In Boxes, Outing Stories
The beauty of writing for Dissident Voice is that many people contact me with all sorts of stories worthy of ProPublica (not a big fan of how they got their funding) and the Nation Institute. You know, all sorts of investigative pieces on the people and corporations and governments that have been fleecing our culture, our economy and more importantly our environment and education.
Truly, a column on education has to cover the dumb-downing of society, the shifting baseline syndrome, the myopia of consumerism, the media mush that is not just accidently covering the meaningless, but is with subterfuge and overt glee turning our society into middle of the KFC bucket news consumers.
It’s a disease that infects the so-called liberals in my camps – education, environment, and literary arts and journalism. I have to have these baseline arguments all the time about the failure of capitalism, about the rip-off artistry of the Exxons, on the further erosion of community self-governance.
For, now, though, it’s the crash and burn of Apollo, the group holding the University of Phoenix line of triple exploitation – faculty get paid squat and have no rights and are pushed into curriculum they do not agree with (adjuncts, all of them); the corporation is for-profit with the One Percenters raking in $200,000 a year for mushy admin jobs and the curdled mulch at the top of the One Percent raking in millions; and the outfit gives-delivers-pushes out bad education with the benefit of the 90-10 rule: ninety percent of the bucks coming in can be from federal and state grant and loan programs while the rest can be from the private sector.
Monopolies, Shysters and Political Zombies
Returning IED-shocked veterans are being fleeced, as are we, the US GI Bill taxpayers; regular Joe and Selena are being fleeced with bigger and bigger debts for many times worthless certificates or partial degrees. The model of profiting from education, like raking in millions per CEO for our health care, and like those privateers gutting the postal service — pols, FedEx, UPS, et al. — and certainly profiting from energy (nationalize all of them, now!) absolutely attracts the scam artists. These are profiteers who get taxpayer money and our payouts for their pollution and they get our taxpayer paid-for infrastructure, and they get us, workers. Education profiteers are mercenaries of democracy’s openness and nod to capital and the private corporation. This mess then becomes part of the education conversation, the constant privatizing of publishing, the constant privatizing of all those other things schools need. This is a story that ties to the larger issue of public education bleeding like a hit-and-run victim while cops and EMTs and bystanders look on, waiting for some private Romney type to come to the rescue.
Education is the victim of this privatizing mania, and fascists then – like Pearson Publishing – monopolize and sanitize and then set the curriculum and the so-called education standards.
Bad enough that British Felons Petroleum and Pfizer and Georgia Pacific and Goldman Sachs end up with their hag fish slime in the mix, suffocating teachers, communities, real education reform. We have so-called think tanks and philanthropists like BM Gates spending $3.3 million on white papers around what might fix the education problem.
It’s all smoke and mirrors –
The first results of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s effort to redesign the federal financial aid system are in: 15 white papers totaling 587 pages, nearly all calling for an overhaul of at least part of the nation’s system for helping students pay for college in order to improve graduation rates.
Taken together, the 15 papers represent a $3.3 million effort to influence the conversation about federal financial aid as Congress begins preparing to renew the Higher Education Act. (Two more organizations, which received their grants late, are expected to release their reports this spring.) The reports share a focus on using financial aid to increase the number of college graduates in the U.S. — the Gates Foundation’s holy grail. But the recommendations conflict and contradict each other more often than they reach any consensus on what an ideal financial aid system would look like.
What Is a Private For-profit School, Again?
Okay, okay, back to the eye on the prize – the Apollo Group, and University of Phoenix. What is up there, uh? You have these to catch up on –
A giant 500,000 students they boasted in 2008. Here’s ProPublica’s investigation then, too:
After federal regulators accused the University of Phoenix of systematic enrollment abuses in 2004, the school’s parent company paid out nearly $10 million to resolve the allegations.
Phoenix allegedly had broken the law by tying recruiters’ pay to enrollment numbers, U.S. Department of Education investigators found, creating pressure to sign up unqualified students.
