Hold School Leaders Accountable for Success

For once, Jon Pelto got it right. Trouble is, he simultaneously got it completely and utterly, almost unbelievably wrong.

That’s what happens when you invent facts to suit your viewpoint.

The King of the Land-of-Make-Believe was recently at it again, taking verbal pot shots at principal Dr. Steve Perry. Perry must be held accountable, Pelto says, and he’s right. The Hartford Board of Education must hold Perry accountable for founding and managing one of the city’s high-performing magnet schools.

Students at Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School can actually expect to graduate prepared for college or a career, and Perry should be held accountable for that.

Perry should be held accountable for the school’s 97 percent graduation rate.

Capital Prep was voted one of “America’s Best High Schools” by US News & World Report, a fact the district likes to tout, and Perry should be held accountable. [Hartford Public Schools, School Listing, Capital Prep]

Here are some other actual, for-real, honest-to-goodness facts for which Dr. Perry should be held accountable:

• Capital Prep is more diverse than the Hartford school district, and the school has gotten more diverse over the past five years. [Public School Review, Capital Preparatory]

• The graduation rate at Capital Prep is 30 percentage points higher than the district’s. [State Department of Education, Performance Report, Capital Preparatory, 2012-2013]

• Upper-class students at Capital Prep perform better in math, science, reading and writing than the district average. [State Department of Education, Performance Report, Capital Preparatory, 2012-2013]

Perry should be held accountable for effectively using a school model that could and should be exported to Bridgeport.

Hartford and Bridgeport have a lot in common. Both cities are home to failing schools with large minority populations. Jon Pelto has maligned the school leaders in both cities who are improving education for those students.

You see, rather than write his blog posts using the traditional journalistic method — start with the facts — Pelto prefers to use the time-dishonored technique popular with the likes of Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass: Make stuff up.

Pelto doesn’t like Paul Vallas so he makes up how much the superintendent’s health care will cost.

And even more idiotic, Pelto doesn’t like Steve Perry so he makes up how much Perry’s Tweets cost the district.

As a public service, will somebody please let Pelto know that Twitter is free? Eh, don’t bother. Pelto doesn’t care about facts anyway.



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