More crazy sh*t Capital Prep Steve Perry has said

Steve Perry is the principal of a public school in Hartford, Connecticut.  For that job, the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut pay Perry close to $200,000 in salary, benefits and retirement credits.

But Steve Perry also has a lucrative speaking business that means he is absent from his job about 20 percent of the school year.

Perry has also set up his own private charter school management company and with eight of his fellow Capital Prep administrators and teachers Perry has submitted a proposal to open a charter school in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Regardless of what happens with that pending application, Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry will always be known for his offensive Tweet of November 21, 2013.

After the Hartford Board of Education rejected Steve Perry’s request to transfer Capital Prep Magnet School and another Hartford Elementary school over to his private company, Perry Tweeted,

Dr. Steve Perry‏@DrStevePerry
“The only way to lose a fight is to stop fighting. All this did was piss me off. It’s so on. Strap up, there will be head injuries.”

Strap up is slang for putting on a concealed pistol and “there will be head injuries” doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

If a student posted that threat, they’d be arrested, suspended and probably prohibited from ever returning to a public school.

If a teacher said that, they be fired and papers filed to have their certification revoked by the State Board of Education.

But Steve Perry said it…  And neither Christina Kishimoto nor the Hartford Board of Education took any disciplinary action at all.

But that was hardly the only time Steve Perry has used his Twitter account to make threats or say inappropriate things while on the job.

In fact, Perry has spent hundreds of hours Tweeting when he should have been working.  And the taxpayers of Hartford and Connecticut were left picking up the tab for that time.

Whether on Twitter, in speeches, interviews or in writing, Capital Prep’s Steve Perry has said some pretty crazy stuff.

In an April 2013 speech in Minnesota, when talking about teachers unions Perry said “we need to call out the roaches.”

Perry also used the speech to blame teachers for the “literal death” of children.  [This coming from a Connecticut school administrator 120 days after school administrators and teachers gave their lives in a desperate attempt to save children at Sandy Hook Elementary School].

But outrageous and disgusting rhetoric has been Steve Perry’s consistent forte.

Here are just a few of quotes and comments,

“Enough is a damn ‘nuf…  Drag sorry principals and teachers out into the street.  Kick open the doors in our communities and collar lazy parents.  Line ‘em all up on Main Street, snatch their pants down and show the entire world the ass that they have given our kids to kiss.”  (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools”).

“The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) ain’t liberal and they damn sure aren’t progressive.  Their drab played out policies are more conservative than the National Rifle Association.  The AFT and the NEA make the NRA look like a San Francisco gay pride parade.”  (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools).

“If you think about it, being a teacher is one of the most stable jobs you can find…Over 95 percent of all Connecticut’s tenured teachers kept their jobs this year, so one would think 95 percent of our students would be…When their children’s performance suffer, they do not [suffer].”  (Perry interview, Hartford Advocate 2010)

“Dictatorial teachers’ unions despise Steve Perry.  So do lazy teachers.  So do entrenched, unimaginative school boards.”  (Cover Flap, Perry’s book, “Push Has Come to Shove”).

“Teaching kids is stressful, and we don’t need any punks.”  (Perry’s Book, “Push Has Come to Shove”).

“We are looking for attractive, smart, interesting people.  Yes, I said attractive.  Why?  Because attractive, smart, and interesting people sell kids everything—from breakfast cereal to Xbox games.  That may sound cynical, but it’s the truth.  Why should we expect anything different when trying to sell children education?”  (Perry’s Book, “Push Has Come to Shove”)

“The leaders of our teachers’ unions have ruined public schools.  They are the ones who created the school calendar that is too short and a six-and-a-half-hour school day…” (Perry’s book, “Push Has Come to Shove”).

“Teachers’ unions are not the only professional parasites feasting on our public schools.  Add the unions representing principals, secretaries, custodians, security officers, and paraprofessionals and you’ll begin to see why our schools don’t work…Their working conditions are awesome.  Our schools are failing.”  (Perry’s book, “Push Has Come to Shove”).

“Yet the union leadership often claims that parents want neighborhood schools.  Lie.  Maybe the teacher that live (sic) in nice neighborhoods want them, but Black people that live in the hood want out of their neighborhood schools in a hurry.” (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools”).

“Let’s get it straight: schools are failing because of the people who work in them, not because of parents like you.  The truth is that one factor—teacher effectiveness—has the greatest impact on student performance.”  (Perry’s book, Push Has Come to Shove”).

“[On Capital Prep’s community…]  We’ve built a bold bad ass (sic?) band of brothers and sisters of all hues who share a sir name and it is Love.” (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools”).

“We are one of the nation’s most successful schools because we don’t whine that the difference our kids.” (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools”).