In the years since, Phoenix cemented its stature as the nation’s largest for-profit school and the single biggest recipient of federal student aid. But some of the school’s recruiters have continued to use high-pressure, deceptive tactics, according to a dozen current and former students and two former recruiters who spoke to ProPublica and Marketplace as part of a joint investigation.
The students said Phoenix counselors misled them about whether credits would transfer to other schools, pretended to befriend them and lied about financial aid. The recruiters said they were told to rope students in with phony claims that classes were filling fast, or by suggesting that federal grants would cover costs, even if that was uncertain.
Last week, Phoenix’s parent company, the Apollo Group, announced that it had put aside $80 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that makes allegations similar to those in the 2004 investigation.
In making the announcement, Phoenix said its “compensation programs and practices were in compliance with the applicable legal requirements.” And the university’s president, Bill Pepicello, said in an earlier interview that if any recruiters had acted dishonestly, it was not with the company’s approval.
Phoenix is not the only for-profit university to get into trouble in recent years. Over the past decade, federal and state agencies have found that other schools improperly paid recruiters based on how many people they signed up, falsified enrollment tests and fabricated financial aid documents.
But with the bad economy, the industry has boomed. Enrollments have leapt 20 percent in the last two years, as people look to gain skills or fill gaps in their resumes. Now the Obama administration plans to expand federal student aid programs to a record $130 billion, further benefiting the schools. Phoenix stands out. With 420,000 students, the school drew $3.2 billion in federal aid last year.
Oh-oh, bad economy, and The Private-For-Profit-At-Any-Cost Education Industry has boomed. Funny how that works — snake oil, tiger bones and a failed education orgasm. Look at the federal aid in 2008 — $3.2 billion. So, that nice U of Phoenix stadium, all those stock options, the higher ups making hundreds of thousands and cool millions yearly, on the backs of USA taxpayers. A PT Barnum dream come true.
So, I will let the most recent updates from our New Jersey adjunct, Dahn, speak for themselves. See below with links and such. Educate, Emancipate, Eradicate! The bottom line to this post is that hippie, Subaru-driving Obama/smile-loving, those just-buy-buy-buy-anything that stinks of some green washing or BS good-for-the- local-economy rationale types, they lock step toward the Gates model, the IT salvation (not) and the unending mind-washing public broadcasting right of right-center reporting — daily consumption for those Blue Demo Types.
Do we all have a part in this system of unfettered and viral capitalism when we can’t buy organic and local because the big guys buy them up, when we can’t really own a credit card or cell phone because the war profiteers and public goods and public services cutters own those respective companies?
Do we divest? DO we look closely at and screen and filter out every waking moment of our consumer and investing lives? Who do we work for? Which taxes are completely unrighteous and contrary to our values? When we bear witness, do we act?
Tough, tough questions.
Press Fails Education Test
Tougher yet when we have little choice of a strong, forceful, uncluttered Press, reporting on the deeper elements of those stories that get chewed and framed and positioned and propagandized in the mainstream press and the oh-so not-public NPR and PBS.
Just listening to the news on NPR affiliates, in supposedly green and blue Seattle or Portland, and the signs of the times are vapidity, shrill, faux intellectually, bourgeois superficial, all-about-the-“me” and riddled with flippancy, voracious fear of going outside the lines, and sort of a sing-songy vicious critique of anything different, anything not covered 24-7 by the other channels.
- 7,000 pigs floating down the river — Shanghai municipal government is dealing with those swine carcasses in the Huangpu River that cuts through the 20 million resident city, a river for drinking and life necessities. Well, NPR gets the comics’ one-liners, lots of giggles from the metro sexual announcer and his female reporter at large who never ever asks the question about why this happens and how the same happens in the USA, but in a much more less visual way — 1.3 billion chickens . . . 62 million hogs . . . 18 million head of cattle . . . Those are just some of the animals living in factory farms in the U.S. And these animals create more waste each year than the top 100 American cities combined.
