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Reader Chiara sent the following comment about new funding by the U.S. Department of Education for for-profit ventures. Since when did ED become a source of venture capital for start-ups?
“Duncan’s cranking up the private sector subsidy funding on his way out the door:
“On Wednesday the department will announce a pilot program that will allow federal grants and loans to flow to educational-technology companies that team up with colleges and third-party “quality-assurance entities” to offer coding boot camps, MOOCs, short-term certificates, and other credentials.”
“Partnering with accredited schools to deliver tech skills for credit is a dangerous back door to access federal student loans,” wrote Clint Schmidt He called for the department to put “a rigorous standard in place” before federal aid could cover boot-camp tuition.
“The risk is a short-term, money-grabbing mind-set”
Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right? Public money to ed-tech companies. They’re doing this…. because for-profit, online colleges were such a smashing success?
Is there some reason the federal government feels they have to market and fund ed-tech? Is there a shortage of salespeople at these companies or something so we have to provide publicly-paid salespeople for their product?
Here’s another description: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-looks-to-let-students-use-federal-aid-for-training-bootcamps/2015/10/14/9a4eba38-72bb-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html?postshare=7671444875772458
U.S. Deputy Secretary Ted Mitchell was formerly CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which invested in these kinds of business ventures, as well as charter chains. He has no problem with for-profit education; NSVF supported it when he was in charge.