Facts matter, and many “facts” presented by the HELP Committee are in serious dispute. In the Senator’s first hearing, the star witness was a Wall Street short seller with no background in education who stood to profit personally by attacking companies like ours. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group, has called this a serious conflict of interest.
The Senator also commissioned a Government Accountability Office report on private-sector education that was so filled with inaccuracies that the GAO took the extraordinary step of reissuing the testimony with dozens of corrections and demoted the manager in charge of the report. Yet the Senator continues to defend the report’s credibility.
We at Corinthian work hard to offer our students a quality education and to protect the interests of taxpayers. We and others in our sector, such as the Coalition for Educational Success, are ready to work constructively with Members of Congress to develop effective rules that support these ends.
Sound policy must be based on solid facts and real solutions, not unsupported sound bites. Therefore we favor:
• Extensive research into program outcomes and student debt at all colleges and universities, traditional as well as private sector.
• Policies that would provide additional information and consumer protections to students at all colleges and universities, traditional as well as private sector.
• A single high standard of achievement for all colleges and universities, traditional as well as public sector.
With these facts and solutions, we can ensure that more Americans attend college, that we invest our tax dollars wisely and that we meet President Barack Obama’s goal of having the world’s highest percentage of college graduates by 2020.
We need facts and solutions in higher education, not scapegoats.
Jack Massimino is chairman and CEO of Corinthian Colleges Inc.