As of 2009, the report said, three-quarters of students in for-profit colleges attended institutions owned either by publicly traded companies or private equity firms. It said the schools excelled at recruiting students, but not necessarily at retaining them: More than half of students at for-profit schools who enrolled in the 2008-09 academic year left without a degree, the report found. Half of all non-finishers ended their studies within four months.
Investigators studied operations at 30 for-profit higher-
education companies, including industry leaders Apollo Group, Education Management, DeVry and Kaplan. Kaplan is owned by The Washington Post Co.
“We uncovered two very big problems in for-profit higher education,” Harkin said in a statement. “One, billions of taxpayer dollars are being squandered. And two, many for-profit schools are doing real, lasting harm to the students they enroll.
It's so interesting that even as Harkin's committee is finding that for-profit schools in higher education harm students, put shareholders before stakeholders, and steal billions in tax dollars, they're promoting education reforms that will help bring for profit charters and online schools to K-12 school districts all across the country.
If the hedge fundies and private equity funds calling the shots at for profit colleges are stealing billions and putting themselves above anything and anybody else, what makes the boys and girls at the Obama USDOE or in Harkin's committee so certain that promoting charters (including for profits) and online schools (all of which are for profit) isn't going to bring the same results - harmed students and bilked taxpayers?
Philadelphia is already seeing some of the raping and pillaging the charter operators are capable of - especially when they lack oversight (see here and here.)
It looks an awful lot like what some of those for profit college companies are doing.
And yet, instead of proceeding with caution, the administration and education reformers in both the House and the Senate (including some in Harkin's committee) are pushing for more for profit charters and for profit online schools.