- endless stories and special angles on this new Pope – you know the one, who kept silent on the dirty war in Argentina, who is part of that team of thugs who wanted the CIA to take care of Hugo Chavez. On and on and on about this 76 year old fellow. Mindless.
- sequester – never any Nobel or the alternative, Right Livelihood Award, economist or thinker coming on to really parse out the failure of Obama on sequester and the Ayn Randian schizoids of the Republican Party. Just more and more middle of some gruel bowl of grits steamed by the oh-so middle of the center right public broadcasting yammer session.
- Oh, hell, just log onto your local NPR station and see what they are covering, and how they are covering. You’ll get more on the Hashtag generation’s hook-up/meet-up not-called-dating lives than anything of importance around the top 1,000 topics effecting our daily lives!
- Not one ecologist or animal ethicist on for that story of the Oregon wolf who has traveled how many miles, from Oregon to California and back? Look at this image!
Wolf Emblematic of Our Screwed Up Species
Look at this image of that of his trek through California – amazing, yet, the National Public Radio commentator can’t find sources of ecological inspiration. Typical, so typical. Or, why is it that we have spent so much on wolf recovery, as taxpayers, and places like Wyoming and Idaho have a kill-taxpayer-protected-wolf policy? We are Consumopithecus, for sure. Way out of any normal animal species.
Gray wolf, 3,000 miles, makes humanity look like the plasticized species we have become, iPad screen stitched into our bellies and all. Read:
The gray wolf, once hunted nearly to extinction, has staged a remarkable comeback since the federal government sponsored its reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the 1990s. With wolf numbers approaching 1,800, the federal government withdrew Endangered Species Act protection two years ago in the Northern Rockies, Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington and yielded recovery management to the states.
That decision drew criticism, including from this newspaper, because it ignored warnings from wildlife biologists that the species’ numbers had not reached sustainable levels. Since the delisting, hundreds of wolves have been killed in sanctioned hunts — including 422 wolves last year in Idaho alone.
Now, the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removing protections in most of the protected areas that remain. Yet the wolves are just beginning to get a foothold in Western Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and it’s too early to end federal endangered species protection in those areas.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is under intense pressure from politicians, ranchers and hunters to remove protections in most of the lower 48 states. But it’s far from clear that there are enough wolves in the remaining protected areas to guarantee sustainable populations.
It’s easy to forget that wolves were once abundant in the West before white settlers arrived. But bounties, state and federal extermination programs and human settlement drove the wolf to near extinction. In Oregon, state wildlife officials were so determined to eliminate wolves that they were paying bounties into the 1930s, well after most of the animals already had been killed off.
In their letter to the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, DeFazio and his fellow House members called wolf recovery “a wildlife success story in the making.”
They’re right. But the end of the story has yet to be written, and premature removal of protection for wolves could turn the success story into a tragedy.
According to the the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OR-7 spent most of his time in California traversing public lands between Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park, sometimes traveling more than 30 miles in a day. The agency reports OR-7 also spent a considerable amount of time on privately owned timberland. There were no reports that the wolf killed livestock while it was in California.
Okay, okay, back to education, back to the University of Phoenix burning:
Here are the dispatches – from my loyal University of Phoenix source –
Email to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rinell Randolph
Dear Mr. Randolph,
Let me get this straight. As a citizen, I have no right to find out about an SEC investigation that Apollo Group publicly states had been going on?1 How do I know that the SEC is protecting the People rather than covering for Apollo Group, John and Peter Sperling, and international banks and investors?
How do I know that Apollo Group is correct about the SEC investigation closing? If there was an investigation, was Apollo allowed to tell the public that the investigation was complete and that no one was being prosecuted?
