David Halperin

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David Halperin (@DHalpDC) engages in public advocacy and advises organizations on strategy, policy, politics, communications, and legal matters. He was previously: founding director of Campus Progress and senior vice president at the Center for American Progress; senior policy advisor for Howard Dean's presidential campaign; founding executive director of the American Constitution Society; White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton; co-founder of the Internet company RealNetworks; and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation, Politico, Foreign Policy, and other outlets. David Halperin's pieces on Republic Report also appear on Huffington Post -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/. Current support for David Halperin's work for Republic Report on higher education issues includes grants from the Ford Foundation, The Institute for College Access & Success, and the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego.

November 20, 2014
1aRibbon-Cutting

ECMC CEO Explains Deal To Buy Troubled Corinthian Campuses

Confirming rumors that have swirled for weeks, today ECMC Group announced it has reached an agreement to acquire 56 of the 107 campuses now owned by the crumbling, discredited Corinthian Colleges for-profit chain.  A corporate filing from Corinthian says the purchase price is $24 million.  I spoke with ECMC’s CEO Dave Hawn this morning to discuss.

ECMC, a non-profit corporation with both for-profit and non-profit subsidiaries, says it will convert the 56 Everest and WyoTech campuses to nonprofit status. ECMC announced it will “transform the culture and education model at the acquired schools,” including by cutting tuition and “introducing strict accountability standards …

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November 13, 2014
SNAP

Still More Scam For-Profit College Websites – Linked to Dallas Mystery Man

I reported yesterday and this morning on scam websites that promise people help with jobs, food stamps, heat assistance, Medicaid — things that low-income and working Americans want — but the sites are really just fronts to get people’s phone numbers, so workers at a call center in Utah can pitch them on enrolling in overpriced, low-quality for-profit colleges.

Within 90 minutes after I posted my story yesterday, one of the sites I discussed, localemploymentnetwork.org, had been shut down. Perhaps just caution by its operators, or perhaps some concern about suggestions I made that the site’s owner, Neutron Interactive, and the …

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November 13, 2014
MedCareer1

More Scam Websites to Lure the Poor to For-Profit Colleges

Yesterday I reported on how a Utah-based company, Neutron Interactive, operated a website that promised jobs but was in reality a scam — it seemed to function mainly to send customer leads to at least one other company’s Salt Lake City call center, called EdSoup, whose only purpose, in turn, is to recruit people, mostly low-income people, to high-priced training programs at for-profit colleges. Similar sites promise food stamps, Medicaid, and heating assistance, but all lead to more pitches to sign up for expensive programs at the University of Phoenix, Brown Mackie, Colorado Tech, Kaplan, and other for-profits.  EdSoup …

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November 12, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.22.16 PM

Scam: Websites Promising Jobs And Medicaid Are Instead Bait for For-Profit College Telemarketers

A network of U.S. marketing companies run glossy websites promising jobs, health benefits, food stamps, and heating assistance, sites with names like localemploymentnetwork.org or medicaidinsurancebenefits.com. But according to former employees of a company connected to these operations, the real purpose of these sites is a classic bait-and-switch: to get low-income people, single mothers, veterans, and unemployed older people on the telephone and push them into high-cost for-profit college programs.

Based on the accounts of these employees, and documents they have provided to Republic Report, the operations may well be in violation of federal statutes prohibiting deceptive marketing and unwanted telephone sales calls, as well as Department of …

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November 7, 2014
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

Entitled For-Profit Colleges File Meritless Suit to Block Obama Rule

On Thursday, November 6, the national trade association of for-profit colleges, APSCU, sued the Obama Administration in federal court in Washington DC to strike down the new 2014 “gainful employment” rule. The complaint repeats many of the claims from APSCU’s suit to strike down the 2011 gainful employment rule: that the U.S. Department of Education didn’t have the authority to issue such a rule; that the Department has not provided a reasoned basis for the rule; and that the rule is “unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational.” (The same day, the New York-based Association of Proprietary Colleges filed a separate suit to …

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October 30, 2014
empty classroom

New gainful employment rule is weak, but predatory for-profit colleges remain on the ropes

The Obama Administration is releasing its “gainful employment” rule, aimed at curbing abuses by federally-funded career colleges, at 7 am Thursday.  I can’t fully evaluate the rule without seeing its details. But I have obtained a press release and fact sheet provided by the Administration to the media and also spoken to Administration and other sources, and I have this to report: UPDATE [Oct. 30 11:00 am]: I’ve read the rule, and my views remain the same]

1. The rule is far too weak to address the grave misconduct of predatory for-profit colleges.  The Administration missed an opportunity to issue …

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October 27, 2014
hrc

2014 Campaign Shows Growing Public Disdain for Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In the 2o12 election campaign, when a reporter asked GOP candidate Mitt Romney what he planned to do about higher education and college affordability, Romney praised for-profit colleges, and particularly one school, Florida’s Full Sail University, for its ability to “hold down the cost of their education.” It was eventually exposed that: (1) Full Sail was perhaps the third most expensive college in America, (2) Full Sail’s owners were heavy contributors to the Romney campaign, and (3) Romney’s own private equity firm was actually invested in Full Sail.  But whatever Romney’s motives in singling out this sector, it was notable that …

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October 22, 2014
obamaafford

As For-Profit Colleges Fight For Their Right to Abuse Students, It’s Obama’s Time To Decide

The Obama Administration is scheduled to issue, within the next few weeks, a regulation called the gainful employment rule, aimed at cutting off federal student aid to college-level career training programs that consistently leave their students drowning in debt. Lobbyists for the for-profit college industry are pressing the White House hard to weaken the rule or drop it altogether. It’s a critical moment for the public to take another close look at this industry, which now has 13 percent of all U.S. college students and swallows more than a quarter of federal aid — over $30 billion a year in taxpayer …

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