Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Joel Klein's New Business Is Full Of Crooks

Joel Klein has moved into the K12 online for profit education business now that he's working for News Corp.

Leaving aside the conflict of interest generated by Murdoch's buying an online for profit education company that does business with the NYCDOE and has been promoted by Chancellor Klein as the future of education (indeed, his biggest regret as chancellor was NOT doing more business with this company) right after Klein joined Murdoch's company, one wonders how well the for profits do at educating people.

The Education Trust found they do not do well at all, though the for profit companies themselves do quite well:

A new report on graduation rates at for-profit colleges by a nonprofit research and advocacy group charges that such colleges deliver “little more than crippling debt,” citing federal data that suggests only 9 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at the University of Phoenix, the nation’s largest for-profit college, graduate within six years.

The report, “Subprime Opportunity,” by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

Among Phoenix’s online students, only 5 percent graduated within six years, and at the campuses in Cleveland and Wichita, Kan., only 4 percent graduated within six years.

“For-profits proudly claim to be models of access in higher education because they willingly open their doors to disadvantaged, underprepared students.” said José L. Cruz, a vice president for the trust. “But we must ask the question, ‘Access to what?’ ”

Since the first-time, full-time students tracked in the federal statistics are the most likely to graduate, the report said, these figures may actually overstate the graduation rates.


The report acknowledges that for students seeking associate degrees, for-profit colleges’ three-year graduation rate of 60 percent is considerably higher than the 22 percent rate at public community colleges.

There is still cause for concern, the report said, because for-profit students graduate with so much more debt than community college students. Many either default on their loans, or struggle to make payments but find that their lives are taken over by debt.

In a separate study also released Tuesday, the Pew Research Center reported that almost one-quarter of those who received bachelor’s degrees at for-profit schools in 2008 borrowed more than $40,000, compared with 5 percent at public institutions and 14 percent at not-for-profit colleges. Over all, the Pew report found that students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 borrowed 50 percent more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than those who graduated in 1996. Those who earned an associate degree or certificate in 2008 borrowed more than twice as much as their 1996 counterparts.

The Education Trust is financed partly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This month, Melinda Gates resigned from the board of the Washington Post Company, which gets most of its revenues from its for-profit higher-education unit, Kaplan Inc.

When Bill and Melinda Gates are even running away from the scandal of for profit education companies, you know they're bad.

But Joel Klein isn't running away from them at all.

He's running toward them to cash in his years at the DOE.

Frankly, the Murdoch purchase of the for profit online education company - Wireless Generation - that has done so much business with the DOE and was purchased just two weeks after Klein joined Murdoch's company, needs to be investigated.

Dunno if this is a job for John Liu or for Bill De Blasio, but somebody needs to take a real good look at this business deal Murdoch engineered, see what part Klein played in it, and if wrongdoing is found, expose it to the city and country at large.

And then charges should be filed and let's see if we can't throw Klein's crooked ass in jail.

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