This whole procedure does not seem transparent. How do I know if the SEC is following procedures and is really doing a sound investigation? As a citizen, how do I know what is really happening at Apollo Group, a corporation that receives 80-90% of its funds from the US government?2
Email to AFT (American Federation of Teachers union) Strategic Organizing
I am a member of AFT NJ Local 2222 and am leading a campaign to educate and act against predatory higher education corporations. Our first target is Apollo Group (aka University of Phoenix). In my research, I found that Texas Teachers, New York State and Ohio employees, and the states of California and Michigan held stock in Apollo Group, as of 12-31-2012. We need labor educators to help with educating and activating workers about divestment, and what they can do as workers and retirees to stop being complicit in undermining their own professions.
Thank you in advance for your reply.
University of Phoenix Teaches Rules to Exploiting Vets
University of Phoenix, together with its parent company, Apollo Group, has exploited veterans, working class students (often people of color), state and federal governments, and investors for more than two decades, maintaining profits for a few while providing low grade education at exorbitant prices.1
In the last three years, proprietary (“for profit”) schools have been facing greater scrutiny from the federal government: from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and more recently from the Harkin Commission. 2
Through Title IV funds, VA loans, and direct student loans, the federal government has provided more than 80% of Phoenix’s funding. From 2009 to 2011, for example, the University of Phoenix received $196 million in VA benefits. State and local governments (including pension and retirement programs) have also been invested in Apollo Group. Texas Teachers and Ohio public employees, for example, still own stock in Apollo Group, in effect, undermining their own educational systems. 3 & 3b.
According to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard, the University of Phoenix has a 17% graduation rate and a 26% default rate. The average UOP graduate will have about $64,000 in student loan debt, with an unknown possibility of finding a job in their major. Credits are unlikely to transfer to other, more legitimate schools. 4 & 4b.
In 2013, the University of Phoenix faces serious issues with accreditation, which means that if it doesn’t reform, there is a possibility that the school may not get federal funding in the future.
Apollo Group shareholders have hired a law firm, Hagens-Berman, to investigate whether Apollo Group officials knew of accreditation problems but failed to notify their investors. Hagens-Berman is seeking employee whistleblowers knew about these concerns.5 & 5b. & 5c.
Apollo Group is not a stranger to lawsuits. In 2012, Apollo Group settled with public service retirement funds and other investors for $145 million. Even after the settlement, APOL is reported to be in the top 1% for litigation risk.
Recently, the University of Phoenix has been closing campuses and laying off hundreds of employees with limited notice. Worker grievances have been aired publicly on the Internet, exposing possible racism and sexism in the organization. Workers have also discussed the possibility of insider trading by Apollo Group executives. 6
Although Apollo Group has recently stated that they will not be prosecuted for insider trading, Apollo executives John and Peter Sperling have indirectly gained more than a half billion dollars by milking the federal government, money that could have been better spent at community colleges and other public higher education institutions.7
Reform can only come without oversight and consumer awareness. At least one state, Mississippi, has recently passed legislation to regulate for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix. Ask your legislators if they can pass oversight legislation in your state. If you have a retirement account, find out whether any of your retirement funds have stock in Apollo Group—and ask why your fund includes Apollo Group. 8.
I have contacted strategic corporate researchers at AFT about a divestment campaign on Apollo Group. To show you how big a sector for-profit education is, please take a look at this link.
Some of the players are very interesting (e.g. Washington Post owns the predatory Kaplan), The third largest education corporation by market caps is out of China. The second largest is from Brazil. And the largest company in the sector is Educomp, a company based in India.
Are US adjuncts ready for Chinese, Brazilian, and Indian wages? How much of these stocks are held by US states and US worker retirement funds, including teacher retirement funds?
In solidarity and empathy,
Look at these people lobbying for the profiting-off-poor-struggling-and-veteran money schools.
WASHINGTON — In remarks to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Tuesday, a Republican Congresswoman used a Holocaust reference to suggest that private college leaders should have stood up to the Obama administration’s regulation of for-profit colleges.