His communication style on Twitter is equally bizarre,

Perry has also used his Twitter account to call the Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading public education advocate, a racist on at least 49 occasions.)

Perry recently Tweeted, “Oh yeah, by the way CPrep started w 55 freshmen 4 yrs ago and will graduate 53, 100% of whom have acceptance letters to 4 year colleges.”

The statement is a bald face lie.  Perry has been losing 10-30% of his students over the years.  This year’s “graduating class” is down at least 10% from the 9th grade.  Others have transferred into his school which explains his claim that there are 53 graduating from Capital Prep this year.  However, Capital Prep’s dropout or push out rate is significant.

And finally, like most bullies, Steve Perry is not only arrogant and abusive but thin skinned.  In response to a Wait, What? blog post and some criticism, Perry went on a Twitter rampage one day Tweeting,

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
Be the person worth talking about not the clown talking about other ppl.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
Think about it, if you’re the topic in a room that you’ll never visit, what does that say about the room? Be bold & don’t look back.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
If your greatest contribution is the criticism of others, your life is w/o value and you will deep the poison fruit you’ve sewn.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
The only person who has to get you is you. You’ve got to like you the most. If you dig you, who gives a damn what others think?

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
When they’re counting what’s going in your pocket, they clearly ain’t putting nothing in theirs. Man, their life must really suck.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
They only ppl worrying about what you’ve got do have anything of their own. Feel bad for them, their life sucks.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
Don’t EVER let anybody make you feel bad for being successful. The fact that they’re not is THEIR problem, not yours. Let THEM live w it.

Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry
We have shined the lights on those who have been responsible for forcing kids to go to failed schools & my God are they desperate to stop us

  • Gloria A. Brown

    Why is a person who can’t even spell, use proper grammar, or put a coherent sentence together a Principal of a school? Role model? I think not. Shame on those who let him continue to have a job.
    You might also notice how many followers he has on Twitter compared to those that he follows- whenever anyone criticizes him, he blocks them. He doesn’t follow many people because he doesn’t want to hear what anyone else has to say. Think he might run his school that way, too?

    • speaking up

      People are calling Dr. Steve Perry a “Brilliant educational mind” and rejoicing to know that “The future is in good hands.” His comment is interesting, too.

      Tracy ‏@Tracy257 Mar 10
      @DrStevePerry @kwhalum haven’t been 2 a church n 2 years, but I’ll def b n the place. Would love to meet a Brilliant educational mind!

      Debra Glidden ‏@djglidden 19h
      The future is in good hands #DDA2014 @IAmSteveHarvey @DrStevePerry Thank you!

      Dr. Steve Perry ‏@DrStevePerry 8h
      What’s the reason that superheroes have to keep their identity secret? What does that say?

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    A Principal without principles. They don’t come any more smarmy. Shame on his benefactors and particularly the Hartford CT cast of Dumb and Dumber.

  • Bill Morrison

    Wasn’t the Hartford BoE supposed to have a session dealing with Perry? Whatever happened?
    By the way, I am posting at home after suffering a concussion a few days ago by getting punched in the head many times when trying to break up a student fight. So, “Dr” Perry, Mr. Ed, and whatever other names you go by, my post is legal.

    • educationmatters

      He’s out at the end of the year. The meeting was purported to have been the acceptance and terms of his resignation.

      • Guest

        For real? Halleluja!
        Wonder what the terms are?

        • speaking up

          He has submitted an application (and would appear to be receiving serious consideration) for a Charter school in Bridgeport. Public hearing to be held very soon.

        • Guest

          Right. Acceptance of his resignation doesn’t jibe with that. ???

    • Real Teacher

      Hope you get well soon Bill. I wonder what type of head injury “Dr” Perry suffered in the past that would account for his inane rants.

  • Guest

    Perry seems to equate success with how much money he is making. And on that basis, he seems quite pleased with himself. As a school principal he should be more concerned with successfully educating students. The statistics he uses to claim his school is successful cannot withstand scrutiny. His claims are all smoke and mirrors. Talk is cheap.

  • jrp1900

    Dr. Steve Perry has written some “books.” But judged by the quality of his prose, they will never be confused with genuine literature. The mixture of hipster street slang and sheer illiteracy–as in “we’ve built a bold bad ass band of brothers and sisters of all hues who share a surname and it is Love”–is downright embarrassing, and is surely unworthy of a school principal. Perry’s rants against unions of all kind are indicative of a deep irrationalism–he seems not to know that unions have legal responsibilities to protect the interests of their members. His anti-unionism can be fairly described as rabid. I have no idea why he is such a committed union hater. The other possibility is that he does not really hate unions, but has committed to playing the corporate reform game where unions are cast as pure evil. Perhaps Perry is playing the game because it pays handsomely–to the tune of almost $200,000 per annum. How he warrants this level of compensation is an absolute mystery. When you consider Perry’s sorry performance as an educational leader, and when you consider his dubious qualities of character, there is only question that demands an immediate answer: what sort of joke is being played upon children to allow this man to be the principal of their school?

