Corporatism, Education — May 21, 2013

22-year old failed fake Michigan Democrat Cody Bailey now running a for-profit charter school


When educating your kids is all about making a profit, being a shyster is as good a qualification as anything

Last year, I wrote about fake Democrat Cody Bailey who had his ass handed to him by now-State Representative David Knezek. Bailey barely beat a candidate in the Democratic primary who didn’t even run a campaign and got his clock cleaned by Knezek. As I outlined in my expose, Bailey was anything but a Democrat and ran one of the sleaziest, most fact-challenged campaigns in my experience.

Imagine my (non) surprise to discover this week that Bailey, at the tender age of 22, is now the president of the Taylor Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids Taylor, a for-profit charter high school that opens in the fall. What qualifies Bailey to be the president of an educational institution with a lofty mission of being “a bridge to a life well lived” for high schoolers? In a word (well, two words): not much.

Have a look at his LinkedIn page:

He owns rental properties and works at the family auto service and towing shop. Before that it was mostly fraternity stuff.

We got our first clue that something was afoot when Bailey changed his Facebook image to this one in late November, after the election was over. Note that it still says “Candidate for State Representative”:

This heightened emphasis on education was foreshadowed by Cody’s endorsement during the Democratic primary by StudentsFirst and the Great Lakes Education Project.

Then, in January of this year, Bailey posted this on his Facebook wall:

I’d like to urge all of my followers from the campaign to transition over to my new page “ReformED Michigan.” I will spend the coming weeks and months working to organize and mobilize Michiganders in a singular goal of reforming our education system, giving Parents and Kids a choice in education. In the end our economy will never fully recover until we have an education system that adequately prepares our kids for the workforce. Choice in education is how we will build that system, just look to the recent Stanford CREDO. Where students in Michigan Charters gain an additional two months of learning compared to traditional public students, and those in Detroit and Metro Detroit ones gain an additional three months of learning! So please join me in growing this movement, and join me in giving a voice to our kids in Lansing.

With writing as bad as that, I’m surprised he was able to complete the application for Taylor Preparatory High School’s open president position.

UPDATE: As of 11:20 a.m. ET, May 21, 2013, the above post directing people to Bailey’s ReformED page as well as the ReformED page itself have both been deleted.

His ReformED Facebook page is basically just a regurgitation of the same Mackinac Center/Great Lakes Education Project/StudentsFirst pablum that we’ve all become accustomed to. This was then followed in March by a Facebook note titled “2013 and beyond…” where he casts poxes on both Republicans’ and Democrats’ houses and yanks his hat out of the ring (for some undeclared future run for office):

In 2013 so many have asked me to take another plunge and run for local office, it is with a heavy heart, and after much reflection and prayer that I have decided this isn’t my path. I will continue my focus on fixing our education system, and helping to grow my families business, and create more quality, good paying jobs.

Keep in mind that he’s 22 years old. It’s not like he’s been at this all that long and he has almost no actual business experience. He’s only been able to drink legally for about 20 months.

But now he’s the president of a high school. America is indeed a miraculous place. People will actually send their high school-aged kids to a for-profit school run by a 22-year old with no experience in much of anything, much less education. (At one point, their webpage mentioned all kids getting a free laptop. That enticement appears to be gone now.)

He’ll have help, of course. Taylor Preparatory High School’s treasurer is Audrey Spalding. She’s around 26 and is an education policy analyst for the anti-teacher/anti-union Mackinac Center. The vice president is James Dinnan, the Bible Department Chair and Professor of Bible at Manthano Christian College. Manthano Christian College says their learning outcomes are to “have biblical truth based on the inerrant, Word of God”. He’s also the pastor at the New Day Bible Church in Belleville. I suppose Dinnan will be responsible for Taylor Preparatory High Schools self-described “Moral Focus Program”.

Your tax dollars will pay for the salaries of these three to run a high school in Taylor: a 22-year old with no particular job experience, a twenty-something Mackinac Center policy wonk/PR mouthpiece, and a fundamentalist Christian professor and pastor. That’s gonna be some school.

