot make the meeting but I am not confident that it will be read.

      • Castles Burning

        Be sure to arrive early–well before meeting time–for sign up. There are only a number of slots in the allotted time.

        • Andrea Wilson

          And hopefully the parents of the children physically abused by public school educators will show up early as well- you know, those parents of children who suffered real abuse which has video to prove it?

        • Luv2Teach

          Are you willing to substitute insidious emotional abuse and unschooled stick-wielding “leadership”?

          Perry untrained and is inept as a educator, motivated by a dangerous, vulgar uninformed, cobbled-together behaviorist approach. His schtick lands upon rapt audiences of adults who drink in his brand of violent image laden verbosity… his BS grasped at – by followers who are not educators and have no understanding of learning psychology – as the answer to problems that require a more intelligent approach than beating out or humiliating into compliance a bunch of kids who deserve intelligent, qualified educators.

          Perry’s brand sells and makes money for a few who have battered their souls in complicity, but so did Thalidomide.

        • Andrea Wilson

          I don’t know what does or does not qualify Mr.Perry– what I do know is you all have knowledge of the physical abuse the children (at least one is an on line video) at the hands of one of your so called “professional educators.” In spite of this you refuse to address it and the impact on the children. Sorry- I am not with the public schools in the cities– too many horror stories.

        • WEP55

          If you’re looking for horror stories, you’re going to be much more likely to find them in a school where the philosophy is a Pavlovian, behaviorist, “no excuses” approach where children are taught that the ends justify the means…where adults practice bullying against students, with the excuse that it is constructive to building the child’s character, “that’s life, get over it”).

          You’ll find more horror stories in an environment where the celebrity principal tells parents not to believe what their children tell them, and where kids learn that when you’re an adult, the rules change and you can bully and humiliate others in order to modify their behavior toward you.

          You’ll find horror stories abound in an atmosphere where the school has the “special” status of being under the control of a corporate charter, headed by someone who struts his “celebrity” and over whom NO ONE has control.

          Perry is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Whether it’s his enablers in Hartford or Bridgeport, they’ll be culpable and their names will be listed right alongside his.

    • Andrea Wilson

      And we have proof of at least one principal physically abusing a child in kindergarten and keeping her job! Sorry that’s not good and neither are Bridgeport public schools.

    • speaking up

      Dr. Steve Perry’s charter application has made it to this next round; I wish I could say that I was surprised. I do believe that if it were 100% up to Bridgeport, his application would not go through. Isn’t the entire charter enterprise run by the state? It will be important to make it very, very clear that Bridgeport is AGAINST this application.

  • Andrea Wilson

    Perhaps if Perry is allowed to do this– we will not ever again hear about Bridgeport teachers and principals physically abusing the children in their schools and allowed to keep their jobs. Come on Jon- I told you about my grandson and the news showed pictures of the principal who physically abused at least 2 children (at least 1 was in kindergarten!).

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      But probably Bridgeport will then have two bully poor excuses for educators neither of whom are needed or wanted. There may be some charter schools that could help Bridgeport, but Capital Prep and Steve Perry are the antithesis of what a good school should be. Maybe you should sit for a while at his “Table of Shame” or as he says: “Strap it on”.

      • andi

        I don’t know about the “table of shame” but I do know my children had to sit in the time out chair in Headstart more than once and it did not hurt them

        • jrp1900

          andi: yes, but some children are hurt by this kind of treatment. Is it worth having a policy that risks hurting any child when there are other ways of enforcing discipline?

        • Mary Gallucci

          The amount of time children sit in time out chairs in Headstart is carefully set by law (no joke). For 4-5 year-olds it is quite brief (to the adult, anyway).
          Standing throughout lunch is usually a lot longer than state-mandated time-out (or sitting, ostracized, at a Table of Shame–Capital Prep’s equivalent of a perp walk–endures also at least as long as lunch)–these are sadistic practices that will cause fear and resentment in the child and discomfort and abuse of power in the adults.

        • Guest

          You are absolutely correct! Students are Bullied by staff, sworn at, yelled at, punished at the table of shame, and made to eat their lunch standing for the entire lunch period. They are made to do this with no explanation as to their alleged offense. These practices are not teaching our kids the right lessons. The only message they get is that some adults are assholes. True, but the assholes aren’t supposed to be their teachers.

