I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Charter Schools = Wingnut Welfare

No one who reads this blog will be at all surprised by this:

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. [emphasis mine]
That's right, folks: Michigan didn't have enough money (until the last minute) to keep the public schools in Buena Vista running, but they can support a charter school run by a 22-year-old with no education training.

When Bailey ran for the Michigan statehouse, he was endorsed by StudentsFirst: that made him one of only 15 non-Republicans SF supported out of a total of 105 candidates in that cycle. After reading Bailey's story, I can't help but wonder how many of those 15 were also stealth conservatives, running as Democrats because it was the only way they could win in their districts.

Well, Bailey did his part to support Republican Governor Rick Snyder's assault on public education, and now he gets his reward: his very own charter school. What do you think the prospects are for Taylor Prep's "success"? Yeah, me too...

Mark my words: this wasn't the first, and it won't be the last time a political hack is "rewarded" this way for his fealty to the privatization cause. Charter schools are a great way to pay off cronies and fellow travelers. State education departments, if they aren't already, will soon become the new Tammany Halls, where any incompetent "reformer" can run his own school - as long as he plays for the right team.
Everybody gets a taste...

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