Steve Perry Claims Victory – Tweeting – “Not leaving, just expanding.”

Hartford and Connecticut taxpayers appear poised to subsidize Steve Perry’s private charter school management company thanks to an agreement announced last Friday between Perry and Hartford’s Superintendent of Schools.

Although labeled by Hartford Superintendent as an “informal, non-binding’” agreement, the plan would require the Hartford Board of Education and the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut to subsidize Steve Perry’s charter school management company [called Capital Preparatory Schools, Inc. (CPS)] by paying the salaries of Capital Prep Magnet School Assistant Principal Richard Beganski, [who is slated to serve as “Chief Academic Officer” for Perry’s private company], as well as paying the salaries of seven other Capital Prep Magnet School teachers [all of whom are will be serving key roles in Perry private company].

The lucrative deal for Perry was put together and announced without a vote of the Hartford Board of Education.

In announcing the agreement, “outgoing” Capital Prep Magnet School Principal Steve Perry wrote,

“I am pleased to announce that together with our superintendent, Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, we have generated a plan that will establish “sister schools” between Capital Prep and our new schools.”

In turn, according to a Hartford Courant article entitled, “Capital Prep’s Steve Perry, Superintendent Work On School Collaboration,” Hartford Superintendent of Schools Beth Schiavino-Narvaez provided the Hartford Board of  Education with a memo explaining that she had developed “’an informal, non-binding’” pact with Perry that would allow Capital Prep and Perry’s new charter schools to “share training among staff, guidance on best practices” and “opportunities for student collaboration on projects and visits.”

Later on Friday, when a Perry supporter Tweeted, “I’m sorry to see you leaving Hartford!” Perry responded;

Dr. Steve Perry[email protected]
“Not leaving, just expanding.”

As for the parameters of the deal, The Hartford Courant wrote,

“Narvaez said the district would not pay a fee for the goodwill arrangement… [And] Narvaez stressed that Hartford does not cede any power to Perry or his charter group.”

However, what Hartford’s Superintendent failed to address is what appears to be the massive financial subsidy for Perry’s private charter school operation that is hidden inside the “agreement.”

As part of his application to the New York Board of Regents for his proposed Harlem Capital Prep Charter School, Perry wrote;

“CPS [Capital Preparatory Schools Inc. which is Perry’s private charter school management company] is designed to be a fiscally fit “boutique” charter management organization (“CMO”) ….Geographic clustering will allow us to stay small yet generate the revenue necessary to effectively maintain a CMO. Hartford, Bridgeport and Harlem are the three cities in which we have decided to manage schools.”

“Our anticipated enrollment across all four CPS network schools is approximately 2,500 students between 2015 and 2020. Capital Prep Hartford has 700 students.”

According to Perry’s application to open Harlem Capital Prep, his private corporation’s financial plan was based on collecting management fees from all of his schools, including the public school in Hartford.  The Harlem Capital Prep application reads;

“Surpluses are projected in each year beginning in 2015. The annual ending cash balance per year for CPS will be just over $500,000 in management fees collected. Conservative five year estimates have our year end cash balance at $2 million by year five between Hartford, Bridgeport and our Harlem 6 to 12 school.”

The application goes on to note;

“CPS [Perry’s private company] will support Capital Prep Harlem through its oversight of the principal, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, and its overall monitoring of fidelity to the Capital Prep model.  CPS will also utilize its two other schools in Bridgeport and Hartford to provide professional development and to share resources. The three schools will act as a ‘boutique’ network in which faculty, staff, parents and students participate in academic and social exchanges.”

According to the application, “MANAGEMENT CPS will launch operations with a core management team representing a mix of deep education experience, business expertise, and political savvy. This ‘hybrid’ team will be crucial to CPS’ success as a high-growth organization in a rapidly changing industry.”

The application states that Stephen D. Perry will serve the charter school management company’s “Head of Schools” and Richard Beganski will serve as CPS’ “Chief Academic Officer.”  Beganski presently serves as Capital Prep’s Assistant Principal.

The New York application states that, “Ten founding group members from Capital Prep came together to launch CPS as the school management organization to lead replication of the Capital Prep model.”  The founding members of the charter management company are then listed, nine of the ten being full-time employees of the Hartford Board of Education.

The application reports that the CPS “GOVERNANCE” team includes;

Stephen D. Perry, MSW, EdD…

Richard Beganski, MA, has been the Academic Dean of Capital Prep since the school began in 2005. Mr. Beganski has created or co-created most of the original documents that have constituted the structure for Capital Prep…

Scott F. Wojnarowicz, MA has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the Math Department since 2005. Mr. Wojnarowicz was the founding member of the Capital Prep Magnet School planning committee. In addition, he was the primary author of the original draft of the Capital Prep Student Expectations manual, co-author of Capital Prep’s Blueprint, and author of Capital Prep’s Physical Education and Wellness Plan…

Kelly Horan, MA, has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the Science Department since July 2011. Since joining the Capital Prep, Ms. Horan has taken on increasing levels of responsibility in an effort to improve teaching and learning through data-driven instruction…

Scott Kapralos, MA, has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the Math Department since 2005. Mr. Kapralos was one of the founding members of Capital Prep and has committed most of his career to the development and improvement of the Capital Prep model…

Kitsia Ferguson, MBA, EdD, has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the English Department since 2006 and is currently the Head of Capital Prep’s Lower School.

Monique Ethier, MA, has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the Math Department since 2007.

