Dan Rather just responded to the latest news from the Department of Education, led by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, with an old, but appropriate, aphorism: the fox guarding the hen house.
The news concerns the appointment of former DeVry University Dean, Julian Schmoke Jr., as the new head of the Education Department’s Student Aid Enforcement Unit, a unit dedicated to fighting fraud against students by for-profit educational institutions. Here’s the rub: Schmoke’s former employer was forced to pay a $100 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over claims that it used phony employment statistics to entice students into enrolling in its courses.
With such an obvious conflict of interest involved in policing such an important area of consumer fraud, the former CBS News anchor took to Facebook to spread the news with this commentary:
The disaster in Houston and South Texas. North Korea. The Russia investigation. The immigration fight. The palace intrigue at the White House. All those Tweets…
There are a lot of issues and outrages that demand our attention, but there are also aspects of the Trump presidency that are taking place in the shadows with huge consequence. A big concern to many is what is happening under Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education. There was a startling bit of news this week, which to this old Texan sure seems like a case of the fox guarding the hen house.
The issue is for profit colleges, a topic ripe for investigative journalism and something on which I have reported in the past and am now working on a documentary film. The more you dig, the more outrage there is, or should be. But Mr. Trump, of the scandalous Trump University, and his ally DeVos seem to be more interested in profits than pedagogy.
I plan on making this line of reporting a focus of coverage on this page, and I hope you share it with others in your network. It’s back to school time, and if we care about the future of this nation, we should be paying close attention to this issue.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.