If you care about the future of education in the U.S. then the Republican Presidential debates have been a massive disappointment. The problem is that the candidates all believe the same thing, so there is nothing to debate. In fact, through two debates, education has only come up once.
Pearson's Chief Executive Officer John Fallon, forced to respond to dissidents, declared his enthusiastic "support free public education for every child around the world." However he did not offer to provide Pearson's educational services for free.
The for-profit college industry continues to rent former members of Congress, blue-chip law firms, top Democratic communications advisers, and other high-priced, esteemed talent to argue against any kind of accountability for its abuses.
The mantra is everywhere: a college education is the only way to climb out of poverty and create a better life. For-profit schools allow Wall Street investors and corporate executives to cash in on this faith.
The school faces a class action lawsuit from students who claim Globe fabricates job placement numbers, accreditation, and transfer opportunities to other institutions -- all while saddling unsuspecting students with student debt at the expense of American taxpayers.
For K12 Inc. CEO Ron Packard, it's all about "educational liberty." "Kids have been shackled to their brick-and-mortar school down the block for too long," he puffs. Packard himself is "shackled" to the big bucks.
I have spent nearly my entire career working to expand access to quality higher education to more Americans. I would like nothing more than to tap the incredible power of the market to address the nation's education challenges. But without safeguards, it will go wrong, again, in a big way.
The end of the Chicago teachers' strike was but a temporary regional truce in the civil war that plagues the nation's public schools. There is no end in sight, in part because -- as often happens in wartime -- the conflict is increasingly being driven by profiteers.
But the more citizens become aware of bad practices in this industry, and the more they make clear that they are tired of members of Congress defending these bad actors, the more likely it is that the corruption will end.
Kaplan's assertion that students' fears and pain should be used to motivate them insinuates what many of us suspect to be true of the people who end up at for-profit colleges: they are lazy and stupid. But the students I worked with were not lazy, unmotivated, or stupid.
The explosion in student college attendance, increasing by almost 50% from 13 to 19 million in the last twenty years is due in part to the "for-profit" institutions that have been springing up around the country.