In criticizing the private college presidents, Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who leads the subcommittee on higher education, adapted the famous statement from the German theologian Martin Niemöller on Germans who ignored Nazi persecution. (“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.”)
” ‘They came for the for-profits, and I didn’t speak up…’ ” Foxx said. “Nobody really spoke up like they should have.”
At a meeting with staff from Congress and the Education Department on Monday, private college presidents at the meeting said they wished the federal government had done more to regulate for-profit colleges, pointing to higher default rates among graduates and dropouts of those institutions. The administration’s “gainful employment” rule, currently in legal limbo, would have cut federal money to vocational programs with low debt repayment rates or high debt-to-income ratios among graduates.
Many of the discussions of federal policy at the annual meeting were about fears that the Education Department and Congress would indeed apply their regulatory approach to for-profit colleges to all of higher education, including private nonprofit colleges — which NAICU would strongly oppose. The application of “gainful employment” to all institutions is a common fear, especially after President Obama said in his State of the Union last January that he would seek to use some financial aid programs to reward colleges that offer “good value” and punish those that don’t.“First they came” has been adapted for a wide range of political protests, more commonly — at least during the Obama administration — among conservatives. (In the past few months, it’s been used on conservative blogs and websites to protest higher tax rates, the contraception insurance mandate for religious institutions, and the bankruptcy of Hostess, the company that manufactures Twinkies). Asked if the Congresswoman meant to imply that the gainful employment regulation was comparable to the Holocaust, Foxx’s spokeswoman, Ericka Perryman, said, “Of course not.”Foxx, a former community college president who has chaired the Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training since 2011, has created controversy with some of her statements in the past. At Tuesday’s event, she told the private college presidents that her new position as vice chair of the House Committee on Rules usually would have meant she would need to resign as chair of the higher education subcommittee, but that the House changed that requirement for her because she was the only House Republican with higher education experience.
“I think this could be a test case for a whole class of institutions,” said Richard Boris, director of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, at the City University of New York’s Hunter College. For-profit higher education is booming, Boris noted, but faculties are heavily part time, without protections of tenure or unions. “You have this cohort of the academic dispossessed,” he said.
He added, however, that “the proprietaries have been operating independent of any real organizing effort [by unions] and it makes good sense that there be organizing there.” He added that union drives at for-profit colleges would also benefit nonprofit colleges and universities. The for-profits “have been nibbling” at the student base that also considers public colleges. The for-profit colleges have a financial advantage if they don’t need to comply with union contracts or provide tenure, he said, so “it makes a lot of sense to try to level the playing field there.”
While some may think it makes a lot of sense to organize the sector, it may be difficult — as the Seattle organizing drive illustrates. Many union officials say that they are regularly approached by faculty members at for-profit colleges who want to unionize, but who hesitate to sign their names to cards requesting representation or to take any public stand. The all-adjunct model used by many for-profit institutions, in which administrators have wide control over who is hired to teach, leaves many faculty members feeling that they can’t afford to take any public stand, say union organizers.
Indeed, the Seattle campaign is notably different from most such campaigns. Typically, faculty leaders of the organizing drive become its public face. Organizers create Web sites to publicize the drive and hold public events. At the Art Institute of Seattle, the campaign didn’t go public until the required signature cards were filed with the NLRB to seek an election on Friday. All of the organizing was done in one-on-one discussions. And the organizers have not been identified. AFT officials said that they were confident that they would win an election, and said that they filed cards on behalf of a super-majority of the instructors.
One of the lead organizers, an instructor at the art institute, agreed to talk about the campaign provided that his name was not used. He said that a year or so ago, a colleague started talking about organizing a union — and then promptly disappeared from course rosters.
While the organizer said he couldn’t figure out what happened to the person, he said that no one wants to be identified as leading the union effort — at least until there is an election. (While NLRB rules bar employers from firing people for exercising their right to seek to organize, legal challenges to such actions can take years, so the AFT has moved ahead with the campaign without any public voices coming from the union.) “This was all a word-of-mouth, silent campaign,” said the Seattle instructor. “If you put up a structure, they have something to work against.”
