As much as a few loud, vociferous Brian Moran apologists want to shut up people like Paul Goldman and me about the heinous, despicable for-profit “education” industry – for which Brian Moran is a top lobbyist – they’re not going to succeed. Especially since articles keep pouring out about how truly horrible this industry is, and how badly in need of shutting down (or at least reforming in a big way).
Just today, for instance, we’ve got a superb article in the New York Times that is a “must read” if you care about this topic in the least bit — and, frankly, whether you give a rat’s hindquarter’s about who becomes the next DPVA chair.
Oh, and for anyone who (bizarrely, falsely) think this is all some sort of anti-Brian Moran jihad by crazed and hateful bloggers, I’d point out that in my case, I’ve been after this slimeball industry for a lot longer than Brian Moran’s been a candidate for DPVA chair. Last May, for instance, I highlighted a FRONTLINE expose on this topic, without mentioning Brian Moran’s name once in the diary. I did the same in August, this time in response to an ABC News story by Chris Cuomo that ripped the industry and made its lead lobbyist, our old pal (and long-time lobbyist for shady causes) Harris Miller, look like a liar and a scam-artist. Then, of course, there are harsh critiques of this industry by the United Negro College Fund and others, like Sen. Tom Harkin and Sen. Dick Durbin. Of course, they all might be part of the anti-Brian Moran conspiracy as well, hateful/obsessed bloggers that we all know they are. Same thing with the Obama administration, which is attempting to crack down on this industry, while being opposed by Harris Miller’s group and Congressional Republicans – the usual suspects, in other words.
Anyway, with that intro, I refer you to the New York Times article, “Scrutiny Takes Toll on For-Profit College Company.” Here are some excerpts, but I encourage everyone to read the entire article, as well as the Harkin report and other materials out there. It’s quite an eye opener on an “industry” that, de facto, is a scam ripping off taxpayers – and students – to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a year.
…over the last few months, Kaplan and other for-profit education companies have come under intense scrutiny from Congress, amid growing concerns that the industry leaves too many students mired in debt, and with credentials that provide little help in finding jobs.
Reports of students who leave such schools with heavy debt, only to work in low-paying jobs, have prompted the Department of Education to propose regulations that would cut off federal financing to programs whose graduates have high debt-to-income ratios and low repayment rates.
Though Kaplan is not the largest in the industry, the Post Company chairman, Donald Graham, has emerged as the highest-profile defender of for-profit education.
Kaplan is facing several legal challenges. The Florida attorney general is investigating eight for-profit colleges, including Kaplan, for alleged misrepresentation of financial aid and deceptive practices regarding recruitment, enrollment, accreditation, placement and graduation rates.
Kaplan is also facing several federal whistle-blower lawsuits whose accusations dovetail with the findings of an undercover federal investigation of the for-profit industry this summer, including video of high-pressure recruiting and unrealistic salary promises.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot more “muck” out there to be “raked.” In short, this is an industry that’s among the worst of the worst. What it has going for it, unfortunately, is powerful friends in high places. That includes the Washington Post, which “has editorialized against the regulations.” Given that Kaplan accounts for 75 percent of the Post’s operating income, that’s not exactly a surprise. But we should all keep that fact in mind when we read the Post’s apologias for corporate wrongdoing in this industry, and in others as well. Just remember, the Post is not some pristine group of monks in the desert, it’s a company desperately trying to stay in business and to turn a profit for its shareholders. There’s nothing wrong with that, except when it claims to be practicing “objective” and “unbiased” journalism. When it comes to the for-profit “education” industry, it most certainly is not doing so. Just remember that going forward…