I Am Fluent In Three Languages …item 1.. For-Profit Colleges Pay Executives Based On Profit (07/27/2012 ) …item 2.. RACE TO THE BOTTOM (Thursday, July 5, 2012) …item 3.. Senator Harkin’s Report: (JULY 29, 2012) …

I Am Fluent In Three Languages …item 1.. For-Profit Colleges Pay Executives Based On Profit (07/27/2012 ) …item 2.. RACE TO THE BOTTOM (Thursday, July 5, 2012) …item 3.. Senator Harkin’s Report: (JULY 29, 2012) …
4th of july crafts
Image by marsmet523
For-profit colleges now account for about 10 percent of U.S. students but 25 percent for federal financial aid and nearly half of all student loan defaults. Many schools get 85-90 percent or more of their revenues from federal taxpayers, and they spend most of it on items like marketing, recruiting, and big executive salaries, rather than education and job placement. Not all for-profit colleges are that bad, but many, including most of the big ones, are.

But after an extended period of scrutiny by federal officials, nonprofits, and diligent news reporters, the truth is coming out and having an impact. Federal investigators are probing for-profit institutions including giants the University of Phoenix and EDMC and smaller operations like Florida’s FastTrain College, where, on the day of an FBI raid, one student told a reporter that she had been charged for room and board — at a school that does not offer student housing.
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……..***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors …….
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…..item 1)…. Huffington Post … www.huffingtonpost.com … Huff Post Business …

The Internet Newspaper: News Blog Video Community

Chris Kirkham
kirkham@huffingtonpost.com

For-Profit Colleges Pay Executives Based On Profit, Not Student Success, Report Finds

Posted: 07/27/2012 8:13 pm Updated: 07/28/2012 2:17 pm

FOLLOW: For Profit Colleges, Elijah Cummings, Executive Compensation, House Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Career Education Corp, College, For-Profit College, Gary Mccullough, Higher Education, Student Loans, Business News

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/for-profit-colleges-exe…

Top executives at major for-profit colleges take in millions of dollars in annual compensation — primarily from taxpayer subsidies -– yet most of their pay is unrelated to student achievement, according to preliminary findings from a congressional investigation.

The report from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, found that publicly traded college corporations calculate executive compensation "predominantly on the profitability of their companies rather than the success of their students."
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img code photo … Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

i.huffpost.com/gen/706165/thumbs/s-ELIJAH-CUMMINGS-large.jpg

AP
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"This is especially troubling given the billions of taxpayer dollars flowing into these institutions and the serious financial risks to students who go through these programs," the report concluded.

For-profit colleges receive much of their revenues from federal financial aid: student loans, Pell grants and military educational benefits. Yet students often fare poorly, dropping out in large numbers and defaulting on federal loans at double the rate of their counterparts at public institutions.

Cummings sent letters in December to 13 for-profit college corporations, seeking information on how the quality of education and student performance are tied to what he termed "lavish" executive pay at the schools. Chief executive officers at several for-profit education companies take in much more than presidents at some of the most prestigious U.S. private universities.

Todd S. Nelson, the former chief executive and now chairman of Education Management Corp., the nation’s second-largest operator of for-profit colleges, took in more than .1 million last year. The highest-paid Ivy League president, Richard C. Levin of Yale University, received .6 million in compensation, according to tax filings.

In a preliminary report sent to Democratic members of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee on Friday, congressional staff found that "the single most significant measure for determining executive compensation at these schools is corporate profitability, including factors such as operating income, earnings, profits, operating margins, earnings per share, net cash flow, and revenue."

The report found that 10 of the 13 companies considered profitability for at least 70 percent of executive pay. The other three companies did not provide enough information to determine how student success factored into executive pay, according to the report.

For-profit colleges have increased revenues over the years by rapidly expanding their enrollments. From 1999 to 2009, the number of students attending for-profit colleges more than tripled, far outpacing the growth of traditional higher education, which grew by a fifth, according to an analysis of federal data from the Education Trust, a student advocacy group.

Although about 12 percent of college students nationwide attend for-profit schools, the sector is responsible for more than 45 percent of federal loan defaults.

In many cases, companies had executive compensation documents that made only "vague references" to student performance and "failed to indicate the specific extent to which these measures affect executive compensation," the report said.

At Career Education Corp., which owns the Le Cordon Bleu chain of culinary schools, 75 percent of executives’ bonus pay was based on meeting profit goals, according to the report. The remaining 25 percent of executive compensation was based on "individual executive performance factors."

There were several optional criteria to determine an executive’s performance at the company, including student graduation rates and career placement rates. But the company provided no details on whether those student performance goals were actually considered, according to the congressional report.

Nonetheless, all executives at the company reached 100 percent of their individual goals in 2010, the report found. Last year, the chief executive of Career Education Corp., Gary McCullough, resigned after an internal investigation found that the employees were artificially inflating job placement rates at some health and arts programs to remain in good standing with college accreditors -– and continue to be eligible for federal aid dollars.