The “universal concerns” of faculty members, he said, are “student-related issues.” He said that he and many of his colleagues feel that “the students are being treated like cattle,” and that the institute’s “focus is to get the numbers in, get them on financial aid, and to get the money back to shareholders … and to do this, they want to make sure that regardless of what happens in the classroom, the student passes.”
Faculty members have been going to open houses that the art institute holds to listen to what recruiters say, and the instructor said that students are being promised that the courses will be easy and will lead to good jobs. As a result, students have “weird expectations” and faculty members are caught in the middle when they try to enforce academic standards that the students aren’t prepared for. “What the faculty have said that they hate so much is that they feel that the school is stealing from the students and we are in the middle of that,” he said.
The instructor said that, if the faculty members vote in a union, the chief topics for negotiations will be contract provisions that protect the right of faculty members to enforce academic standards. Doing so, he said, might cost the institute some students at the beginning, but he predicted this approach would help the institute in the end. He said that there are some “outstanding” students at the institute, and that the value of their degrees is limited by those awarded to less talented students. If standards are raised, the institute might attract more top students. “A drop would be temporary,” he said.
Faculty members also want provisions that make it easier for them to work with students outside the classroom, the organizer said. Typically, he said, courses are taught in four-hour blocks of time, once a week, and many instructors who teach more than one course are assigned two of these blocks in a single day with a 30-minute break. This scheduling makes it hard to find time to advise or work with students, the instructor said. Blocks of time — and office space — before or after class times would promote a better education, he said.
Sandra Schroeder, president of the Washington State AFT, said that she viewed the campaign at the Art Institute of Seattle as “a local one,” and that the AFT became involved after being approached by faculty members at the institute. “This was the work of people there,” who she said showed “real courage in that they are so vulnerable” to losing their jobs for their union activities. “I think what this is really about is the quality of education, about people feeling like they are being pressured to do things that aren’t right, like passing students who haven’t performed well and graduating people who aren’t going to be able to get the jobs they think they have trained for.”
Cheryl L. Leone, a professor of fashion design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, said that she doesn’t know how instructors are treated in Seattle, but that she wasn’t surprised that the focus of the union organizing drive is on academic issues. Leone is president of the Faculty Federation of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, one of the few unions in for-profit higher education and one affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. (Leone said that when faculty members organized in the mid-’80s, the AFT turned them down so they went with AFSCME.)
Leone said that many of the issues on which her union has achieved contract gains relate directly to educational rigor and quality. Faculty members complained about being forced to enroll students in courses for which they lacked prerequisites, and so won procedures to prevent that. Faculty members were concerned that class sizes were too large to provide quality instruction and so negotiated caps. She said that, from time to time, administrators will say, “why don’t you just pass” some student or another who is being failed, and she said that union leaders will intervene, and that no such forced passing grades have taken place in recent years.
“For faculty, the negotiations have been very much about education,” she said. “We don’t believe that this is just about numbers and profit, but about making sure we can provide a quality education.”
While the union has won nothing resembling tenure rights, Leone said that it has been able to secure more job security and other benefits for instructors who work for specified time periods with good performance. These instructors are placed first on the list for assignments for the following semester, and can select courses before new hires, giving them greater control over their careers.
Leone said that she regularly hears from faculty members at other art institutes who want to know how to organize a union, but that many back down when they realize they face the risk of retaliation. “I’m so excited to hear this,” she said of the Seattle instructors’ move for an NLRB election.
At a for-profit institution, Leone said, a union “creates shared governance” in that it assures faculty members have “a voice and the ability to stand up.”
Harris N. Miller, president of the Career College Association, said that he couldn’t comment on the specifics of accusations made about Education Management, a CCA member. He said that he doesn’t have an opinion “one way or another” on whether unions would be beneficial in for-profit higher education. But as to the idea that unions are needed to assure academic quality, he said that the real measure of academic quality is to be found in outcomes, and “the only sector that focuses on outcomes is our sector.”