    • Guest

      Actually, you corrected one of his mistakes! He called Love a “sir name!” You might be onto something re: playing the corporate reform game with unions. He has been seen on at least one occasion to be very tight with a union official in the HFT. He gets to behave the way he does because Kishimoto and the Hartford BoE let him!

      • jrp1900

        Guest: Yeah, Perry has definitely had his enablers. They bear some responsibility for his erratic and foolish behavior, as they might easily have reined him in many months ago. The thing I don’t like about the way Perry plays the corporate reform game is that he gives American society an easy pass on the marginalization of poor urban minorities. There is a vast body of sociological literature which attributes the sufferings of “the ghetto” to segregation, deindustrialization, unemployment, oppressive criminalization and so on. Now comes Perry with the ludicrous right wing narrative that it is teachers’ unions that are primarily responsible for keeping poor children locked in the prison of poverty, as if teachers were the ones who set up segregated schools and communities. Perry would have us believe that the teachers who actually work with poor children are the real problem; but those powerful social forces which hold the children in poverty are not to be faulted. This is a stupid argument, but it appeals to powerful people and so it gets some play in US society. Perry is no intellect, but he is low and cunning and ambitious–he sees that he can do very well for himself if he parrots the line that’s it all down to “the teachers.”

        I don’t think Perry is really thinking any of the issues. He is doing and saying what seems to work–for him!

        • Guest

          Exactly! Education today is just a tool to perpetuate instituional racism and maintain the status quo. Perry doesn’t really seem to want to understand the deeper issues. Too busy getting rich.

        • jrp1900

          Guest: In a sense, the promotion of people like Perry is truly heartbreaking. African-Americans, and other people of color, have struggled long and hard for the right to educational opportunity. Clearly, the struggle is far from over. But Perry represents a dangerous and futile direction. By siding with corporatism, he is playing a role in the disenfranchisement of local communities as regards educational matters. In other words, he is helping powerful people to destroy democracy.

          We have been here before in the shape of Booker T. Washington, who gave up on politics in order to receive patronage from wealthy whites, who had their own reasons for advancing “the education of the Negro.” Washington settled for “industrial training” for blacks. His main opponent in the African-American community was the great W.E.B. Du Bois who wanted blacks to have a comprehensive education, including all the liberal arts. Du Bois saw that blacks could never make claims on citizenship if they renounced higher education and politics.

          Steve Perry might think he is some latter day Du Bois, but he is really much closer to Booker T. Washington. Washington was in many respects a “white man’s negro,” but he at least had the excuse of having to deal with an enraged white South that was coming out of Reconstruction. Washington made his compromises because the Ku Klux Klan, and other night riders, were everywhere to be found. Washington thought that the best thing he could do for blacks was to align their interests with powerful northern capitalists. Washington was wrong, but you can at least understand his thinking.

          What is Steve Perry thinking? Is he thinking at all? Why do I get the feeling that he is all about the money and power?

        • Guest

          Because he is. He’s a sellout.
          You make excellent points.

        • jrp1900

          Guest: You know, I think you are dead right: he is a sellout!

        • speaking up

          I cannot, of course, know what Dr. Steve Perry is thinking. It does seem to be rather obvious that he is about money and power.

          I’ve said it before, though… I’m afraid that he honestly doesn’t have a clue about the extent to which he is being used to destroy any possibility of real solutions for children of color in this country. He is a victim of the powers and interests that are using him to further their goals.

          I came to my first realization of this when I was instructed by a member of Dr. Steve Perry’s administration to mark my multi-racial child as “white” on the RSCO lottery application. I had already been told that my child was ‘in’ and that the application was a formality, but when I marked multiple race/ethnicities (one of which is white) on the application, I was told that it would “better my child’s chances of getting in” if I marked my child as being only white.

          My child is gifted and talented; this is why Dr. Steve Perry wanted my child to attend “his” school. My child receives very high marks, grades and scores on standardized and other tests. The intent in having my child labeled as white was to raise Capital Prep’s diversity numbers in order to receive Sheff funding. The result would have been showing “another white student” as having excellent grades/scores. How can this be construed as being helpful in any way to the intent of Sheff v. O’Neill?

          I marked my child as white on the lottery application and then marked my child accurately in the registration materials when the school year began. (I brought this to the attention of persons working in the “Sheff Office” at the CT Dep’t of Ed and was told that there was nothing that could be done – that the school could not be held responsible for actions that parents took regardless of their having been advised to do so by the school.)