A spokesman for Career Education Corp., Mark Spencer, acknowledged that the company used such a compensation plan for senior executives in the past. The company updated its compensation plan this year, he said — a plan that now ties 66 percent of senior executives’ potential compensation to student-focused goals unrelated to "any financial performance objective." The plan has not been released publicly.

A spokeswoman for DeVry Inc., Jennifer Dooley, wrote in an e-mail that "our first obligation is to our students, and our shareholders understand this." She continued: "They know that only by focusing on serving our students, and on delivering value over the long term, will we ensure our economic viability."

Representatives from 11 other companies mentioned in the report did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

UPDATE: 10:23 p.m. — This article has been updated to include comment from a Career Education Corp. spokesman.
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…..item 2)…. Gangbox News … gangboxnews.blogspot.com

GANGBOX: Construction Workers News Service
Thursday, July 5, 2012

RACE TO THE BOTTOM Columbia University, the Koch Brothers, New York’s real estate billionaires and the attack on construction worker wages

gangboxnews.blogspot.com/2012/07/race-to-bottom-columbia-…

It takes a certain special kind of arrogance for a university with a $ 6.5 billion endowment to claim that the middle income blue collar workers who build and maintain their Ivy covered towers are “overpaid”.

In June 2012, Columbia University actually had the nerve to put forth that bald faced lie about the tradespeople and janitors who construct and service their world class facilities.

The university’s Center for Urban Real Estate issued a report attacking prevailing wages. The report was funded by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (a lobby for real estate developers that use low wage scab contractors to build government subsidized housing) and written by Manhattan Institute-trained anti union ideologue Julia Vitullo-Martin(we’ll meet her again below).

It’s actually rather odd to see the normally liberal Columbia University teaming up with the hard right conservative Koch Brothers-funded Manhattan Institute – but union busting makes strange bedfellows sometimes.

Columbia and Vitullo-Martin called for the state of New York to lower prevailing wages for workers in the construction industry. They also oppose the extending of prevailing wage protection to construction workers who build government subsidized housing and janitors and security guards working in buildings funded by city subsidies and on properties controlled by the city’s electric and gas utility, Consolidated Edison.

According to this anti union propaganda report, those workers – many of whom earn poverty level wages and get no benefits – are “overpaid”.

Vitullo-Martin and the university claim that the road to economic recovery, in the real estate sector and the broader economy, lies through reducing construction and building service worker wages to as low a pay scale as possible.

This dovetails nicely with the Manhattan Institute’s broader agenda, which is basically Ronald Reagan-style “trickle down economics”, union busting and elimination of any and all statutory protection of workers’ rights, including prevailing wages.

Wait a minute – what exactly are “prevailing wages” anyway?

Prevailing wages are based on the average wages paid to workers in each particular construction craft in each particular labor market.

New York State passed one of the nation’s first prevailing wage laws in 1894, mandating that all state funded construction jobs be built by workers receiving prevailing wages. The US government passed its prevailing wage law, the Davis Bacon Act, in 1930. Many state and local authorities enacted their own “little Davis Bacon laws” shortly thereafter.

In New York State, for many years, the state and the federal governments have determined Davis Bacon prevailing wages for most crafts based on union wage scales.

Columbia University and their hatchet woman Vitullo-Martin argue that, since large segments of the construction industry in New York State and New York City have been deunionized, prevailing wage scales should be reduced to reflect the wage and benefit cuts that have been inflicted on those workers by scab developers and contractors.

This would involve a substantial wage cut for construction workers.

In the case of this writer’s craft, carpenters, the union scale and prevailing wage for New York City is .15/hr (plus benefits). The wage scale paid for carpenters on scab jobs, by contrast, ranges from a high of an hour (and no benefits) on scab commercial jobs to as little as an hour (often paid off the books – with no benefits, of course, not even unemployment or social security) on certain scab jobs.

In particular, the contractors employed by the members of the NYS Association for Affordable Housing are often those on the /hr off the books end of the compensation scale.

Yes, that is very blatantly illegal, since the state and federal minimum wage is $ 7.25/hr.

No, neither the city, state nor federal governments have ever done anything to stop these developers and their contractors from blatantly using public funds to pay illegally low wages.

****** please note …only the top 10 percent of this article is pasted here *******
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…..item 3)…. Republic Report … www.republicreport.org … Investigating How Money Corrupts Democracy

Sen. Harkin’s Report: For-Profit Colleges Leave Students With Debt But No Degree

POSTED AT 3:48 PM BY DAVID HALPERIN

www.republicreport.org/2012/harkin-report/

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and his Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee staff released Sunday a report based on a comprehensive investigation of 30 of the biggest for-profit college companies. It’s full of stark revelations about this controversial, troubled industry.

I’ve been saying for a couple of years that, no matter how cynical one’s view of Washington is, it cannot encompass the perpetuation of the terrible impunity of America’s for-profit colleges. For over a decade, these corporations have taken billions from taxpayers — now about billion a year — for a toxic mix of high-priced, low-quality programs that leave many students — veterans, students of color, low-income students, immigrants, and others — deep in debt, their hopes crushed, their lives ruined.

