David Halperin

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David Halperin (@DaHalperin) engages in public advocacy and advises organizations on strategy, policy, politics, communications, and legal matters. He is of counsel to Public.Resource.Org. 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/. Support for David Halperin's work for Republic Report on higher education issues has included grants from the Ford Foundation, The Institute for College Access & Success, and The Initiative to Protect Student Veterans and Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego.

May 27, 2016
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New Law Firm Monitor for Zenith: Like the Old One, It Represented Corinthian

 

The U.S. Department of Education announced today it has “accepted” the law firm Squire Patton Boggs as the new “independent monitor” for Zenith Education Group. Zenith is a division of the non-profit debt collection company ECMC, which, with Department approval, last year took over many Everest College and WyoTech campuses of the now-defunct, notoriously predatory for-profit Corinthian Colleges.

The Department told the Associated Press today that it picked the firm from among seven candidates proposed by Zenith.

A partner at the firm, Clark Kent Ervin, is slated, according to the Department, to …

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May 25, 2016
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Veterans Groups Oppose Manchin Amendment Giving For-Profit Colleges Unfettered Access to Military Bases

Just as America’s veterans organization are coming together to demand better government protection against deceptive and abusive practices by for-profit colleges, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) seems to want to move in the opposite direction, pushing an amendment that would require the Pentagon to allow any college approved for military tuition benefits to have unrestricted access to recruit on military bases.  Veterans and military groups, as well as other Senators, are now working to stop this Manchin amendment.

Senator Manchin’s amendment might please, among others, a for-profit college headquartered in his home state, American Public University System (APUS), which runs the …

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May 24, 2016
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The Perfect Lobby: How One Industry Captured Washington, DC

This article, which originally was published (April 3, 2014) in The Nation, is adapted from David Halperin’s e-book, Stealing America’s Future: How For-Profit Colleges Scam Taxpayers and Ruin Students’ Lives, available at Amazon.

Many of America’s for-profit colleges have proven themselves a bad deal for the students lured by their enticing promises—as well as for US taxpayers, who subsidize these institutions with ten of billions annually in federal student aid.

More than half of the students who enroll in for-profit colleges—many of them veterans, single mothers and other low- and middle-income people aiming for jobs like medical technician, diesel mechanic or …

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May 19, 2016
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University of Phoenix Won’t Force Students to Arbitrate Claims; Scope Unclear

The University of Phoenix just announced that it will no longer require students to agree when enrolling to give up their rights to pursue in court any disputes with the school. Many for-profit colleges have used such fine-print clauses to force any complaint into secret arbitration proceedings that tend to be stacked against students and keep school abuses from coming to light.

The Department of Education is currently considering issuing new regulations that would prohibit or limit the ability of colleges receiving federal aid from imposing such mandatory arbitration clauses. (I am working with our coalition of pro-student …

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May 16, 2016

Stuff For-Profit College Executives Say

The market analysis division of Credit Suisse held a two-day conference in March addressing for-profit education, and many for-profit college industry executives and consultants attended the meeting, held in Boston. Credit Suisse analyst and long-time for-profit college booster Trace Urdan published a revealing write-up of the session on March 21. The press of other business, plus, of course, respect for Credit Suisse paid subscribers, has kept me from describing the report until now, but it’s a fascinating document for those who want to know what for-profit college executives talk about when they talk about for-profit colleges, behind closed doors.

Some highlights:

— DeVry University management, …Continue Reading »

May 13, 2016
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Bush EPA Head Says Obama Chemical Safety Plan Is Too Weak

Former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman (R), who headed the EPA under President George W. Bush, has written to President Obama’s EPA head, Gina McCarthy, to argue that the EPA’s proposed regulation to reduce the risks of explosions at U.S. chemical plants is too weak.  Whitman writes that her purpose is “to urge the EPA to strengthen” its rule “to increase the safety of the American people,” particularly by requiring numerous high-risk chemical facilities to move to inherently safer technologies (IST).

A chemical plant disaster could result from accident, natural disaster, or deliberate attack.  The EPA has identified 466 chemical facilities …

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May 6, 2016
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New Head of Zuckerberg Education Charity Sits on Board Governing Troubled For-Profit College

In an announcement that received wide media coverage, James H. Shelton this week was named the first head of the education component of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a new corporation, dedicated to charitable ventures, that is funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan.  According to Zuckerberg’s announcement of Shelton’s appointment, “Jim will bring all of his own experience in improving personalized learning and helping underserved communities.”

It was unclear whether that description was meant to include Shelton’s current service on the corporate board of directors that oversees troubled for-profit …

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May 2, 2016
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Ellen DeGeneres Shills For For-Profit College Facing Law Enforcement Probes

Today on her television show, in honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, Ellen DeGeneres gave a $25,000 college scholarship to Courtney, an Oklahoma stay-at-home mom who wants to be an ultrasound technician.  That’s fantastic.

Except that the scholarship is to attend the for-profit University of Phoenix, which even with a $25,000 scholarship could turn out to be a bad deal for Courtney.  The University of Phoenix is currently the subject of investigations by multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies. And Department of Education data has shown that the University of Phoenix’s graduation rate for first-time, full-time …

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