Your Aug. 4 editorial “Closer Scrutiny of For-Profit Schools” maligns a critical component of postsecondary education in the United States, private sector colleges and universities.
Contrary to your intimation, the last several weeks have been promising for these institutions, with the courts having twice ruled in our favor. Since 2010, there has been a debate between the Department of Education and career colleges and universities concerning the proposed rule-making on “gainful employment,” which sets standards for eligibility for federal aid.
It has served to distract from our core responsibility of providing students — particularly nontraditional ones such as veterans, adults and parents — with the education and skills they need to compete. A recent district court ruling resulted in nearly all the overreaching elements of the gainful employment regulation being vacated.
Despite your overreliance on a flawed staff report issued at the behest of Senator Tom Harkin, a longtime critic of the industry, you did offer a notion on which we should all agree. Let’s establish an outcome-focused set of standards for all institutions of higher education, instead of targeting an industry that is putting people to work by giving them the tools they need to excel. We’ll be happy to join The New York Times in such a noble cause.
President and Chief Executive
Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities
Washington, Aug. 9, 2012