UPDATE 2: Bailey has commented several times in the comment section of this piece. In one of the comments, he says he’s not taking a salary. I have more to say about that my follow-up piece this morning.

A final important fact to know: Taylor Preparatory High School is one of four that a for-profit charter group called PrepNet runs. PrepNet is part of the National Heritage Academies, a national for-profit charter school corporation based in Grand Rapids.

I don’t actually fault Cody Bailey for doing this. If you have no ethics and can get away getting paid to do something you’re absolutely unqualified to do, something that doesn’t require any training at all, why not? If there are two things that Cody Bailey clearly lacks, it’s ethics and experience. That’s not scandalous, it’s just greed and avarice.

No, once again, I fault the for-profit school corporations that have such callous disregard for the children of Michigan that they’d put a 22-year old kid in charge of a high school that is funded largely with our tax dollars.

THAT is the scandal.

  • Aaron Camp

    I wonder what that turncoat Roy Schmidt is up to these days…

  • luckdragon

    It’s not in Grand Rapids. It’s in Taylor, and I drive past it every day. Thought it seemed pretty fishy…

    • Thanks. I’ve corrected the typo.

      • rhoneyman

        just read it. copy is riddled with gr.

        also, a stupid nit: pablum is a baby cereal. pabulum is descriptive of the dreck put out by the mackinac center. :)

        i’m aghast that this is actually happening. but i’m even more astonished that the folks who have hired this nitwit allow him to publish without demanding prior review. (did this guy really earn a university degree?)

  • Truth in Education

    No school is for profit. They are formed under the Michigan mon-profit corp act. The school is Taylor Prep and is in Taylor.

    • You’re right. It’s in Taylor. I have corrected the typo. It is run by the National Heritage Academies which decidedly IS for-profit.

      • Francisco d’Anconia

        Profit is not evil.

        “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the
        brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to
        their own interest.” – Adam Smith

        • Nobody says it’s evil, nor is it — so long as it’s not being done dishonestly. But taking money to provide a service you are unqualified to provide and misleading people as to its purpose does fall under the heading of dishonest.

        • hippie1367

          It is when its subsidized by taxpayers.

    • map


      If you are going to comment a post about you, you should use your real name and not one of the many aliases you go by. And adding a question mark after Truth in Education would make your screen name more accurate. Just sayin’ . . .

      • LMAO!

        • Cody Bailey

          I don’t need to hide who I am, sorry to let ya down. Also Chris please get a fact checker before you write things, wanna see my bank statements? I don’t collect a salary.

          • Shut up and teach before you think you’re even remotely qualified to run a high school.

          • Cody Bailey

            Classy. I’m not running a high school. I serve as one on a board of directors that oversees operations, just like thousands of people across our state on traditional public and public charter boards.

          • map

            Then why do you post in comment sections all over the state as Truth in Education and why did you start three facebook pages, Michigan Parents for Better Schools, ReformED, and (here’s the kicker) Truth in Education? (There are probably more and we just haven’t noticed them yet. You are prolific if nothing else.) Seems like a lot of hiding going on if you ask me.

          • Cody Bailey

            I am the only person in the state of Michigan that supports charters? Therefore I must run all of these facebook groups right?

          • map

            I don’t know if you are the only person in Michigan that supports charters, but we know for a fact that you operated those facebook pages. Are you going to deny it?

            Before it was all good fun, but now you are setting out to fool parents and hurt children. That isn’t funny and I’m glad Chris called you out and I hope parents find out the truth before they make a horrible mistake.

          • Cody Bailey

            Prove to me that you know for a fact that I ran any page other than ReformED Michigan? One piece of evidence? Anything?

          • map

            We provided you with the evidence in private and soon after the ReformED page went away. Are you denying it? Anyways, you are providing the best evidence showing why you are unfit to be a principal at a high school by getting upset in a comment thread. I hope parents see this before signing their children up to your “school”.