Lauren Davern, MA, has been a teacher at Capital Prep in the History Department since 2007…

Lisa Loomis, has been Head of the English Department at Capital Prep since August 2013 and a teacher at Capital Prep in the English Department since July 2012…

All of these individuals are presently full-time employees of Hartford Public School System.

What is absolutely clear is that according to the documents Perry and his private company provided the New York Board of Regents, control of Hartford’s Capital Prep Magnet School was critical to his plans, not only since he would be collecting a multi-million dollar management fee for running Hartford’s public magnet school but because he would be using Capital Prep to employee the majority of the members of his private company.

By deciding not to turn Capital Prep Magnet School over to Perry and his charter school management company, Hartford put Perry’s financial plan in serious jeopardy.

However, as a result of the Hartford Superintendent’s new “informal, non-binding’” agreement, the Hartford Board of Education and the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut seem ready to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies to Perry’s operation by paying the salaries of Richard Beganski,( the “Chief Academic Officer” for Perry’s company) and seven other Capital Prep Magnet School teachers, who according to the New York charter school application, will be playing key roles in Perry private company.

Considering the financial issues facing the City of Hartford and the State of Connecticut it is astonishing that the Hartford would agree to divert scarce resources to support Steve Perry’s ambitions to develop a lucrative charter school management company.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    This asshole can’t go down in flames soon enough and bring the whole Hartford Cabal, the State BOE, and the Irish Rover with him. Horace Greeley……RIP

  • Guest Again

    UNREAL!!

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport
  • Guest

    The verbal, nonbinding agreement apparently overrides the decision by the superintendent and BOE that Capital Prep remain a Hartford public school. Does the superintendent have the authority to say that founders of a charter school corporation can work at a Hartford public school and get paid full time for it when they are not working fulltime for the district? Really? This whole thing stinks. Sister school? But employees need to decide whether they work for Hartford or a charter company. Why should they have it both ways? If the superintendent thinks there is anything in this ridiculous agreement, she is sadly mistaken and has been bamboozled by smoke and a mirrors. Capital Prep is not a model for success at all. It has major problems including bullying of teachers and students, an overemphasis on sports, and a so-called curriculum with huge holes in it, and huge teacher turnover. Removing Perry (and presumably requiring his charter school players to make up their minds whetherer or not to make a clean break from Capital Prep) was a step in the right direction that the superintendent has now reversed in her verbal, nonbinding agreement. In essence, nothing has changed!

    • guest

      They may as well have kept Kishimoto.

  • Guest

    This informal nonbinding agreement actually puts Perry in a better position than he was before! Now, he will not need to pay his founding members who are his core team! Hartford has offered to pay them instead even while they get his charter company’s schools up and running. How stupid can a superintendent be?

    • guest

      She’s not stupid. She’s playing the corporate game which is why they hired her. She’s totally aligned to keep her job. She couldn’t wait to utter all students will be career and college ready (Gates and et al lingo). I think she should be held accountable to ensure all students under her tenure are indeed college and career ready – even when that can’t be defined by the time most kids reach that age, as we don’t know what the future will look like in 5 years, let alone for current Preschoolers. It’s the same old redundant reform chorus. “Career and college ready for the 21st century”. Someone please interject some Gatto, Giroux, Chomsky, Sir Ken Robinson and others who actually make sense.

      • CTedFromTheTrenches

        Seriously… hold the ‘big-wigs’ accountable… imagine that!

  • guest

    He was just audited by the State Dept of Education, Bureau of Special Ed (but he had a 4 month head’s up they were coming) for not having services for several grades in the upper school for several months and for Vice Principal Beganski telling special ed teachers via email “no pull out” despite students (many from out of district) having copious hours of mandated pull out per page 11 of their IEPs. Beganski doesn’t believe in “pull out”. School started in July and some special ed students’ IEPs were not discovered until November. Parents were blamed! C Prep IS responsible for knowing who has an IEP. Beganski is perfect for the job, as the rest, but don’t think students will be put first or that they will achieve anything beyond an average HPS.

    One doesn’t have to be special ed to do poorly at C Prep. Work samples exist from middle & high schoolers which equate to primary and elementary level. Despite an extended year/day, after school/Saturday tutoring his 2013 CAPT scores were poor. Proficient=Level 3. Basic=Level 2 & Level 1=Below Basic. Goal is considered Level 4, Grade Level Mastery and Level 5=Advanced; only 2% of students scored at Level 5 in math!

    His Goal scores are weak considering the average school has 300+ students in 10th grade and he had 41. Only 32.7% met Goal in math & reading vs CREC’s Aerospace & Engineering 86% & 95.5%; 68% are minority w/free/reduced lunch & 78% pass AP classes. Despite PR, C Prep isn’t CREC’s A & E! I can write a book debunking C Prep w/evidence.

    It’s a facade. NO accreditation, NO AP classes, and NO panacea in the racial gap. A speech writer and PR agent can’t hide reality. Perry’s lack of pedagogy shows. He couldn’t pronounce “phoneme” correctly in front of staff when chastising them for such low reading scores. Lots of charters go under. His truth will be exposed. https://www.edreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/StateOfCharterSchools_CER_Dec2011-Web-1.pdf

    • Ebony in Hartford

      I bet there are a lot of words he can’t pronounce and/or spell. His emails to staff were atrocious!

  • Bluebird

    Dr. Steve Perry is currently featured on the cover of the National PTA’s January issue of their magazine “Our Children.” Is there a huge disconnect between the National PTA, the largest children’s advocacy group in the nation, and the reality of who the so-called “big players” are in our national concerns about public education? Or are they complicit, however unwittingly, in their partnering and promoting with the Gates Foundation and Steve Perry?