Of course, there are bursts and spurts around going after FOR-PROFIT education investment TOOLS:
A NEW CAMPAIGN AGAINST FOR-PROFITS
By the Numbers
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, Bloomberg News, Chronicle of Higher Education, Blumenstyk and Fuller
- Number of post-secondary institutions newly accredited between 2005 and 2009: 483.
- Percentage of post-secondary institutions newly accredited between 2005 and 2009 that were private for-profit institutions: 77%.
- Percentage of total accredited post-secondary institutions in the U.S. that were private for-profit institutions in 2009: 26.2%.
- Percentage of students in post-secondary institutions enrolled at private for-profit institutions in 2010: 9%.
- Percentage increase in enrollments at private for-profit institutions between 2005 and 2009: 235%.
- Percentage of federal student aid received by students attending private for-profit institutions in 2010: 36%.
- Percentage of total revenues of the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) generated by federal student aid in 2010: 88%.
- Total enrollment with the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) in 2010: 443,000.
- Total revenues of the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) in 2010: $4.1 billion.
- Total net profit of the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) in 2010: $598 million.
- Total enrollment with Education Management Corporation (Argosy University and Art Institutes) in 2010: 136,000.
- Total enrollment with Career Education/Le Cordon Bleu and American InterContinental University: 113,900.
- Total enrollment with Kaplan Higher Ed in 2010: 108,300.
- Total enrollment with DeVry in 2010: 101,648.
- Total enrollment with Corinthian Colleges in 2010: 93,493.
- Total enrollment with ITT Educational Services in 2010: 79,208.
- Total enrollment with American Public Education (American Military University) in 2010: 55,300.
- Total enrollment with Bridgeport Education (Ashford University) in 2010: 54,894.
- Total enrollment with Strayker Education in 2010: 54,317.
- Total enrollment with Grand Canyon Education in 2010: 34,218.
- Average tuition at two-year institutions in 2010: public, $2,970; private not-for-profit, $10,266; and private for-profit, $14,280.
- Median student debt for students graduating with a baccalaureate degree in 2007-2008: public institutions, $7,960; private not-for-profit institutions, $17,040; and private for-profit institutions, $31,190.
- Six-year graduation rates for baccalaureate students in 2007-2008: public institutions, 55%; private not-for-profit institutions, 65%; private for-profit institutions, 22%.
- Three-year student-loan default rates in 2008: public institutions, 10.8%; private not-for-profit institutions, 7.6%; private for-profit institutions, 25%; Corinthian Colleges, 40.3%.
Really, check out the Running by the Numbers by Photographer Chris Jordan:
Number of prisoners — *
Number of school dropouts — *
Number of Dollars spent on Iraq War — *
Ahh, sorry to spoil it all, but, School Yard Fights is about framing and looking at our easily-bamdoozled self.
Nowadays, though, TED spells trouble for several reasons. First, it doesn’t celebrate a love of smart people, really; it celebrates a love of smart-style people. Just as kosher-style food looks and kinda acts like the real thing, but isn’t, so too are the diplomats of TED U kinda full of it. TED provides the Cliffs Notes versions of the talks right there online (TED quotes), little gnomic cyber-samplers (“If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average” and “I share, therefore I am”) you can sprinkle around without really understanding a drop of the work that stands behind the claim.
As such, TED is a direct descendant of another American favorite: the get-better-quick scheme, that never-resolved adolescent fantasy once conducted on the back page of comic books, where Norman Rockwell taught us how to draw in five weeks, Charles Atlas built our pecs in 30 days, we learned fluent French overnight, and a chinchilla farm gave us our first cool million. The secret, of course, was not acquisition of mastery, but acquisition of the shortcut: let all the other knuckleheads sweat it out—I got a free ticket to Easy Street!