Friday, June 27, 2014

The Obama Administration has for-profit higher ed companies in its gunsights.

Corinthian columns in Jerash, Jordan
Corinthian columns in Jerash, Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
That's the message the industry's trade association is drawing from the DOE's virtual destruction of Corinthian.

If that's right, I am with the Administration on this one.  While there no doubt are some good for-profits out there, overall the industry has been bad for higher education and for students.

Here's why:  Many of these firms recruit students, admit them (whether they are capable of completion or not) and line them up for federal loans they often can't afford to repay.  The students fail out or simply quit.  The company pockets the loan dollars as tuition income and pays its execs and shareholders handsomely.  The ex-students default on their loans.  And we, the taxpayers, pick up the bill.  What's wrong with this cycle?

That, so far as I can tell, has been the pattern in too much of this sector of higher ed.  Don't know if Corinthian can be tarred with this brush or not.  But I have no sympathy for it or the for-profits as a group.  Even mega-University of Phoenix has been repeatedly in difficulties due to alleged violations of federal law with regard to paying admissions recruiters incentives to bring in more and more students and other regulatory faux pas.

My conclusion: profit has no place in education, either at the K-12 or the college level.

Big win for big gulps

Obesity Campaign Poster
Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)
New York State's highest court tossed out NYC's big-drink ban.

Americans' right to a big gulp is secured... what a relief!

My big fat bias complaint

POSTED: February 03, 2004
I SAT IN bed on a recent Sunday, sipping my coffee while I read the morning paper. Then I spotted the headline, and my morning calm was shattered:
"An unrivaled hunger? She's 5-foot-5, 99 pounds. Her appetite puts 'voracious' to shame." This petite eating machine can strip 134 buffalo wings in 12 minutes. I glanced at my protruding middle-aged midriff and shouted, "Unfair!"
Since the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, followed by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in '67, the long arm of the law has wielded a shield to protect minorities, foreigners, women, Branch Davidians and geezers from disparate treatment. As an employment lawyer and citizen, I say, "Good!"
But as one of the majority of Americans for whom the Battle of the Bulge has nothing to do with World War II, I say what about us? That some truly huge guys can be in danger of being humiliated by a 99-pound chick is symbolic of the sad state of affairs for all us chubbies.
I thought the Americans with Disabilities Act would stretch the law's long arm around our bulging bellies. But a dozen years and uncounted lawsuits later, even morbid obesity can come out on the light side of a legal action. (Here's what one federal judge said just last month in the case of a fat foreman fired by Asplundh Tree Experts: "Except in special cases where the obesity relates to a physiological disorder, it is not a 'physical impairment' . . ."
That "physiological disorder" bit makes my stomach rumble. What of the rest of us for whom dieting causes severe mental distress? Except for a cholesterol issue handled by a little pink pill, I have no "physiological disorder." Neither do my many large-sized friends, relatives, co-workers and acquaintances.
So we remain the unprotected victims of invidious discrimination. On Page 2 of my Sunday paper, I learned that the mayor of New York can get away with saying of a deceased actress, "Big gal . . . she ate everything but the drapes." Mayor Bloomberg even blasphemed the late, great Doc Atkins, suggesting that the messiah of the meat diet was himself a fatty.
The, thankfully, I reached the travel section - and an ad for a new Caribbean resort catering to a "larger" clientele.
Big deck chairs, big doorways, big portions. Utopia.
Let that little gal gobble her wings. Let the law languish. Let Mike Bloomberg laugh. I'll just get on the Internet and make my reservation.

Does airline profiling make sense?

Italiano: Disegno vettoriale su di un gioco de...
Italiano: Disegno vettoriale su di un gioco del programma televisivo giapponese Takeshi's Castle. Il gioco in questione è Velcro Fly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On June 24th a federal judge in Oregon ruled that the government's no-fly list is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Granny and Aunt Tilly and little Suzy all must be X-rayed and patted down and who knows what... not in the name of safety, but in the name of non-discrimination.

Expulsion is now the presumed punishment, when the accused is found more likely than not to be guilty of sexual assault.

A sexual assault awareness poster.
A sexual assault awareness poster. (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

All the more time to find a lawyer and sue the institution.  And no pesky counseling to distract him.

The Starbucks - Arizona State deal reveals the big profit margins in online learning.

Arizona State University
Arizona State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)