        • guest

          Add to the list students being made to run up stairs until they literally can not take in another breath.
          I was told today of this scenario – disturbing enough to have made an educator leave their position at Capital Prep.

  • speaking up

    There just really isn’t anything else to say.

    Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry 10h
    One of our school’s founders just got a Capital Prep bar code tattoo. I freaking LOVE my job. CPrep for life. pic.twitter.com/ru7xaa1hY4

    • Guest

      He/she must have been drunk on the kool-aid.

      Which job does Perry mean he LOVES? The one where he gets paid 6 figures for tweeting and otherwise NOT performing as a principal or the one where he travels and speaks garbage to a fawning audience for $$ while on the Hartford payroll?

      They both have serious psychological issues.

  • jrp1900

    “Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Let your kid get used to somebody digging in the ass. That’s life, get over it.”

    Wow! There are so many things wrong with this statement that it’s hard to know where to begin with one’s criticisms. I might as well just begin at the beginning and work through the full statement….

    “Uncoachable kids.” So if a child refuses to be “coached” by someone like Steve Perry that child is “uncoachable.” And the child’s refusal to accept authority will make her an “unemployable” adult. Full translation: they will get what they deserve. This callous and self-aggrandizing “argument” is worthy of contempt. Mr. Perry, have you ever considered that if a child refuses to be coached there might be something wrong with the coach? Not all authority is legitimate and not all leaders deserve to lead. You, sir, are the best example of that thesis. When Perry says that “unemployable adults” made their own beds as early as 5 years old when they chose to be “uncoachable kids,” it’s fair to say that he is doing no more than blaming the victim.

    Steve, fyi, real teachers are always worried when they encounter children who are allegedly “unteachable.” Most teachers do not make your brutal reasoning their automatic response. They want to find ways to reach that “unteachable” child.

    “Let your kid get used to somebody digging his ass.” So that is what a coach does? So that is what a teacher does? They “dig” children in their asses for their own good! This is a such a disgusting statement that I’m not even going to try to refute it. It refutes itself. No sane or responsible adult talks of leading children as a matter of “digging” them in their asses..

    Shame on you “Dr.” Steve Perry!

    “That’s life, get over it.” Yeah, I suppose that is “life,” but only if you look at life from a small-minded and sadistic perspective. Steve Perry is basically telling children that life is all about get dug in the ass, and there’s no point whining about it. You just have to “get over it.” If this is what he tells his own children, then he must be a terrible father. It’s outrageous that he has the power to foist this viewpoint on hundreds of children in his charge as a school principal. I would never let my children be “led” by a man like Perry, when all he has to tell them is that life is about getting fucked!

    What kind of society are we becoming that this man is esteemed as an educator?

    • WEP55

      The Steve Perry phenomenon is very disturbing. Thank you for wording so well the reasons why many alarm bells go off when I read his “digging in the ass” tweet, and his many violent, pugnacious and vulgar statements (some of which Jonathan Pelto has posted in Wait What).

      I believe it’s time a coaltion of parents and concerned citizens consider a lawsuit against any public agency employing this disturbed man in any function that puts him in contact with or in supervision of an institution serving children.

      Where Steve Perry goes, so should a tenacious cadre of sign-wielding advocates for children go to protest this disturbed man being near or in charge of children. He’s an attention hog, employs agents to promote him to national audiences. Let’s give that national audience something really interesting to read about, while putting under the microscope any person or agency that makes the poor decision to put at risk, students’ emotional and academic well being.

      • jrp1900

        WEP55: Yes, “The Steve Perry phenomenon is very disturbing.” And perhaps what is most disturbing is that the people who are prepared to protect and advance him don’t seem to have any concerns for the best interests of schoolchildren. These people want a charter school in Bridgeport and they are ready to hand it over to Perry’s charter school company. But if they were really thinking about the children, they could still go after their charter school without engaging Perry. It’s not to be believed that he is one of the best principals in Connecticut, let alone the United States. To me, it shows contempt for Bridgeport families that Perry is considered adequate for their children. There is no way at all that Perry would be hired as a principal in a district like Trumball or West Hartford. In fact, it’s quite possible that he would not be hired in ANY capacity at all. And yet in Hartford and Bridgeport he is considered suitable to be a Principal.
        Perry’s gangster act is tiresome, degrading and insulting. He thinks that his “street” language is proof of black authenticity, of “keeping it real.” In fact, it is nothing more than a juvenile and ignorant pose from a man who ought to know better. Perry is making nearly $200, 000 per annum, plus all his speaking fees; the idea that he’s some “brotha down on the block,” “hanging with the homies,” and “telling it like it is,” is utterly ridiculous. Also, the idea that black authenticity is all about talking bad, and “cutting up on pepes,” is nothing more than internalized racism. Steve, you have done enough travelling in these United States to know that there is more than one way to be “black.”
        WEP55: you are right: Steve Perry’s behavior around schoolchildren needs to be carefully monitored.

