What Happened In Wisconsin?

MILWAUKEE — Earlier this year it looked like Wisconsin might slap some of the nation’s strictest performance standards on for-profit colleges. But a panel tasked with considering the proposed rules met just once before a state agency in March suspended the group and its work, indefinitely.

The short-lived regulatory enthusiasm in Wisconsin followed the collapse of for-profit campuses here in the state's biggest city. In some ways the push by state and city governments resembled federal efforts to rein in for-profits, particularly the Obama administration's pursuit of now-sidelined gainful employment rules.

Both fights became politicized, with a partisan flavor. For-profits and their advocates attacked the proposed regulations, arguing that they were not based on sound metrics. They also charged that the rules targeted for-profits unfairly and should have applied to nonprofit colleges, too.

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INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION

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