September 26, 2012

Chronicle of Higher Education Allows For-Profit College With High Student Loan Defaults To Sponsor And Pick The Speakers For Loan Default Event

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a venerable publication read by college faculty and administrators nationwide, has been sending invitations all over Washington, inviting policy experts, Capitol Hill staffers, media, and others to an October 19 panel discussion entitled “Student Loan Default Aversion: Forum on Research and Best Practices.” According to the invitation, the “lively discussion” will address the question, “How can students reap the benefits of higher education without the fear of financial devastation in the event of a default?” It’s a sensible, important, and indeed an urgent question, given America’s mounting student debt crisis.

But the invitation asks us …

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September 24, 2012
Professor Lorna Hernandez is, as of last Thursday, free of the for-profit Art Institutes and her faculty number there, 13124. Photo illustration: Lorna Hernandez.

EDMC Professors and Students Speak: How Lobbyists & Goldman Sachs Ruined For-Profit Education

Lorna Hernandez taught graphic design and animation for eighteen years at a for-profit college, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, until she quit, last Thursday.

Unlike some of her faculty colleagues, Hernandez, chair of the school’s animation department, was not laid off in last month’s major downsizing by Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp. (EDMC), the publicly-traded corporation that owns her school. But Hernandez says she “saw the writing on the wall”: She believed more firings were ahead, and the school’s quality standards, in her view, were rapidly declining.

For the past couple of years I’ve been puzzled by the Art Institutes.

On the one …

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September 6, 2012

Cuomo, at DNC, Can’t Escape Calls From New Yorkers to Bar Hazardous Gas Fracking

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Charlotte today for the Democratic National Convention; he delivered an aggressive speech this morning to his state’s delegation, sharply criticizing the Republicans. But even in far-away Charlotte, Cuomo can’t avoid the growing chorus back home calling on him to reject the controversial natural gas extraction process of hydraulic fracking.


While Cuomo’s Administration has delayed its final decision, it signaled in June that it was preparing to allow fracking in five counties in the southwest part of the state.  A strong grassroots citizens coalition is growing in those counties and across New York state, concerned that fracking …

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September 4, 2012

Justice Dept. says for-profit college ATI engaged in “widespread” fraud

You can fault the for-profit college trade association APSCU for many things, but not for loyalty. APSCU sticks by its members.

In May, the FBI raided FastTrain College amid allegations of fraudulent marketing practices. In June, 20 state attorneys general forced marketing company QuinStreet to shut down, a website that deceived countless veterans into believing they were on a government site that offered unbiased education advice, when in fact the site shilled for for-profit colleges. Both FastTrain and QuinStreet were and remain members of APSCU.

Now the Justice Department has filed a 47-page civil complaint in federal …

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