From Frontline to Good Housekeeping

goodhousekeeping.jpgTis the season of graduations and with many people thinking about college, some of the personal finance magazines are running stories about paying for it. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, for example, has a story on college savings plans in its June 2010 issue.

But a piece in Good Housekeeping magazine’s June 2010 issue caught me eye.

Written by Barry Yeoman, the story discusses for-profit colleges, particularly the difficult time some students have finding jobs and thus repaying student loans after graduating from the schools.

For-profit schools have come under the microscope lately, with pieces in the New York Times and on a May edition of PBS’s “Frontline.”

Yeoman’s piece in Good Housekeeping magazine follows a similar line; titled “The School of Hard Knocks,” the story is illustrated with images like that of a diploma going into a shredder and coming out as dollar bills in strips.

In keeping with the magazine’s target audience, this story on for-profit schools focuses on women, an apt theme given that Yeoman says 64 percent of the three million people attending these schools are female.

  • ARA Teachers

    That is not all, DeVry’s Advanced Academics is their entry into high schools, see letter below

    as seen in the Daily Breeze-
    and on KABC Los Angeles Channel 4-
    and on the Huffington Post-
    and soon in the LA Times.
    See a related story :
    and related story in Good Housekeeping June 2010

    Greed over Education

    DeVry’s Advanced Academics strangles the small urban Academy for Recording Arts.

    The Academy for Recording Arts Charter High School (ARA) at 14115 Chadron St. Hawthorne, CA . once dubbed “Hip Hop High, ” is being extorted and shut down because of DeVry’s Advanced Academics Online High School desire for profits.

    Attempting to make an online presence in California, DeVry’s Advanced Academics contacts struggling school districts and charter schools to provide funding and online curriculum. However, that is where the good deed ends. Once, DeVry’s Oklahoma based Advanced Academics gets a foothold into a school, they immediately try to take total control of the school.

    This has happened at two schools so far that I am aware of, Academy for Recording Arts and Juan Bautista de Anza Charter School. At ARA, DeVry’s Advanced Academics did not care about the urban students that the school serves. DeVry’s Advanced Academics, through various representatives, have directed the teachers at ARA to make sure the students logged into their computers. The school has approximately 80 on-site students as well as 300 on-line students in the Los Angeles region.  The teachers are not there to teach but to ensure that the students log in. A representative of Advanced Academics was even overheard saying he “didn’t care about the students learning,” he just wanted them to “log in.”

    This is important because as long as the student logs in, they are considered to be “attending school.” By logging in, DeVry’s Advanced Academics gets paid. Which brings up another problem, per California state law, a for-profit cannot run a public school. Therefore, DeVry’s Advanced Academics set up a dummy non-profit, “ROADS”, to oversee the ARA school board. ARA has now lost its charter from the Hawthorne School District, because of DeVry’s Advanced Academics business practices.

    The current director, Dr. Gary Daniels, has made great strides by bringing in new staff and developing small learning communities to help the low performing urban students. The focus has been on teaching the students to understand the importance of education. Dr Gary Daniel’s staff has been able to connect with the students and even get the school WASC accreditation within its first four months of operation despite DeVry’s Advanced Academics attempt at creating an online only environment. But now the students have no where else to go, this was their “last chance” high school.

    Due to the loss of the charter, DeVry’s Advanced Academics has now turned up the heat on the school and the staff claiming that they are losing money. DeVry’s Advanced Academics has fired 5 of the 11 teachers at the school crippling it; however, a few of the fired teachers continue to teach despite not being paid because we need to educate and save our students. How can the students pass required classes without a teacher? The remaining teachers had their salary cut 30%, which by CA Labor Board laws is illegal. Yet, somehow, DeVry’s Advanced Academics has been able to buy off or bully the ARA school board into allowing these atrocious acts, which now begs the question of how responsible is the ARA board is in allowing this travesty to education to occur?

    Something needs to be done to save the education of these students, and if the Academy for Recording Arts and Juan Bautista de Anza schools cannot be saved then hopefully other possible victims of DeVry’s Adavanced Academics can be spared. Beware of DeVry’s Advanced Academics for-profit online high schools.