Gunning for the GAO

A for-profit advocacy group is continuing its attack on the U.S. Government Accountability Office, releasing a report today that accuses Congress’s investigative arm of manipulating data and misstating facts in its highly critical review of for-profit colleges last summer.

The report — commissioned and released by the Coalition for Educational Success and conducted by the consulting firm Norton/Norris, which conducts its own "mystery shopper" reviews for what its principals say is a mix of for-profit and nonprofit colleges — documents what its authors say are dozens of misrepresentations by the government agency that when taken together, they assert, seriously undermine its conclusions.

"[O]ur review reveals that only 14 findings are credible as written by the GAO out of 65 originally reported (an additional 14 findings cannot be confirmed)," the report states. It cites the agency’s "bias" — "evident in several aspects of the undercover testing and subsequent report with inconsistencies in methodology, the lack of basic knowledge regarding college admissions practices and inaccurate reporting of conversations in order to skew facts."

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INSIDE HIGHER ED

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