May 28, 2016
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A Dubious Benefit: Big Employers Steer Workers to Troubled For-Profit Colleges

American Airlines tells its workers that one of the employee benefits for which they are eligible is “career development training,” and an internal employee benefits web page lists American’s “learning partners and other sources for tuition discounts, waived enrollment fees and education grants to help you further develop your professional skills.” The schools listed by the company as providing benefits for its thousands of employees — managers, pilots, flight attendants, reservations agents, and others — are for-profit colleges DeVry, the University of Phoenix,

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January 27, 2016
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Federal Trade Commission Sues For-Profit DeVry For Deceiving Students

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today filed a lawsuit against one of the largest for-profit colleges, DeVry University, for allegedly misleading students about job placement rates and salaries for the school’s graduates.  The FTC complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges, “Through the use of English and Spanish-language advertisements and other marketing materials, and during sales pitches with prospective students [DeVry has] made deceptive representations about the benefits of obtaining a degree.”

DeVry last year received $1.47 billion in taxpayer dollars from federal student grants and loans.

The complaint focuses on claims that DeVry repeatedly made in its TV, …

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January 13, 2016
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Rohit Chopra Joins Department of Education

Rohit Chopra, whose principled and determined leadership helped make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a strong force in addressing the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges, has joined the U.S. Department of Education as a senior adviser. Chopra is working directly for Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, focusing on protections for students, analysis of financial capacity and integrity of schools, education benefits for military service members, and openness of Department data, according to Department staff.

Chopra served at the CFPB as assistant director and more recently was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

This article also appears on Huffington Post.

 

 

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June 10, 2015
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Arne Duncan Transcript: Some For-Profit Colleges have “the ethics of payday lending”

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Under Secretary Ted Mitchell had a conference call for reporters to announce the Department’s plans to offer debt relief for students from the now-collapsed, predatory Corinthian Colleges. I offered some analysis that day about the announcement, but here’s the whole transcript. It contains some of the most emphatic statements ever from Duncan on the abuses of for-profit colleges — and the complicity of many Members of Congress. 

TRANSCRIPT

Press Call on Student Borrower Protections, Assistance

June 8, 2015

2 p.m. ET

Coordinator:          Welcome and thank you for standing by.

At this time, all participants will be on …

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May 27, 2015
Big Brown Power Plant operated by Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings.

Electric Utility Industry Created Their Own Air Pollution Permits, Held Private Meetings With Texas Regulators

Emails obtained and released today by the Environmental Integrity Project show that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) worked behind closed doors with the state’s electric power trade association and utility companies to weaken standards for air pollution control permits.

The emails and documents reveal that Association of Electric Companies of Texas (AECT) and utility employees held private meetings with state regulators to discuss revisions to the permits and provided language that was incorporated verbatim by the regulations into the final text of the revised permits. The language ended up nullifying the federal Clean Air Act hourly limits on particulate pollution during the …

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April 14, 2015
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VIDEO: In Iowa, Clinton Stresses Harms to Students From Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In keeping with the strong populist economics theme of her campaign rollout, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today took aim at the predatory for-profit colleges whose overpriced, low-quality programs are ruining students’ lives. The former Secretary of State, participating in her first campaign event, an education roundtable discussion at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa, said:

Some of the for-profit schools, some of the scandals that have arisen in these places where they take all this money and put all these young people and their families into debt. Even if they graduate they don’t have credentials that are going to get …

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April 5, 2015
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Student Debt Strike? Read This Texas Mom’s Powerful Words

The 100-plus former students of for-profit Corinthian Colleges who have boldly asserted that they won’t pay back their student loans have garnered widespread attention and provided a powerful jolt to the debates about predatory colleges and our nation’s mounting student debt. A measure of the students’ impact is the meeting they were able to obtain last week to make their case to top officials of the U.S. Department of Education.

I hope these officials will listen — and act boldly themselves. The clock is running out on the Obama Administration’s efforts to curb the abuses of for-profit colleges, and while …

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November 10, 2014
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Obama Can Reform Dark Money with a Stroke of a Pen

There’s a powerful solution for disclosing the secret money sloshing around in our political system. It does not require an act of Congress or action from any of the effectively toothless campaign finance watchdogs, like the Federal Elections Commission. In fact, this solution could be passed in an instant and the only requirement for action is political will.

President Barack Obama can issue an executive order today that requires government contractors to disclose their dark money campaign contributions.

Why doesn’t he? And why don’t campaign finance reform organizations push for such a fix?

In 2011, following the first wave of undisclosed …

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