      • speaking up

        I am happy to lead a coalition of parents and concerned citizens in considering a lawsuit. I attempted to put an end to the bullying situation at Capital Prep in 2011. If the complaints that I filed had been addressed, future complaints (and the harm inflicted upon the student victims) could have been avoided. We now know of other abuses being perpetrated by administration at Capital Prep. I will ask again – does anyone know an attorney or firm willing and able to take on this case?

        In the meantime, I agree that tenacious advocacy is a good next step.

        • guest

          @speaking up I would definitely be interested in joining forces with you. I am a parent of a former C-Prep student, and my child has suffered much abuse at the hands of the good “Dr.” and his staff. I am sorry that I just recently saw this post. I have been reading many posts on this site, that apply to what happened to my child. There is enough evidence to support, what while my child attended there. Please, please, please say it’s not too late for us to take serious action against this man.

    • speaking up

      I never would have allowed my child to be “led” by a man like Dr. Steve Perry – if I had known that all he has to tell them is that life is about getting f’ed.

      I felt very guilty for having left my very young child in that building for 8+ hours every day when I learned what was going on. I remembered my child’s big, wide eyes watching me closely and following my lead as I explained to my child the logic of wearing a schooliform because it’s a rule… including a necktie and a sweater vest in July… (this, of course, is the least of my issues with what happened in that building, but it was one of the first lessons in conformity that I explained to my child and I remember it very clearly as it rubbed against everything that I believe).
      I was very angry with myself for not having investigated the situation more closely before entrusting my child to Dr. Steve Perry’s care.

      As a parent I assume full responsibility for any decision that I make for my child. I learned an important lesson through my experience at Capital Prep.
      As a community member I expected that the city, district and state officials “in charge” of school administrators would hold these administrators to basic, common policies, rules and regulations. I hold each of them responsible for their complicity in the Dr. Steve Perry debacle.

      The kid of society that we are becoming troubles me. What more will my child experience and how can I responsibly, adequately, realistically prepare my child for what is to come?

      • Htfd CT Capital Prep Parent

        Capital Prep Parents former and current should do a press conference like the Clark School parents and air our issues publicly. Obviously the Hartford superintendent and Hartford Board of Education is not looking out for the best interest of our children. @RobertCottoJr #HartfordRising

        • speaking up

          or for the best interests of Bridgeport’s children.

  • Guest

    Here’s what I’d like to know. If there was a meeting with his bosses in Hartford over his “strap up” tweet,” why is he still tweeting garbage like “somebody digging in the ass”? We already know Perry is and has been completely out of line on so many levels, but for goodness sake, what’s wrong with Hartford to tolerate it! Apparently, at no point during the meeting did anyoneno tell him to clean up his tweets! At this point, I blame Kishimoto and the Hartford BoE.

    • speaking up

      I agree, and the State DoE also is aware of Dr. Steve Perry’s antics. I believe that everyone in the chain of command ought to be held responsible for any harm inflicted by his “administration” of Capital Prep – or any other school.

  • Maggie Tarbox

    Just listened to today’s NPR’s interview with Steve Perry- Capital Prep. OMG- someone shoot me now.


    Steve Perry call himself “America’s Most Trusted Educator.” I call him an oily snake oil salesman who is in BUSINESS to sell his brand of charter schools across the country. He has little to no actual classroom experience. He spends more time on the road- making $$ for his speaking appearances. #1 How does Mr. Perry impact students and improve student performance while he is tweeting or speaking? #2 What exactly is his content teaching certificate in? It is my understanding that he has a provisional 092 certificate….. #3 Mr Perry seems to have no idea what it is that teachers face in classrooms #4 Mr. Perry is absolutely clueless about how standardized testing HURTS student psyches #5 Mr. Perry has lied/misled the public about his graduation rates at Capital Prep. Let’s get real here folks. Why are not more people confronting him on his lies, deceptions and hate????