Saturday, May 13, 2017

U.S. Crackdown on For-Profit Schools Is Said to Go Idle

The Education Department’s sweeping crackdown on fraudulent practices at for-profit colleges has stalled under the Trump administration’s appointees, several current and former department employees say.
Current and former employees, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, said tight restrictions have been put on staff members scrutinizing for-profit institutions, constraining their contact with other state and federal agencies without high-level approval — a contention a department spokesman denied.
Some state officials who had collaborated with the Education Department in bringing legal cases against for-profit schools say their joint work has ground to a halt. They also say they are troubled by an apparent slowdown in granting debt relief to students who were cheated.
“The department has become a black box since the Obama administration left the building,” said Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, whose office is one of dozens that have been involved in prominent cases against the for-profit sector.
The Education Department said Friday evening that Secretary Betsy DeVos “is committed to protecting students who have been defrauded by schools,” that it had not stopped approving loan relief and that a review of the program was being led by senior career staff members.
During the Obama administration’s second term, the department put both financial and regulatory muscle into the policing of a sector that was frequently criticized for deceiving vulnerable and poor students about the cost and benefits of signing up to get a degree.
Ms. DeVos has brought aboard officials who have worked in the for-profit college sector and have expressed skepticism about the Obama administration’s aggressive regulation and enforcement. Supporters say that for-profit colleges provide a ladder for the most disadvantaged students and that any misdeeds represent a tiny fraction of the industry.
Advocates, state prosecutors and some members of Congress have expressed concern that Ms. DeVos will weaken regulations that were put into effect to curb abuses by for-profit colleges.
While some career training schools have delivered as promised, critics argue that tens of thousands of students were lured by misleading advertising and illegal recruiting practices to enroll in expensive programs that failed to deliver what they promised — while reeling in millions of dollars in federal aid......
Full article is here:

In Streeck's book, he argues that "Capitalism’s moral decline may have to do with its economic decline, the struggle for the last remaining profit opportunities becoming uglier by the day and turning into asset-stripping on a truly gigantic scale. However that may be, public perceptions of capitalism are now deeply cynical, the whole system commonly perceived as a world of dirty tricks for ensuring the further enrichment of the already rich. Nobody believes any more in a moral revival of capitalism."(pp.71)
My question is why Trump's administration is trying to stall sweeping crackdown on fraudulent practices?


  1. Trump University was a for-profit school that was sued for "scamming" students out of their money, and eventually had to shut down. Might this move have been made somewhat in retaliation?

  2. This is difficult to answer but I feel like the officials Betsy brought on board just exhibit conflicting interests. While the cracking down of fraudulent practices needs to happen, the officials seem to not consider the interests of students. Again, to me this seems like the administration as whole does not have the interest of the people at heart as most of their actions are rather questionable.

  3. Yeah I agree with Chido and Chris. This move does not seem surprising based on his track record with for profit schools. And, based on the capitalism first model, the government shouldn't be trying to stop them anyways. (Not that I agree with this strategy).

  4. I think Chido is correct when she says that Trump may have some sentimental with for-profit schools. Plus I'm sure if the Obama administration was attempting to make progress on this issue, the Trump administration would love nothing more than to erase it (whether it fits their agenda or not, they seem to love undoing anything democrats have done over the past four years).

  5. I feel the theme of conflicting interests will continue to be on the forefront of the current administration because Trump is going to continue bringing in people who are very much in alignment with his own ideology.

  6. Nick and Chido bring up a good point in that Trump has some sentimental for profit schools. I think that his sentimental for profit-schools has led him to stall sweeping on fraudulent practices and has caused controversy. I think that if Obama were still in office, this would not have happened but since we have Trump, we cannot do anything about it.

  7. Even though don't agree with the strategy, but yea the government shouldn't be trying to stop them anyways