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Federal Grants for Charter Schools

TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg talked about $150 million in Department of Education grants awarded to states to expand charter schools. He also discussed how these schools operate and their effectiveness.

Tags: federal grants, department of education, charter schools

Shysters in Nonprofit Clothing: New Report on College Conversions

Nonprofit Quarterly--an apt source to weigh in on the matter--published an article in response to Bob Shireman's report on for-profit colleges.

Shireman writes that if Wikipedia were a for-profit, “the temptation to grab nearly $3 billion would be impossible to resist, even though it would destroy Wikipedia as we know it. Instead, Wikipedia has kept consumers’ interests at the forefront because it is a nonprofit organization. It is a different beast as a result of being structured without owner-investors.”

Read NPQ's take on Shireman's report.

Tags: tax loopholes, irs, higher education, for-profit colleges

New Type of College to Beware Of: ‘Covert For-Profit’

Reporter Katy Osborn of covers TCF senior fellow Bob Shireman's report on "covert for-profit" colleges, saying that a change in status is not necessarily a change in behavior. The article calls out specifically the implication of daily assumptions Americans make about nonprofit schools—and the resulting trust we place in them.

In a landscape of higher education that has come to include “public benefit” corporations (a classification somewhere between profit and non-profit, and allegedly geared toward “social good”), nonprofit institutions that pay officials exorbitant salaries, and others whose strategic plans seek to “maximize net tuition revenue,” the task of defining a “covert for-profit” college is hardly cut-and-dried.

Read the article on Shireman's report.

Tags: tax loopholes, irs, higher education, for-profit colleges

Why For-Profit Colleges Become Nonprofits

The Atlantic report Alia Wong says that the IRS may have a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to regulating postsecondary institutions. Her reporting on senior fellow Bob Shireman's investigative report calls out for-profit colleges for staying alive by way of "less-than-honest" means. She cites correspondence with the heads of these institutions in question, who are lashing back at the accusations.

“It’s a newly emerging problem that’s going to get worse if they don’t take action,” argues Shireman. And ultimately, he worries that the implications of these kinds of alleged practices could extend into the traditional higher-ed sector, with trustees of nonprofit colleges expecting the same rewards afforded to those former owners.

Read Alia Wong's fantastic coverage of the covert for-profit college trend.

Tags: tax loopholes, irs, higher education, for-profit colleges

Century Foundation research finds fault with for-profits converting tax status

Education Dive featured The Century Foundation's recent report on for-profit colleges and how they are converting to non-profit status to evade costly tax regulations.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the paper’s author recommends the IRS put a halt to similar conversions while it develops a better review system and considers auditing existing nonprofits that converted.

Read the full feature on the report.

Tags: tax loopholes, irs, for-profit colleges

Will John King’s last effort to desegregate New York’s schools work?

The new secretary of education, John King, comes into the administration bringing goals of school integration with him. He already implemented a school integration program across New York state, and pro-diverstiy advocates are eager to see how the experiements will turn out. TCF's Rick Kahlenberg is quoted in the Chalkbeat article saying that he hopes the New York program will be a success and become a national model.

“Almost all of these struggling schools are high-poverty schools,” said Kahlenberg, the integration researcher, who was one of the experts to review the grant applications. “So a much more transformative approach is to attack segregation directly.”

Check out the Chalkbeat article on the new secretary of education.

Tags: school integration, low-income students, desegregation, classroom diversity




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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