Hartford’s Capital Prep Subject of Accusations from Blogger Jon Pelto

What precisely does Jon Pelto think he’s doing? Maybe he forgot that he hasn’t been a member of the Connecticut General Assembly for a few decades.

Going well beyond badgering, past a polemic and landing squarely into broadside attack territory, Jon Pelto has seen fit to email real, voted-into-office legislators about Capital Prep founder and Principal Dr. Steve Perry.

It seems Pelto has been going through Perry’s closets looking for skeletons. He found only dust bunnies, but no matter — he’ll call them skeletons just the same.

According to the excitable-if-not-precisely-accurate Jon Pelto, a letter supposedly sent to Perry by the CIAC, the high school sports governing body, said that Capital Prep gave the “appearance” of recruitment..

Capital Prep, you see, is a magnet school, graduating students at a far higher rate than the Hartford school district. The Capital Prep graduation rate approaches 100 percent. As a district, a bit fewer than 70 percent of Hartford’s students graduate in four years. [Connecticut School Performance Report 2012-2013, Capital Preparatory Magnet School]

In fact, upper-grade students at Capital Prep outperform the district average in every subject.

As a magnet, students must take part in a lottery to attend Capital Prep. When the CIAC investigated allegations that student athletes were being recruited to attend, they found no wrongdoing.

What they found, according to Pelto’s own post, “could be viewed as a form of recruitment.”

Of course, all we know is what Pelto posted. We must take him on his word that the letter is real, seeing as he didn’t, you know, post the whole thing. As in all things, Pelto cherry-picks the bits and pieces that suit his fictions.

But no matter, he’s Jon Pelto, and the truth doesn’t enter into it. Providing no source material, offering nothing but a molehill he imagines to be a mountain, Pelto still went ahead and emailed legislators, not only accusing Perry of violating the law, but the State Department of Education for ignoring it.

Let’s hope legislators choose not to listen too closely to Pelto’s polemics, and instead pay attention to the truth.

Here’s the truth: In Hartford, one out of three kids doesn’t graduate from high school. At Capital Prep, every student can expect to graduate and to be prepared to succeed in college.

As I’ve written before, Bridgeport would be lucky to get a school like Capital Prep. It would be nice to have close to 100 percent of our city’s students graduate high school, heads held high, ready to take on colleges and careers, ready to compete with students from around the world.



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