According to his PR operation, “Dr. Steve Perry, and the founders of what US News & World Reports has called one of America’s top high schools, are coming to Harlem.”
Despite the fact that Perry and his “team” are full-time employees of the Hartford Board of Education, Steve Perry’s media statement explains that, “The Capital Prep Harlem team seeks to work with those children currently languishing on waiting lists or in schools not meeting their needs.” Perry’s statement adds, “Capital Prep Harlem’s board brings together leaders from industry, education and media to offer a robust set of resources to serve some of Harlem’s neediest children.”
According to Perry’s charter school application, the Capital Prep Harlem Board includes ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith.
As the New York Daily News reported earlier this week,
Frankly speaking, Stephen A. Smith wants in on the charter-school gold rush.
The outspoken ESPN talking head and former Daily News sportswriter is listed as a member of the board of trustees of the proposed Capital Prep Harlem Charter School, according to documents recently posted online.
“Mr. Smith’s key contributions include his expertise in communications and media,” the school’s application to the state reads.
While Perry’s PR operation makes it seem as if the Capital Prep Harlem Charter School is a “done deal,” the fact is the application is one of fourteen that made it through an initial cut and will require approval by the New York Board of Regents, which is scheduled to vote on the applications in November.
According to the education news site Chalk Beat,
“Thirty-four schools across the state submitted letters of intent, and 17 were chosen to continue to this next round of the application process…In their letters of intent, schools outlined their missions, enrollment plans, and initial board members.
By way of introduction, Perry’s letter of intent states,
Dr. Stephen D. Perry (3 years) is the founder and principal of Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, CT (Capital Prep”). Under Dr. Perry’s leadership, Capital Prep has become a model of public education’s potential to provide educational opportunities to historically underserved populations. In addition to being principal of Capital Prep, Dr. Perry is an Education Contributor for CNN and MSNBC, a best-selling author, and host of the #1 docudrama for TVONE “Save My Son.” Dr. Perry earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from University of Hartford, an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work and a B.A. from University of Rhode Island. Dr. Perry will serve as a member of the Founding Board of Trustees. Dr. Perry’s key contributions include his extensive expertise in education.
Although observers might question the honesty of some of the statements contained in Perry’s charter school application, the new Capital Prep New York City charter school plan reads,
CP Harlem’s program and curriculum designs are based on the internationally recognized, research-based model developed by the founders of Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. (CPS) and implemented over the past ten years at Capital Prep in Hartford, CT. CPS will serve as the management services provider for CP Harlem, which will be part of the emerging boutique of CPS schools, to include CP Harlem and Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport CT, approved to open in July 2015.
And when it comes to “follow the money,” the Capital Prep New York city application adds,
CPS will provide management services to CP Harlem in the following areas: start-up, operations, talent development, oversight, fundraising, marketing and advocacy, human resources, facility, finance, procurement, and board relations. In addition, CPS will provide a small contingency of ancillary services including accounting, performance management, and program evaluation.
According to the documents, the New York charter school application was submitted by “Dr. Stephen D. Perry, Head of Schools, Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc.”
As long-time Wait, What? readers know Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. is a private company formed by Stephen Perry. Official documents filed with the Connecticut Secretary of the State list the company as being located at Mr. Perry’s home, while the IRS documents record that the company is actually registered at Capital Preparatory Magnet School, a public school within the Hartford Connecticut School System.
Since the address on Perry’s New York City application is blacked out, it is not clear whether he is applying for the new school from his home address or from his job as a full-time employee of the Hartford Board of Education.
Perry’s application is also unclear as to who will actually be providing the management services outlined in his proposal.
Earlier this year, at the direction of Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, the Connecticut State Board of Education approved a new charter school for Steve Perry in Bridgeport…despite the fact that there is no funding for the school in the state budget.
According to Perry’s Bridgeport application, the management team and lead teachers that will be running the new Capital Prep Bridgeport Harbor School are full-time administrators, teachers and staff of the Hartford Board of Education. While the plan failed to explain how full-time public employees could also be working for a private charter school company, the Malloy administration approved Perry’s new school.
Interestingly, Perry’s New York City charter school application is completely silent as to whether the management services that are to be provided by Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. will also be conducted by those same full-time public employees.
You can find Perry’s Letter of Intent at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/documents/2014Rd2capprepR.pdf