          My child was bullied by other students at Capital Prep and Dr. Steve Perry refused to address the situation in any kind of a meaningful way. Dr. Steve Perry told me, in fact, that he does not believe in “bullying.” Administrators in city and state offices then refused to address the same situation – until it repeated itself enough times that they had no choice. I am very grateful that my child was singled out to have an extraordinarily unacceptable experience at Capital Prep. If this had not been the case, I may not have realized what was happening in that building, and I may not have pulled my child out after only 4 months.

          Dr. Steve Perry – and more importantly, the persons “in charge” of governing him – are playing fast and loose in a game with numbers of vulnerable children’s futures at stake.

          I no longer have a personal interest in what charter schools are doing to urban districts. I live in a suburb and could bow out – grateful to not have to play in this game any more.

          On the other hand, I have a very personal interest in what charter schools are doing to urban districts. I am the mother of a young person of color living in the United States today.

          All of our children deserve for us to stand up and stop this sht before it goes any further and does any more harm.

        • jrp1900

          Guest: We agree that Steve Perry “doesn’t have a clue about the extent to which he is being used to destroy any possibility of real solutions for children of color.” But for a man who claims to be educated–who, indeed, claims to be an educator–his ignorance is inexcusable. Steve Perry wake up, man! Have you read any US history? Do you know anything at all about the struggle of racial minorities for educational equality? Steve, if you even knew something, you would be mightily suspicious of the powers backing corporate education reform. Let me put it like this: some of the big power players in school privatization have not been known for their friendliness to blacks and other people of color. Perhaps they have something other in mind than “civil rights” for urban residents when they call for closing the public schools and replacing them with private charters. Steve, read some history and you won’t find this an improbable scenario.
          Guest, your experiences at Capital Prep convey everything we need to know about the real purpose of school reform. When your child came to Steve Perry as an actual living person, Dr. Perry really wasn’t that interested. He did not take seriously that your child was being bullied. But when it’s a matter of using your child as a test score or a racial identity category, Dr. Perry was only too helpful. So the moral is: actual children don’t count, but children as “data” are indispensable. What a horrible farce! What a jerk is Dr. Perry. His leadership is all smoke and mirrors.
          I completely agree with you that Perry has to be stopped for the good of the children. And I’m glad your child is now at a school that better serves his interests.

        • speaking up

          100% agreed, jrp1900. Children as data are indispensable in this farce; children as objects are, as well. I learned after pulling my child out of Capital Prep that, when visitors came to observe this “trailblazing” new school, my child was pulled out of class to impress these visitors.

          All while the bullying was going on and not being addressed.

          In this new, unbelievable reality that we are living in, there are even more outrageous facts in this particular case; I am not willing to state them publicly because children are involved.

          I refer to Dr. Steve Perry in exactly the way that he refers to himself. He purports himself to be an educated educator. I believe that he should be held to standards accordingly.


  • speaking up

    I am very glad not to have read any of his books. Reading these quotes is nauseating. His bold bad ass band of attractive, smart, interesting people is bullying intelligent, sensitive, kind and good students, parents and teachers – and he is proud of every bit of it.

    Admittedly an idealist, I still can’t believe that others who may not be would tolerate – and worse, condone – Dr. Steve Perry’s attitude and behavior. I hope that everyone in positions to have stopped this gets all that is coming to them when the time comes for them to deep the poison fruits they’ve sewn.

    For heaven’s sake it’s like some kind of a really bad, uneducated, adolescent joke but GROWN MEN AND WOMEN holding administrative positions in public education are inflicting this on young children.

    My nausea this evening is literal.

    • Guest

      I agree. It is sickening the number of people in positions of authority who are so grossly inadequate and worse.

    • jrp1900

      speaking up: you perfectly describe my feelings about the bizarre case of Dr. Steve Perry, the most trusted educator in America–NOT! But most certainly one of America’s biggest bullshitters!

  • PhillipMarlowe

    ““Enough is a damn ‘nuf… Drag sorry principals and teachers out into the street. Kick open the doors in our communities and collar lazy parents. Line ‘em all up on Main Street, snatch their pants down and show the entire world the ass that they have given our kids to kiss.” (Perry’s book, “Raggedy Schools”).”

    Terribly ironic. That’s what white Philly police (under Rizzo) did to black males. In spring of 1970, Newsweek published a picture of a police raid in which the Black Panthers were stripped, standing pant less in the cold.

    • Guest

      Perry is filled with some deep-seated anger. Spitting vitriol and talking tough are just symptoms.

  • Rob

    jrp1900, what’s it going to take to get you to run for BOE? City Council? Anything?

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