Schooling Proprietary Education

I continue to watch the ongoing news about my industry– proprietary education, this week via the New America Foundation’s education bolg– and I continue to be alarmed, not because the proposed reforms are so untenable– the reforms are probably weaker than they need to be– but because the industry continues to undermine its own credibility by being so alarmist (“Taking a Page from the Tea Party‘). There’s nothing specific about the for-profit sector’s resistance to stricter regulation; it seems to be a common theme in every area of the U.S. economy.

Perhaps I can be accused of wishful thinking, but it seems to me that the era of wildly unregulated capitalism is coming to a loud, complaining, reckless stop. What’s so odd is that the relatively mildly regulated capitalism being proposed (in finances, the auto industry, medicine, housing, and education, so far) is likely to have so little impact on long term profits. (“Obama‚Äôs Bid to Change the Incentives that Drive For-Profit Higher Ed”). That gives the debate a sharply ideological edge, as if money was besides the point. It’s not.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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