Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) today welcomed a call by a bipartisan group of lawmakers for greater visibility into how and why the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revised its report on admissions and financial aid practices of private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs).
In a letter today, incoming House Oversight & Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), along with Rep. John Kline (R-MN)—incoming Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee--Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) said, “In the same manner that GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, Congress is entitled to hold GAO to the highest standards of ‘accountability, integrity, and reliability.’ Accordingly, we expect GAO to adhere to ‘strict professional standards of review and referencing,’ and to conduct thorough analysis and fact-checking.”
APSCU President Harris Miller said, “We understand that our institutions need to meet the highest standards of ethical conduct when it comes to student recruitment and all other aspects of school operations. Likewise, we share the concern expressed by these Members that this GAO report fell short of the mark when it comes to fairness and accuracy. Based on my more than three decades working in Washington, I know the great respect in which GAO is held. But I believe GAO should consider withdrawing this particular report, which cast aspersions on the entire sector and the over 250,000 employees who work hard every day to educate students, because the analysis is so flawed. The changes in the revised report were substantial—not mere ‘errata’--and, in several instances, were 180 degrees from the original conclusions because the initial interpretations of the ‘mystery shopping’ conversations were simply upside down. Furthermore, we are dismayed that news outlets, such as CNBC’s ‘Price of Admission’ program presented last evening, continue to rely on the original GAO report without mentioning the fact that the GAO report findings have been substantially revised.”
The letter from the Congressmen complements a letter sent by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY) which also questioned the GAO’s initial report and subsequent testimony before the Committee.
Posted by APSCU User at 12:14 AM