The move toward aggressive development of Charter Schools in Wisconsin by the Walker Administration is a first step toward privatization of our public schools. Fortunately, we already have a good model for where this will lead when we look at this same privatization in for profit colleges.
A career adviser at a large for-profit college, testifying Thursday before a Senate committee, said her employer used “tricks and sleight of hand” to exaggerate job placement statistics given to prospective students.
The latest in a series of hearings scrutinizing for-profit higher education also produced the most intense partisan finger-pointing to date and new data claiming many schools are a revolving door of dropouts and new recruits.
Also Thursday, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa released a report compiled from data he requested from for-profit schools. It found that of 57 percent of students who entered the 16 schools between July 2008 and June 2009 had already left, and that the schools have lost nearly 2 million students in the last three years.
Harkin said for-profit colleges have made the federal government “their free money spigot.” Students at for-profit schools face the possibility of graduation and the probability of debt without a diploma, he said.
The committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, denounced the hearings, saying they single out one sector of higher education in a vacuum, are intent on “tearing these schools down” and don’t serve students’ interests.