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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday June 25 2014, @01:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the alma-emptor dept.

Corinthian Colleges, with about 75,000 students in the US and Canada as well as online classes, owns 3 for-profit higher education brands: Everest College, Heald College, and WyoTech schools.
Corinthian receives $1.4B a year from federal education financing programs ($4 out of every $5 of its income).
Late last week, the company appeared headed for permanent closure, but an agreement reached Monday with DoE will allow it to stay in business with Federal oversight.

The US Department of Education has limited its access to federal funds after it failed to provide documents and other information to the agency.
That follows allegations that the company altered grades, student attendance records and falsified job-placement data used in advertisements for its schools.
[...]
The Education Department said that it heightened its oversight of the company after requesting data "multiple times" over the past five months

The company, based in Santa Ana, California, has previously been sued by California Attorney General Kamala Harris

for marketing fraud, arguing that the company mislead prospective students about how its graduates fared in the job market.

Worse, Everest officials paid nearby companies to hire their graduates for just long enough to make the school's statistics look better, then let them go. One Everest campus in Georgia paid companies $2,000 a head to keep Everest graduates on staff for 30 days.
[...]
the company will reportedly get the bridge funding it needs long enough to act on several DOE requests, including closing some of its schools and bringing in an independent auditor for its remaining operations. The DOE is weighing whether or not to reauthorize several Corinthian-owned schools for participation in the federal financial aid system, according to the Associated Press. The company will attempt to sell off significant parts of its 107-campus network.

 
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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday June 25 2014, @07:09AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday June 25 2014, @07:09AM (#59717) Journal

    Hmm, very good question. One explanation I have seen of the push for accountability in higher education is that the for-profits want some measureable stats by which to compare themselves to actual universities and colleges. It is not surprising that these "businesses" have found it in their interest to bribe companies to hire their "graduates" to keep the stats up! But that leads us back to the original question, what is the government doing in higher education at all?

    Stay with me, this may take a while. First, know that my user name is that of a Greek Astronomer of the 3rd Century BC. That means I predate the university system by quite a while. But even in my time schools had been established, the Academy of Plato, the Lyceum of Aristotle, and the Ptolemy's established the library of Alexandria and its attendant school. Now all this went to crap, probably due to the Romans, who were much more interested in strategy and engineering than science and philosophy. Universities, such are they are, were established in Europe in the mid-middle ages. This is probably due to the foresight of Charlemagne, or Charles Magnus of the house of Pepin. Franks, you know. The University of Paris, and Oxford, and Bologna became rather famous centers of learning. But one of my favorite stories is that at one point some flunky of the English Royal court asked how had Oxford managed to function for its first several centuries of existence without a Chancellor! The answer, of course, was quite well, since the chancellor was only instituted to be the representative of the crown, to keep an eye on those treasonous scholars.

    So we end up with a battle, the crown versus actual knowledge, and the result is certain traditions like tenure, where the government cannot just get rid of scholars whose scholarship it finds, um, inconvenient. And we are skipping over all the conflict with organized religion, since I assume everyone on Soylent News has seen the new Cosmos.

    Democracy. The first requirement of a real democracy is that it respect the autonomy of every citizen. Of course, to do that, we have to make sure that the said citizen is educated enough to form his or her own opinion and not be lead by demagogues like Hitler and George W. Bush. Now in America, which does seem to be a special case, or at least first in this, the meant universal access to higher education. College was no longer for the the upper classes exclusively, something that first really came to pass with the GI Bill after WWII.

    This lead to a bunch of working class people getting educated, and then their children all turned into Hippies, and so that whole "higher education for everyone" thing was backed away from. But the precedent had been set, where there is tax money available, there will be sleaze-ball entrepreneurs trying to make a buck off it. And since the whole real estate, sub-prime derivative "what was that?" market crashed, what better area to go into than education? People might realize that a loan on real estate is just insane at some point, but when do you realize that you spent too much on getting a bachelor's degree?

    OK,summary: it is not that government has no business intervening in higher education, it is that it already has, and with what are actually good public interest reasons. But that intervention has introduced a profit potential with has attracted sharks, scumbags, and Republicans and the higher education version of Charter Schools, so the government has no choice but to counter-intervene to level the playing field, and hopefully leave questions of legitimacy up to those with the actual expertise, scholars. Any questions? There will be an exam in two days.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25 2014, @09:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25 2014, @09:54PM (#60084)

    the for-profits want some [measurable] stats by which to compare themselves

    They should be careful what they wish for.
    As an example, in the first study of charter school performance, 83 percent of the time they did no better than the standard public schools. [google.com]
    Subsequent studies have reached similar conclusions.

    One wonders how poor the results of the charter schools would be if they didn't get to cherry-pick their students to start with and couldn't expel them on a whim.

    More on the "excellence" of charter schools. [wordpress.com]

    ...and with "measuring", you're heading in the direction of standardized testing--another boondoggle that sends public money to private hands.

    .
    we have to make sure that the said citizen is educated enough to form his or her own opinion and not be lead by demagogues

    You're remembering the '60s (the children of the first GI Bill graduates).
    California Governor Ronald Reagan et al tried very hard to totally crush the free thinking that you prescribe.
    (When he became US President, that former president of the Screen Actors Guild made every effort to crush unions in a similar way.)

    The 1 Percent needs cheap, compliant workers.
    If those workers are heavily in debt, that is to the advantage of the elite class (re: compliance).
    If they elites can't find those serfs here, they know that they can find them offshore.
    That is the current paradigm.

    -- gewg_