For-profit colleges now account for about 10 percent of U.S. students but 25 percent for federal financial aid and nearly half of all student loan defaults. Many schools get 85-90 percent or more of their revenues from federal taxpayers, and they spend most of it on items like marketing, recruiting, and big executive salaries, rather than education and job placement. Not all for-profit colleges are that bad, but many, including most of the big ones, are.

There is stalemate in Washington on holding this industry accountable, because the big money that it spends on lobbying, lawyering, and campaign contributions has bought the allegiance of many congressional Republicans and Democrats and has thwarted federal regulations. Thus determined reform efforts by the Obama Administration, and principled leaders like Senators Harkin, Dick Durbin(D-IL), and Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Keith Ellison (D-MN), have largely been blocked.

But after an extended period of scrutiny by federal officials, nonprofits, and diligent news reporters, the truth is coming out and having an impact. Federal investigators are probing for-profit institutions including giants the University of Phoenix and EDMC and smaller operations like Florida’s FastTrain College, where, on the day of an FBI raid, one student told a reporter that she had been charged for room and board — at a school that does not offer student housing.

More than 30 state attorneys general are accelerating a joint investigation of fraud by for-profits including Corinthian, Kaplan, and Bridgepoint. Long lethargic accrediting bodies are at last reconsidering the free pass they have given these schools. Investors are realizing that the reckless joy ride may be over soon. Most importantly, students are getting the message that they need to look elsewhere for educational opportunities. Veterans are especially incensed, and more and more of them are speaking up about the deceptive and coercive recruiting tactics many for-profits use to exploit lucrative GI bill dollars. Check out the hard-hitting video from the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America, above.

The latest blow is the detailed report by Harkin. Among its conclusions:

…54 percent of students who enrolled in these 30 for-profit colleges in 2008-9 left without a degree, within a median of four months. Among 2-year associate degree-seekers, 63 percent left without a degree.
…“In 2010, the for-profit colleges examined employed 35,202 recruiters compared with 3,512 career services staff and 12,452 support services staff, more than two and a half recruiters for each support services employee.”
…“During the same period, the companies examined spent .2 billion on marketing and recruiting, or 22.7 percent of all revenue. Publicly traded companies operating for-profit colleges had an average profit margin of 19.7 percent, generated a total of .2 billion in pre-tax profit and paid an average of .3 million to their chief executive officers in 2009.”
…“Documents demonstrate that in order to achieve company enrollment goals, recruiting managers at some companies created a boiler-room atmosphere, in which hitting an enrollment quota was the recruiters’ highest priority. Recruiters who failed to bring in enough students were put through disciplinary processes and sometimes terminated. Before a ban on incentive compensation was reinstituted in mid-2011, recruiters’ salaries at many for-profit colleges were tightly tied to enrolling a certain number of new students.”
…“[M]any companies used tactics that misled prospective students with regard to the cost of the program, the availability and obligations of Federal aid, the time to complete the program, the completion rates of other students, the job placement rate of other students, the transferability of the credit, or the reputation and accreditation of the school.”
…“Internal documents show that some schools’ pursuit of military benefits led them to recruit from the most vulnerable military populations, sometimes recruiting at wounded warrior centers and veterans hospitals.
…“In addition to aggressively seeking military personnel, the investigation showed that some recruiters misled or lied to service members as to whether their tuition would be fully covered by military benefits.”
…“In the absence of significant reforms,the sector will continue to turn out hundreds of thousands of students with debt but no degree, and taxpayers will see little return on their investment.”
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img code photo … Senator Tom Harkin

cdn.republicreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Tom_Har…

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For his leadership on his issue, Senator Harkin has allegedly faced threats from this arrogant industry and unremitting hostility from Republican members of his own committee. He deserves enormous credit for his determination to protect students and taxpayers.

The for-profit colleges have adopted a talking point — see here and here — asserting that those who question their industry are driven by “their political or ideological agenda.” But the agenda that Harkin and his allies are pursuing is purely common sense: Taxpayer money should not fuel waste, fraud, and abuse. There can be a constructive role for for-profit institutions in educating Americans, but the current race to bottom — where profits depend on abusing and exploiting students — must end. With federal dollars already scarce, policy must instead reward schools that compete by helping students train for careers and obtain good jobs. This straightforward approach could be considered contentious only in a warped world where slick industry lobbyists and campaign money distort the debate.

We’ll have more on the Harkin report in the days to come. The Senator, joined by Rep. Cummings, will hold a press conference Monday afternoon.

UPDATE: Rep. Cummings, who is the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, issued his own report on Friday after seeking information from 13 of the largest publicly traded for-profit college corporations about how they determine executive compensation. The report concludes that these companies calculate executive pay “predominantly on the profitability of their companies rather than the success of their students.”

Meanwhile, the for-profit college’s lobbying organization, APSCU, attacked the Harkin report, taking issue with a few factual assertions and employing the same talking points I described above: “Unfortunately, Senator Harkin’s report continues in the tradition of ideology overriding reality. The report twists the facts to fit a narrative, proving that this is nothing more than continued political attacks on private sector colleges and universities.”

Filed under: Congress, Lobbying
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