Posts Tagged ‘#FreeCommunityCollege

17
Oct
16

President Obama: A Champion For Students

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Molly Hensley-Clancy: The Industry That Was Crushed By The Obama Administration

When Barack Obama took office, America’s seven largest publicly traded college operators were worth a combined $51 billion, with more than 815,000 students enrolled at campuses spread across the country. The schools were flooded with with people seeking shelter from the recession, returning to school to pick up new skills. Almost eight years later, the industry has been decimated. The seven largest listed operators are worth just over $6 billion, and the most valuable company in the sector has spent the last two years desperately trying to become a non-profit. Two of the largest companies in 2009 are now bankrupt, and two more are in the process of being taken private. A withering war on for-profit schools by federal and state authorities, combined with an improving economy that made trade schools less lucrative, has left the industry a shadow of its former self. It could be one of the defining legacies of the Obama era.

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The administration’s more aggressive approach hit its stride in its final two years, as the Education Department honed and expanded its power. It pushed through a set of strict new rules late in 2014, and is preparing to pass another that could have even more far-reaching impact. Last month, one of its long-standing foes, the ITT Tech chain of for-profit colleges — valued at $4.6 billion in early 2009 — filed for bankruptcy after an Education Department ruling effectively ended its viability as a business. The Education Department has begun to turn the tables on for-profit schools by using their almost total dependence on government money as an avenue for regulatory power. It is seeking to make access to federal dollars conditional on schools changing their practices — for example, by requiring schools to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses from their enrollment contracts, giving students the right to sue.

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18
Mar
15

GOP Screams Lame Duck! President Obama Moves America Forward

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Stephen Collinson: Obama Redefines The Lame Duck Presidency

At the time in his tenure when most presidents fret over their waning clout, Barack Obama is redefining the concept of the lame duck. His administration has been energized by his aggressive use of executive power. Some of the most hard-won achievements of his early years in office are beginning to pay off. And his political luck seems to be turning. With a term and a half behind him, Obama’s prospects are brighter than they have been for years. Though Republicans paint Obama’s glass as half full, and argued that the administration is overstating its record, that hasn’t rattled the man in the Oval Office.

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The new sense of serenity in the White House solidified this week with figures showing that more than 16 million people have now signed up for health plans under Obamacare, the president’s top domestic achievement. That news came on the heels of booming jobs growth numbers and a tangible feeling that after years of slow recovery, things are looking up economically. The unemployment rate, at 5.5%, is at its lowest point since May 2008, before the Great Recession. And the U.S. economy is in much better shape than most of its rivals in the developed world. The White House believes that its initiatives on community college funding, the president’s moves to regulate the Internet and actions to reshape the immigration system are delivering a political dividend,

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reasoning that many Americans are happy to see gridlock broken and the president taking action, a factor that might be partly reflected in Obama’s better poll numbers. Obama, meanwhile, more relaxed than ever. He’s speaking about race more freely than any time since he became president, notably in his speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights marches earlier this month. And the White House counts a climate accord with China and a visit to India earlier this year as big wins for its strategy of rebalancing foreign policy towards Asia. The GOP, for its part, is learning what the White House found out years ago — that winning the Senate last year, and with it control of both chambers of Congress, brings its own problems.

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