Friday, June 16, 2017

DeVos Will Roll Back 2 Obama Regulations, a Blow to Consumer Advocates

The U.S. Department of Education is beginning the process of rolling back two Obama-era regulations aimed at holding for-profit colleges accountable and helping students who may have been misled or defrauded by them: the borrower-defense-to-repayment regulation, which was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and the gainful-employment regulation, which was already in effect.

The gainful-employment regulation was meant to hold career-preparation programs accountable for the outcomes of their graduates. Specifically, if the estimated loan payments of a program’s graduates exceed a certain percentage of their income over a period of years, then the program would risk losing federal student aid.

The borrower-defense-to-repayment regulation was meant to allow borrowers who feel they have been defrauded by their college or program to have a simpler process for having their student loans forgiven by the federal government.

The specific processes by which the department would roll back the rules were laid out in two notices in the Federal Register: for gainful employment and for borrower defense to repayment.

The department said it anticipated that a committee would begin
negotiations to rework the gainful-employment rule in November or December of this year, meaning a revised rule could not take effect until July 2019. Observers were uncertain of whether the department would enforce the prior rules until that point.
In a news release on Tuesday, Ms. DeVos said: “Fraud, especially fraud committed by a school, is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, last year’s rule-making effort missed an opportunity to get it right.” She added that the current rules had created a “muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”

“Nearly 16,000 borrower-defense claims are currently being processed by the department, and, as I have said all along, promises made to students under the current rule will be promises kept,” said Ms. DeVos. “We are working with servicers to get these loans discharged as expeditiously as possible. Some borrowers should expect to obtain discharges within the next several weeks.”

By both rolling back the borrower-defense rule and reworking the gainful-employment rule, the department has handed a victory to for-profit colleges. Lobbying groups for those institutions had fought the existing regulations.

Several lawmakers and observers saw the department's withdrawal of the borrower-defense rule as unfairly tipping the scales in favor of for-profit colleges. Senate Democrats sent a letter to Ms. DeVos last week asking her to keep the regulations in place. "Delaying the borrower-defense rule would be a monumental dereliction of the duty you have to protect students and taxpayers," the senators wrote, "and would increase the risk of repeating the recent history of students left holding the bag while executives at collapsing institutions made away with millions in profits."

Some groups representing other sectors of higher education, outside of for-profits, however, disagreed that the rules, as written, should have been carried out. The United Negro College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, which represent historically black colleges, sent a joint letter to Ms. DeVos on Monday asking that she delay the regulations.

"We remain concerned about the sweeping scope of the regulation and vague standards for determining ‘misrepresentation’ that could unfairly leave HBCUs and PBIs liable for frivolous claims, unwarranted fines, and unfounded penalties," the groups said in the letter. "Such provisions could result in significant costs that would divert precious resources better spent on serving the needs of students."


Rape Fakers Must Pay a Higher Price

By Michelle Malkin

It's settled, but far from over. The University of Virginia fraternity that was slimed and defamed by sicko fabulist Sabrina Erdely will receive a $1.65 million payment, the fraternity announced this week.

Erdely's manufactured tale of gang rape by Phi Kappa Psi members, spun through a manipulated UVA student dubbed "Jackie" and published by left-wing Rolling Stone magazine, combusted spectacularly after scrutiny by independent journalists in late 2014.

The latest payout over the fictional hit piece comes in the wake of another defamation lawsuit by UVA dean of students Nicole Eramo. She won a $3 million jury verdict last year after suffering great damage to her reputation after Rolling Stone and painted her as an uncaring, obstructionist school official who covered up sexual assault on campus.

The judgment, Eramo told NBC 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week, "was vindicating."

But is it enough to compensate for the harm done — and is it enough to deter future rape hoaxers and their media enablers from perpetrating more lies against innocent young men?

Phi Kappa Psi initially sued for $25 million, but received a tiny fraction of that amount. Eramo's jury award also shrunk after she agreed to a settlement with Rolling Stone in April. Despite her court victory, she faced a mountain of legal bills related to trial costs and a threatened appeal.

And what about Erdeley's other victims?

Three other Phi Kappa Psi alumni, George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler, filed a third defamation suit that was dismissed by a federal judge last year. But in April, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York heard arguments for reinstating the case. It will take considerable time and resources for the fraternity members to be made whole again.

Even more troubling: There are other forgotten targets of Erdely's shoddy slur-nolism, again published by Rolling Stone, who have yet to see any accountability for her destructive words and actions against them.

