Another school day at Capital Prep – And Steve Perry is taking care of his business…

The principal of Capital Prep Magnet School is at it again – taking care of his private business – paid for by the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut.

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time:  11:06 A.M.

“Joining us now is renowned educator Dr. Steve Perry, here to discuss his new book, Push Has Come to Shove.”   (Maggie Linton, Radio Host of the Maggie Linton show)

Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time:  12:12

“Going live on HLN in 2 min…”

And later in the day, Perry gets the “Ironic Tweet of the Day” with “Whether students or clients they need to know that they are more to us than a paycheck.”  – Steve Perry 10/15/2013

Capital Prep: 33 days into 2nd marking period – Principal Perry MIA

Thy myth and the reality surrounding Steve Perry, “America’s most trusted educator,” continues to come to light.

With its extended year and day academic schedule, Hartford’s Capital Prep Magnet School recently completed the 33rd day of its second marking period.

But regardless of what Steve Perry may have submitted on his time card, the $150,000 plus city employee has missed an extraordinary number of school days.

In fact, if he was a student and missed this many school days he’d be gone or on his way out.

The facts:

Week #1:  During the last week of August, while his students attended classes, Steve Perry was busy at the 2013 Dallas Megafest, where “Bishop T.D. Jakes’ MegaFest Brings Hollywood To Church In Dallas.” (Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzb8n2rHWx8)

Week #2:  Thursday, September 5th, Perry joined his mentor, Michele Rhee, at the Rhee’s Los Angeles “Teacher Town Hall” (Video http://www.teachertownhall.org/teacher_town_hall_los_angeles/)

Week #3: Thursday, September 12th and Steve Perry was with Rhee in Birmingham, Alabama (Video http://www.teachertownhall.org/teacher_town_hall_birmingham/)

Week #4:  Perry is back on the road to join Rhee’s at her Philadelphia event on September 16th (Video http://www.teachertownhall.org/teacher_town_hall_philly/) and then went on to Jackson, Mississippi for a solo appearance on September 19th.

Week #5:  Perry goes off to sunny Ft. Lauderdale for a speech on September 26th.

And that doesn’t even count his September trip to Rochester, New York on September 21st and any other events that haven’t yet come to light.

Not to mention, last Thursday, October 10th, when criticized here at Wait, What? about tweeting during the school day, Perry snapped back “One spent his morning counting my tweets not realizing I was on a plane & on my personal leave. It’s so not about kids for these union thugs.”

On a plane?

Not about the kids?

At least nine trips out-of-state in the first 33 days of Capital Prep’s marking period and Steven Perry is lecturing people about his commitment to the kids?

Parents, teachers and taxpayers in Connecticut should be asking Hartford’s superintendent of schools, Christina Kishimoto and the Hartford Board of Education what they are doing to make sure that “America’s most trusted educator” isn’t wasting the public’s scarce resources.

Capital Prep Principal and No-Excuse Champion Steve Perry: Too big to follow rules?

Note:  Steven Adamowski, not Christina Kishimoto was Hartford’s superintendent of schools when Perry was away from his school despite a written rule that prohibited Perry from using vacation or personal days to leave the school unattended.

So did Perry violate the policy of the City of Hartford school board or did Superintendent Steven Adamowski give Perry a special deal.

Every Hartford principal knows that rules when it comes to being at work in the weeks leading up to the Connecticut Mastery Testing…

“FURTHER, NO VACATIONS OR PROFESSIONAL LEAVE WILL BE APPROVED FOR PRINCIPALS DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 22 THROUGH MARCH 22, 2011”

-Hartford Public Schools; The Office of Talent Management 2011-2012
http://talent.hartfordschools.org/index.php/component/content/article/69
 

 The date:         Friday, February 25, 2011

The location:  The University of Virginia
Darden School of Business
Black Business Student Forum
Annual Conference
 
LUNCH KEYNOTE – 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Dr. Perry, CNN Education Correspondent

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISC4bzYtz8Y.

So did Steve Perry violate City of Hartford rules or did Superintendent Steven Adamowski or his side-kick Christina Kishimoto give Perry a special deal?

A hatemonger continues to lose control…While allegations of abusive disciplinary policies surface.

It’s another day and the Steven Perry, the principal of Capital Preparatory school in Hartford Connecticut has returned to his obsessive use of Twitter to promote his mongering.

