Corporatism, Education — May 21, 2013 at 6:50 am

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.