In 2011, Erdely published a massive "investigation" in Rolling Stone alleging a "high-level conspiracy" to cover up sexual abuse by Philadelphia Catholic clergy. Erdely featured the graphic allegations of a troubled accuser known as "Billy Doe," who lodged wild rape charges against two Catholic priests and a lay teacher. His testimony resulted in the convictions of four men (one of whom died in prison), while "Billy" pocketed a $5 million settlement.

Ralph Cipriano, independent investigative journalist and founder of BigTrial, has extensively chronicled the lies, contradictions, and schemes of former altar boy "Billy" — a.k.a. Daniel Gallagher — over the past five years. Last month, Cipriano reported that a key detective in the case, Joe Walsh, filed an affidavit in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court outlining Gallagher's deception.

When Walsh pressed Gallagher on whether his stories of "brutal anal rapes, death threats, (and) getting tied up naked with altar sashes" were true, Walsh wrote that Gallagher admitted he "just made up stuff and told them anything."

More damning, Cipriano reported, Walsh had "repeatedly informed the prosecutor in the case, former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen, that Gallagher wasn't a credible witness. Walsh also informed Sorensen that there was no evidence that backed up Gallagher's fantastic stories, and that the evidence gathered by Walsh actually contradicted Gallagher."

But the DA's office proceeded with the prosecutions, anyway. And Rolling Stone has never bothered to review or update Erdely's article — or inform readers of the real scandal of yet another fake rape hoax and prosecutorial misconduct.

In 2013, Erdely published another piece of half-baked advocacy journalism on "The Rape of Petty Officer (Rebecca) Blumer: Inside the military's culture of sex abuse, denial and cover-up." She's a one-trick pony, ain't she?

As Washington Examiner reporter Ashe Schow pointed out, Erdely "apparently made no attempt to contact members of the military involved in investigating the case, instead relying on victim's advocates with no direct knowledge" of Blumer's claims of being "roofied and raped."

Fraternities, religious institutions, the military, and the entire male population have been defamed by a lying liar with a laptop and her "progressive" editors at Democrat donor Jann Wenner's flagship rock music rag. All in service of promoting "rape culture" propaganda at any cost.

Too few journalists are willing to challenge the corruption of the criminal justice system in their backyards. Politicized police departments and pro-prosecution courts have failed to uphold the constitutional rights of the accused. The wheels of justice grind far too slowly for the falsely defamed and falsely convicted, fighting for their reputations or for their lives behind bars.

Juries need to send louder messages and impose strong deterrents against rape fakers and their propagandists. Make them pay. Big time.


Imbecilic call for all Australians to graduate High School

That one in eight fail to pass High School is pretty much what you would expect from the distribution of IQ -- so is changeable only by dumbing down the courses, which are already far too dumbed down

The latest report by Mitchell Institute at Victoria University finds large numbers of young Australians are not succeeding in education and training, and it’s costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

The findings reveal one in eight Australians will never attain a Year 12 qualification, and some of these people make up the one in eight Australians who will be disengaged from the workforce for most of their lives.

Victoria University’s Vice‐Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins said when young people aren’t supported to find success later in life it leads to enormous costs for everyone – through wasted tax dollars and lost chances to build safer communities, a stronger workforce and a richer economy.

“When we fail to set young people up for success, they are not the only ones affected – the impact stretches to all corners of society,” Professor Dawkins explained.

“The size of the impact, we’ve discovered, is staggering. Poor investment in our education system, especially in areas that help young people transition to careers, is costing our country billions of dollars every year.”

The are problems in key areas of education that lead to more people entering a life of crime, clogging public health services and relying on government support payments to get by. This also means people pay less taxes, and make less of an overall contribution to our economy and communities.

The fiscal and social costs associated with these issues are enormous.

For taxpayers, having 38,000 people aged 19 who will never achieve Year 12 or equivalent costs $315 million each year, and more than $12 billion over a lifetime. Having 46,000 people aged 24 who will be disengaged for most of their lives costs taxpayers $472 million each year, and almost $19 billion over a lifetime.

From the social perspective, the group of early school leavers costs governments and communities more than $580 million annually and more than $23 billion over a lifetime. The figures are even larger for the disengaged 24 year olds – $1.2 billion each year and more than $50 billion over a lifetime.

These costs are based on cohorts from just one year and they are conservative: actual costs are likely higher.

Professor Dawkins said governments need to prioritise system changes to ensure all Australians have equal education opportunities, while industry leaders, educators and communities can also help drive change.

“Universities and training institutes can be part of the solution by partnering with employers, understanding community needs and providing better opportunities for more young people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to find success.

“It is a matter of urgency to pay attention to the problems in our system that are letting down so many people. In the meantime, we’ll all keep paying the costs.”

Counting the costs of lost opportunity in Australian education is available at

Media release via email

No comments: