Coalition for Educational Success Responds to Senator Harkin’s Latest Attack

December 14, 2010 — In response to Senator Tom Harkin’s floor statement today, Coalition for Educational Success counsel and public spokesperson Lanny J. Davis issued the following statement:

"On the eve of the White House’s meeting with US business leaders, Senator Tom Harkin launched another inaccurate anti-business attack on for-profit education. In making his argument, which ignores indisputable facts, the Senator is using a GAO study that we now know through comparisons to the actual tapes contained substantial distortions and omissions. This is the same study used to support the Senator’s earlier attacks as well as the Department of Education’s ‘gainful employment’ proposal. Rather than admit to the GAO study’s misrepresentations and distortions, the Senator seems bound to repeat them to prop up an increasingly shaky house of cards that he and the Department have built.

"It would be better if the Senator could answer these important questions:

  • Why doesn’t the Senator’s concern about student outcomes extend to all of higher education?
  • Why does the Senator ignore the tens of millions of positive student outcomes from for-profit colleges?
  • Why doesn’t the Senator acknowledge that for-profit colleges produce graduates at substantially less cost to taxpayers than public colleges?

“While Senator Harkin seems unwilling to accept that ‘education’ and ‘profit’ can be used together in the same sentence, more than 3 million students will enroll this year in for-profit higher education. In a fact lost or ignored by the Senator, for-profit higher education is succeeding because our students are succeeding. These students seek out our schools because they want what we can offer: a path to a new or better job through effective skills training and focused job placement assistance.”

About the Coalition for Educational Success
The Coalition for Educational Success includes many of the nation’s leading career colleges, serving more than 350,000 students at 478 campuses in 41 states. Career colleges provide training for students in 17 of the 20 fastest growing fields. The Coalition advocates for policies that support wider access to higher education, particularly for non-traditional students including full-time workers, workforce returners, working parents, minorities and veterans.

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