Posts Tagged ‘John Kline’
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…

November 10th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Re-Upping D.C. School Vouchers Are an Early Test for Obama

The House GOP isn’t wasting any time putting President Barack Obama on notice that they are ready to test his new commitment to bipartisanship on education issues.  Rep. John Kline (R-MN), the incoming-Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, is promising to recreate the D.C. school voucher program Obama and the Democrats killed two years ago.

Vouchers are despised by teachers’ unions because the device introduces competition into the K-12 education market.  If parents don’t like the curriculum, culture or administration at a public school a voucher lets them send their children to a private school that meets their needs.  For all the canards about separation of church and state, the real reason teachers’ unions hate vouchers is because less students means less of a need for public school (i.e. unionized) teachers.

Supporting a bill that recreates the D.C. school voucher program would be good politics and good policy.  Good politics because President Obama could legitimately claim a bipartisan victory with Republicans on an issue that moves the president to the political center.  It would be good policy because it would allow low-income students the probability of the single biggest attraction of a better education: a better life.

All this for only recreating what already existed.  If the president can’t muster the courage to support this kind of feel-good, localized issue he’ll have no one to blame for the gridlock but himself.

H/T: Washington Times