As administrators, teachers, parents and community members across the nation have become increasingly aware of the short and long term effects of bullying, Steven Perry has become a prime example of the lack of humanity and decency in the corporate education reform industry.

While taking over $150,000 in taxpayer salary and benefits every year, Steven Perry uses public resources to insult, harangue, disparage, malign, defame and denigrate those with whom he disagrees with on political issues.

Yesterday, Perry’s approach can be seen when he tweeted, “There is a small group of suburban middle class, “educators” who are fighting violently to keep this system. They’re on the ropes now.”

When a reader asked, “Violently”?? Did you really mean to use the term “violently”?

Perry tweeted, “Clearly, I wrote it.”

Steven Perry desperately wants to be seen as part of the “solution,” but his inappropriate outbursts reveal a man who is not only part of the problem but is unwilling to follow the most basic rules, regulations and policies associated with his publicly-funded position.

While every American is guaranteed freedom of speech, in the days and weeks ahead we’ll learn more and more about Perry’s inappropriate and potentially illegal behavior and conduct.

Like most bullies, in response to the allegations, we’ll hear him whining about being misunderstood, mistreated or he’ll  start blaming others for his actions; but the laws about the inappropriate use of public resources is clear, concise and applies to everyone — even Steven Perry.

Take this past Friday as an example,

With the school day under way, when he was supposed to be attending to his duties as a principal of a “no excuses” school, the captain left the helm to return to his uncontrolled and vitriolic hate toward public school advocate Diane Ravitch and the American Federation of Teacher’s President, Randi Weingarten.

Among Perry’s many tweets including the following:

“Do you REALLY believe only ppl who can pay for school should get #schoolchoice? Wow. Just admit it’s about jobs. (9:04 am)”

“You REALLY believe poor minority kids should ONLY be ALLOWED to go to the poor minority schools in their ‘hood? (9:06 am)”

And then over the course of the next five hours, Steven Perry returns to his personal twitter account more than a dozen times to engage in political activities in direct violation of the laws and of the State of Connecticut and his employer, the City of Hartford.

Perhaps the most outrageous attacks were aimed that the union that represents his teachers.  Perry tweeted;

“Remember I said I would shine the light of truth on the unions & they would come out? Introducing Andrea Johnson, Hartford’s union boss.”

“Our efforts to end racist #zipcodediscrimination laws has got union bosses in full attack mode.”

“Union bosses like Andrea Johnson use good teachers’ dues & works to push silly grievances…”

“HFT has lost every grievance they’ve brought against CPrep since 2005…”

Connecticut taxpayers are sick and tired of high ranking officials at the federal, state and local level wasting scarce resources and acting as if laws, rules and policies apply to everyone but themselves.

Here in Connecticut, state and municipal employees have lost their jobs for engaging in inappropriate activities such as politics and bullying on the public dime.

Steve Perry has been devoting a disproportionate amount of time on his private consulting, despite his public salary and the limitations that go with engaging in private business on public time.

Even more serious are allegations contained in documents received from two Capital Prep teachers who left the school after the last year.  One with years of experience and another who was relatively new to the school have provided reports that appear to reveal that Steven Perry’s discipline policies lead to what could only be defined as servere emotional, and even physical, abuse.

As the documents and stories are confirmed they will be turned over the State’s child advocate and other appropriate officials.

In the meantime, let us hope up the General Assembly’s Committee on Children and Education Committee will hold a public hearing on what could very well be the abusive disciplinary policies of schools like Achievement First, Jumoke Academy and Capital Prep.

As one former Capital Prep parent recently explained, “As a result of their abusive policies, my child came home crying day after day.  I pull him out and he returned to our local school district where he is doing much better.”

Steven Perry may himself “America’s Most Trusted Educator,” but more and more former teachers, parents and students have ample evidence to proving otherwise.

Steve Perry: “No Excuses” – Except for himself…

In response to yesterday’s Wait, What? post about his latest twitter diatribe and the fact that his claims about Capital Prep’s success don’t match up the actual facts, Dr. Steve Perry, the self-proclaimed “Most Trusted Educator” in America, returned to tweeter to complain that, “One [critic] spent his morning counting my tweets not realizing I was on a plane & my personal leave. It’s so not about kids for these union thugs.”

“Not about the kids for these union thugs”  Really?

With that tweet, Perry managed, in less than 140 characters, to highlight the accuracy of the very criticisms that have been leveled against his offensive, immature, unsophisticated, inappropriate and ignorant behavior.

