Have You Heard episode #98: The Rich and the Rest
There is a vast gulf between the public education priorities of most voters and the favored policies of the very wealthy. Nowhere is that gap more visible than in Arizona, where support for public education has emerged as a central issue in 2020. Complete transcript of the episode is here.
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Betsy DeVos’ top advisor led a for-profit university that defrauded students and hoovered up federal student aid. Now Robert Eitel is tasked with *right-sizing* the Department of Education. What could possibly go wrong?
Jennifer Berkshire: This week Betsy DeVos announced that she was tasking one of her top advisors, Robert Eitel, formerly of Bridgepoint Education, Inc., with overseeing the *right sizing* of the Department of Education. Bridgepoint has something of, um, an interesting backstory that I’d like you to walk us through. Start in 2005 when the company purchased a nun-run Iowa college and blew it up into an online behemoth.
Christopher Crowley: So Bridgepoint Education was started by a group of former University of Phoenix executives who were able to get Wall Street seed money and then used that money to buy a small college in Iowa called the Franciscan University of the Prairies. When Bridgepoint bought the college in 2005, there were around 300 students enrolled, taught mostly by the nuns who founded the school. Bridgepoint changed the name of the school to Ashford, and by 2010 there were more than 80,000 students enrolled, mostly online. That’s huge. Continue reading →
Cry for what’s left of your public schools…
By Sharon Hill
Arizona schools chief John Huppenthal is sorry. How sorry? Really, really, really, really sorry. That was the message at the press conference that Huppenthal called last week, where he issued a tearful apology for anonymously offensive tweets and comments he’s made since 2011. And while a growing chorus of critics, including the NAACP and even some of Huppe’s cronies, are calling for him to step down from the job of Top Troll and Chief Commenter, Huppenthal’s message is as clear as tears: he’s not going anywhere—not while Arizona still has a public school system for him to dismantle. Continue reading →