Posts Tagged ‘Carolyn McCarthy’
January 3rd, 2011 at 5:22 pm
“Collegegate” Update: Incoming Congress Demanding Answers in Letter to GAO
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CFIF has been monitoring the developing scandal surrounding the Obama Administration’s assault against for-profit colleges, and we’re pleased to report the new Congress is already taking action to get to the bottom of it.

First came allegations of insider trading within Obama’s Department of Education.  As detailed in a letter by Senators Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma) and Richard Burr (R – North Carolina), Education Department officials “may have leaked the proposed regulations to parties supporting the Administration’s position and investors who stand to benefit from the failure of the proprietary school sector.”  Then, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) withdrew, then revised and republished a defective study originally released last summer involving undercover “students” sent to capture information on for-profit colleges.  That GAO report had been cited as vital evidence for the Education Department and a Senate committee as they prepare to promulgate the Gainful Employment rule, and even the Washington Post (whose parent company owns one of the largest for-profit schools) ran an article exposing that defective report.  The GAO’s numerous revisions are all clearly slanted in one direction – the original report inaccurately cast career colleges in an unfavorable light, while the revisions indicate that the GAO’s undercover students may have intended to entrap career college admissions personnel.  By the GAO’s own estimate, only 1 percent of reports are corrected, and the statistical likelihood that all of its flaws skewed in the same direction (against for-profit colleges) was 1 in 65,536.  Tellingly, the stock value of for-profit colleges reportedly fell 14%, or $4.2 billion, following the GAO report.

Now, incoming Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R – California) along with Democrats Alcee Hastings (D – Florida) and Carolyn McCarthy (D – New York) and fellow Republicans John Kline (R – Minnesota), Brett Guthrie (R – Kentucky) and Glenn Thompson (R – Pennsylvania) have written the GAO demanding answers to the following “number of troubling questions” by today’s date:

1.  Has GAO’s Office of the General Counsel (‘OGC’) examined or investigated the facts surrounding the need to revise the August 4, 2010 report?  Please explain.

2.  Has OGC reexamined the report’s conclusions to ensure that they accurately reflect the analysis contained in the report?

3.  Has OGC verified the allegations that the methodology GAO used in the report is flawed and biased?  Please explain what was found.

4.  What are GAO’s procedures for revising a previously issued report?  Please provide specific steps.  Were these procedures followed in this instance?

5.  Why is there no announcement from the release of the modified report on GAO’s web site?”

This constitutes a promising start by the new Congress, including its suggestion of possible disciplinary action.  Stay tuned…