In Steven Perry’s “no excuse” world, the demarcation of appropriate behavior is absolute.

Standing straight, wearing the right colored belt, appropriate behavior and using the correct language are the exclusive pathways to success in life.

This from a man who uses the term racist on anyone who disagrees with his political philosophy, all the while, collecting a six figure Connecticut taxpayer funded salary without faithfully fulfilling the duties mandated in the job.

Steven Perry is well aware that taking care of personal affairs during work time is a violation.  Engaging in outside employment on public time is even worse and using public funds and pubic to engage in politics is a crime.

But Steve Perry has become a prime example of those who believe the rules apply exclusively to others.

In yesterday’s post Perry’s defensively whines that he was “on a plane & my personal leave.”

But of course, the no excuses champion knows perfectly well that he couldn’t have possibly been using his personal leave” time since his contract only allows 5 personal days a year, all of which can only be used for extremely limited purposes, all requiring pre-approval and none of the reasons relate to leaving work to get paid to make a speech.

Maybe in his rush to defend his actions Steve Perry meant to say he was using vacation time to travel the country and not personal time, but even then issues arise considering in the first five weeks of school he has been out and about, mostly on school days, to Fort Lauderdale, Jackson, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Birmingham and that doesn’t even count his recent trips to Dallas and Rochester.

Or maybe he simply and inappropriately called in sick while he raced off on his self-promotion tours leaving his fellow administrators, teachers and students behind.

As one veteran teacher recently reported, Capital Prep administrators join teachers for mandatory staff meetings three times a week; Perry has been showing up less and less lately.

Leaving aside how he is managing to fulfill his legal duties as a public employee while maximizing his outside consulting business, Steven Perry seems to overlooking various conflict of interest issues that arise as a public official.  One of the co-sponsors of one of his most recent speeches…Pearson, the massive standardized testing and curriculum company.

However, beyond the question of whether he is inappropriately or even illegally taking taxpayer funds while conducting personal business on public time, there are the issues related to his unending abusive and bullying language.

No public official or “educator,” not even Steven Perry, has the right to engage in such bullying.

During one recent school day, Perry returned to his unrelenting attack on Diane Ravitch tweeting, “Fine, be against #schoolchoice BUT stop using it too. Hypocrisy has no place in education @DianeRavitch @rweingarten nor does racism.”

Among the thirty plus emails he fired off in rapid succession during the work day were the following;

  • “Beware of ppl who work @ elite private col, send their own kids to private schls, are paid by unions BUT fight #schoolchoice @DianeRavitch
  • “Ever notice that the ppl who are the most obnoxious opponents of #schoolchoice are paid by unions BUT exercise #schoolchoice?”
  • “If you’re against all charters bc SOME are low performing, then are you against all hood schools bc MOST of them are failing? Not about kids”
  • “If you’re against crowded classes then why in the hell are you fighting so hard to make more kids go to crowded school who want out?”

All the while going after various unions including this tweet, “I would rather set $2,000 on fire than pay it to a union who fights to keep ineffective principals in front of kids.”  One assumes he is referring to his own union, The Hartford Principals and Supervisors’ Union, Local 22, AFSA, AFL-CIO.

And that day was hardly unique.

Just a week earlier, a week in which he was away from school at least twice to give speeches; Perry spent another day on a twitter rant saying;

  • “Why do districts think pouring more resources into TURBLE schools is the answer?” Bc they’ve been told that it will.”
  •  “What’s worse is, even as hood schools sit there 1/2 empty & failing, we STILL carelessly pump good kids & money into them.
  • “If ant- #schoolchoice is REALLY TRYING TO UNDERSTAND ATTRITION start w your fails schools. THEY loose more kids each yr than EVERYONE.”
  • “Millions of fams have either left or on waiting lists to get out. We MUST focus on who’s REALLY LOSING STUDENTS. IT’S NOT CHOICES SCHOOLS.”
  • “MOST of the US’s urban districts have see SHARP DECLINES IN ENROLLMENT even w kids returning from choice schools. As much as a 1/3!”
  • We MUST ask the w why so many fams want OUT of their hood school. Between THEIR REAL attrition & dropout rates we see a mass exodus.

And last but not least, “We make no apologies for being CPrep. Success has a way of clearing things up. That’s why more fams apply to CPrep than any other school.” And “Having NEVER counseled a kid out & hearing tales if this, I can say I don’t know. But I KNOW why they leave hood schools.”