          • Cody Bailey

            Lol – how does school board president become principal? You people truly are a herd of sheep. I never denied the reformED page, where’s the proof I own all these other ones? Never gave me anything in private.

          • map

            My work here is done. Bye!

          • GreenEagle

            Ever watch a cop show? When accused, innocent people always say “I’m innocent.” Guilty ones always say “Prove it, copper.”

          • Expert in my field

            Have any data to support the efficacy and innovation of charters? What about the fact that charters spend $1000. less per student for teacher costs, yet spend $800 more for administration. $aving $200 while weakening a previously respected school system (top 5 ACT)? What’s next young Cody? Are you going to micro manage doctors, lawyers and surgeons next with your “wisdom” and “experience?” You should publicly debate a teacher to show of your savy, eh?

            Put your money where your mouth is Cody. When you can supply data (not Mac Ctr #’s, BTW) supporting charters “superior” performance, you may have an audience, other than the “sheepeople” who presently blindly follow the “deform” presently circumventing the democratic process. Until then you are simply “white noise”.

          • Working for free for a for-profit company? I’m speechless.

          • Cody Bailey

            Sure thing Chris! You can come on down to my office, see my business, and those documents if you’d like as well. I always like to help people get the truth even if they have nothing better to do but bash me personally.

          • MITspelczech

            Two points I’d like to make. Your school is going to have a “moral focus,” yet you willingly dive into an “I know you are, but what am I?” argument. Might want to look into taking the high road.

            Second, your writing is atrocious. You have no business being the leader of any school. Go back to the tow truck and leave public education to those who know something about it.

          • trish

            I wonder if he went to a public school to acquire those atrocious writing skills…

          • No, Albion College : )

          • Didn’t Rick Snyder’s son go to Albion as well? Must have been in the Young Republican program together. I stand by my comment. You have no teaching experience, no background in education and haven’t lived long enough as an adult to be anyone’s president. Show me some data that merits your position. Just because you say you’re not getting paid doesn’t change the fact that you are not qualified for this position.

    • Truth in education

      Truth in education is. To run by anyone that is running or has ever run for office.

      • Truth in education

        Is not run by anyone that is running or has ever run for office

    • hippie1367

      Yes a system that puts a 22 yo with NO experience in charge and with a salary 5 times as large as a teachers….nice scam.

  • ram

    You really didn’t hesitate to say Bailey is immoral, did you?

  • Francisco d’Anconia

    Anti-teacher/anti-union? Way better than being anti-children.

    The great thing about this school (as compared to public schools) is that you can choose NOT to send your children there. Consumer choice is a wonderful thing.

    • bryan

      There are many private schools I’ve chosen NOT to send my children to. But I didn’t pay for those schools with my tax dollars.

      There are many public schools I’ve chosen not to send my children to. I did pay for those schools with my tax dollars — gladly, because that is my part of the social bargain we all made.

      This whole “charter school” industry needs to be torn down. If you want to teach in the public schools, fix the public school system. If you want to teach in private schools, where you can choose who gets included and who doesn’t, where the money goes into the pockets of profiteers, where you can teach religion and discard science, open a private school — on your own dime.

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  • Coming to this late, but I need to put a plug in for Cody’s dad’s business, Sparks Auto Service. (Since it’s listed there on his Linkedin profile) Cody is not his father’s son, apparently. His dad is a union guy, a liberal, and an honest businessman. We’ve all taken our cars to him and he’s a gem.

    I’m really sorry to hear his son has gone a different route. Sad.

    • Gary Bailey

      Ramona, I must chime in here.
      Cody is indeed my son who I am very proud of. He and I differ on many things but I can assure you that Cody is as honest as I am and the lies being told here are not representative of who or what he is. Thanks for the business plug BTW… Visit us at our new location in Westland, same award winning service, now in an award worthy facility!

      • Concerned Citizen

        I’m afraid that comment alone would steer me away from your business. Lining corporate pockets at the expense of Michigan’s children is nothing to be proud of.

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