Really… “No apologies for being CPrep”?

Having never counseled a kid out?

And yet one recent Capital Prep graduating class lost 40 percent of their students along the way…

CPrep – home of real attrition, dropout rates and a mass exodus.

Capital Prep’s Steve Perry: A Connecticut taxpayer funded voice for the education reform industry

Wednesday morning, October 9, 2013:

The school day began and Hartford Board of Education employee Steve Perry was busy using his personal twitter account to attack his opponents.  His target on this day, Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading public education advocate.

Perry is the principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. His six figure income comes from the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut.  In fact, considering more than two-thirds of Hartford’s school budget is funded by the state, the vast majority of Perry’s salary is courtesy of Connecticut State government.

As usual, Perry’s diatribes are sounding increasingly unhinged and out of control.

To Diane Ravitch (and Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers) Perry tweets… “YOU are a person who supports racist zip code laws & failed schools, no metaphors needed. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.”

Minutes later, “YOU, the ‘historian’, are on the same side of history as the segregationists who fought to keep ppl in the hood.”

Then “YOUR ideas are outdated & failed. It’s time for you to flip flop again. #edreform is winning so kids are winning.”

Later in the day, Dr. Steve [email protected] is back at it tweeting to Professor Ravitch, YOU can’t stop a movement that has arrived to free our kids from your failed schools.” and

“But wait, there’s more… #edreform is winning bc the truth about your support of racist policies is public,” and

“NOTHING can hide your support of racist policies. Nothing. You fight for jobs not kids. Time to flip flop again.”

Thursday, October 10, 2013:

The school day begins again at Capital Preparatory Magnet School, and Principal Steve Perry is back on his twitter account.  80 tweets in the first hour of school and he is going strong.

It is our tax dollars at work…

And all the while, Steven Perry calls himself “America’s Most Trusted Educator

Go to his website and you can read his bio, watch videos of his speeches and book him to come and speak.

This corporate education reformer claims credit for virtually everything short of the fact that the sun rises on a daily basis.

Steve Perry’s bio leads with the claim, “Capital Prep has sent 100% of its predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated in 2006.”

The only problem with his claim that he has a 100% college acceptance rate is that according to data filed with the Connecticut State Department of Education, one in five of his students dropped out before they made it to their 2011 graduating class and fully 40 percent of his students dropped out before they made it to graduation day in 2010.

Meanwhile, Perry’s claim that is students are “predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high school graduates,” hides his charter-school like propensity to be more than a bit selective about who gets to “benefit” from his no-excuses program.

While one in four Hartford school students are not proficient in the English language.  At Steve Perry’s Capital Prep, the percent of students who face English language barriers is 3.6 percent.

In a city where more than 50 percent of the students are Hispanic, Steve Perry reports less than a third of the students are Hispanic.

And when it comes to needing special education services, while 12.5 percent of Hartford students need special education help, at Steven Perry’s Capital Prep, the number is less than half that amount…a paltry 5.7 percent.

Just as with Connecticut’s “successful” charter schools, Capital Prep fails to take its fair share of Hispanic students, fails to take its fair share of those who face English language problems and fails to take its fair share of students who need special education services.

Meanwhile, as we approach the 10 o’clock hour on this school day, the number of tweets Steve Perry has sent out on the public dime is in excess of 110 and counting.

The most respected educator in America?

When is 36 Percent equal to Near Zero Percent?

When Capital Preparatory Magnet School’s principal Steve Perry says it is.

Calling himself “America’s Most Wanted Educator,” Steve Perry serves as the principal of Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School.  Traveling around the nation, on TV and radio and in his books, he talks about the extraordinary success of his “tough love” form of education.

While never revealing that his public school completely fails to take on its fair share of students who are not fluent in English or students who require special education services, he often talks about the fact that he is nearly 100 percent successful in getting poor, minority students through high school and into a four-year college.

Without checking the accuracy of his statements, media outlets and observers take his claims as fact.  For example;

“Perry’s demanding approach has yielded big results. The school…boasts a near 0 percent dropout rate.” – CNN

“Steve Perry has emerged as a voice for change. He is the founder of Capital Preparatory Magnet School, a public school in Hartford renowned for a near zero percent dropout rate…” – The Root Magazine

“Capital Preparatory Magnet School is considered one of the best high schools in the nation with a zero dropout rate” – Journal-Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“One of my favorite contributors to CNN is Steve Perry. He is principal of Capital Prep Magnet School… He boasts a near zero percent drop out rate.” – Mark Maiewski, “Virginia’s leading college planning authority”

So what are the facts?

The State of Connecticut tracks two key indicators of student connection with primary and secondary education.  Enrollment and dropout rate.   Enrollment is the number of students, tracked by grade, attending classes in a given school.  Dropout rate is the number of students, by grade, who leave school and are not enrolled in another school or GED program.

If a student actually “drops out” their connection with getting an education is severed.

As the data reveals, many students, especially in charter schools, don’t “dropout” but return to the public school system.  As is often the case, they are pushed out or counseled out, thereby leaving the charter schools with the “type of students” the school wants to educate.

So what about Steve Perry’s “near zero” dropout rate?

Capital Preparatory Magnet School’s Class of 2011 “graduated” 28 students.  Four years earlier, that class began with 43 students.  That is an enrollment decline of about 35 percent.  More than one-third of the students left or were pushed out of the program during their time at Capital Prep.

And this was after they had gone through a complex application and lottery process to get into Capital Prep in the first place.

These children didn’t “dropout” because they landed back in Hartford’s regular district schools.

Capital Prep’s Class of 2010 began with 40 students.  It ended with 29.  Steve Perry says that is a 0 percent dropout rate.

And the data reveals the same story year after year.

Word is that Perry will no longer serve as a commentator for CNN, but you can bet that he will continue to claim that losing a third of his students equals a zero percent dropout rate.

It is called “education reform speak.”

And few, even in the media, are willing to point out that it is a language in which the truth is frowned upon.

Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School Principal Steve Perry out as CNN commentator?

He calls himself “America’s Most Wanted Educator” and is a member of the Premiere Motivational Speakers Bureau. (See www.dr-steveperry.com)

His biography describes his approach as one in which, “every single detail matters. T’s are always crossed, I’s are always dotted. Shirts are always buttoned and tucked in.

As the principal of Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School he brags that his “daily routine of tough love and high expectations” always succeeds.

And to prove it, Steve Perry says, “If you don’t want to go to college, don’t go to Capital Prep. Go somewhere else.”

Of course, what he doesn’t reveal is that while nearly 1 in 4 students Hartford public school students aren’t fluent in English, more than 97.5% of Capital Preparatory Magnet School’s student body is fluent in English.

Meanwhile, about 13 percent of Hartford’s students need special education services, but Capital Prep’s number is a fraction of that.

And the list goes on.  For example, Perry boasts that “every graduating member of its senior class” goes on to a four-year college, never explaining that you can’t graduate from his school if you don’t get into a four-year college.

But it makes for great rhetoric and Perry has successfully parlayed it into a variety of positions including serving as a regular education commentator on CNN.

But his relationship with CNN may be coming to an end.

A source, knowledgeable about recent developments, confirmed today that Perry will no longer be holding that coveted role.

It is unclear exactly what happened, but his rhetoric probably made him a better candidate to serve as a commentator on Fox News than on a network dedicated to providing viewers with a fact-based and balanced approach.

For example, despite the fact that poverty, language barriers and special education needs are widely recognized as the greatest factors influencing test scores, when Ohio’s right-wing, tea-bag governor proposed actually tying teacher pay to test scores, Steve Perry got on CNN and called it a “great idea.”  But when asked for evidence that such a system had any chance of working, Perry couldn’t quite answer the question.

Often his diatribes were simply factually wrong, such as in the case where he was explaining the difference between No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top Program (see link).

At other times, it was his vehement anti-teacher, anti-union rhetoric that created the impression that his disregard for teachers and their unions made it difficult to know when his explanations were fact or fiction. For example, here is Perry on the Chicago teachers’ strike (see link).

But in the end, his problems were probably best exemplified by his comments in the following link, where he tries to explain why algebra is taught at his magnet school even though, in his mind, it apparently isn’t a particularly useful subject (see link).

Or even more to the point, here Perry explains that the controversial CREDO report on charter schools was put out by the teacher unions when in fact it was paid for by the charter school advocates including the ultra-conservative Walton Family Foundation.  (See http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1005/06/cnr.06.html)

Updates will be added if more information becomes available, but for now, apparently CNN has an opening for an education commentator.