December 28, 2015
What Gives the DOE the Right to Adjust
Rate Calculations That Are Defined by Law?
In September 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released the national official cohort default rates (CDRs) as it is mandated to do; however, the DOE issued them with “adjustments” to the rate calculations that are defined by law and with “acceptance” to appeal circumstances that were never allowed before and, then, only applied these exceptions to certain schools in jeopardy of losing Title IV federal funding. Immediately it appeared that this was a carve-out for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the community colleges, particularly when the DOE refused to provide a detailed list of those with adjustments. Mary Lyn Hammer immediately knew that something was terribly wrong especially considering the fact that lawmakers had not approved any changes to the laws that define CDRs.
DOE following guidelines
mandated by law.
DOE ignoring laws and applying
AS A CATALYST FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
We hand-delivered copies of Injustice for All
to key members of Congress the week of
January 5th, 2016
The 150 year old school that did not have to close
On September 22, 2014, when the 2014 Official FY 2009-2012 CDRs were released to higher education institutions, Ms. Hammer received a call from a client who owned an inner-city school in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Hammer’s company and her client had tried to get the school’s default rates under the 30% allowable threshold through appeals without success and she had begun the process of closing her school on July 1, 2014.
That school did everything right. It stopped pulling down funds; it notified their students; it found other schools to “teach out” the programs for students who could not graduate by the end of the year; and it terminated the positions of all administrative staff and teachers who weren’t essential to graduating those who it could before the client closed the school at the end of December 2014.
BUT this client could not find teach-out solutions for 54 nursing students, some who had already invested years into their goal of helping others—54 citizens who had broken hearts and shattered dreams because they had nowhere else to go and finish their education.
On September 22nd, Ms. Hammer’s client received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education notifying that the school actually had three consecutive CDRs UNDER 30% after the DOE made its “adjustments.” However, it was too late for this school to stay in business.
At the time the letter was received, no one understood what the adjustments meant because it didn’t match the data for the school’s CDRs. Ms. Hammer’s company and her client made numerous calls and sent several emails to the default management group at the DOE and did not receive any communication in return.
On September 23, 2014, the DOE publicly announced that it had made “adjustments” to the CDRs for those schools in jeopardy of losing Title IV federal funding. That morning, the HBCU and community college organizations had press releases ready to go when the DOE made its announcement.
The HBCU and community college organizations knew about the adjustments long before they were made—but, the 150-year old proprietary school that no longer needed to go out of business was never told.
Over months with numerous phone calls with both the federal and regional offices of the DOE, no one told Ms. Hammer’s client that her rates would be adjusted, that all three rates would be under the 30% threshold for federal funding eligibility, and that she wouldn’t have to go out of business. And, in December 2014, after 150 years in business, Ms. Hammer’s client celebrated the school’s last graduating class and closed her doors.
Mary Lyn Hammer reported: “The story affected me deeply. I vacillated between rage and sorrow. And, I made a decision to look into the data at a detailed level beyond what I had ever done before to find out the real reason the DOE had adjusted the rates. This took me down a path of examining numerous publicly-available higher education databases and DOE reports and press releases—some that have now mysteriously disappeared. My independently-verified findings are shocking.”
Publisher: Champion Empowerment Institute
Release Date: 1/22/2016
ISBNS: 978-0-9970978-0-1 (paperback) 978-0-9970978-1-8 (ebook)
Details: 6×9, 312 pages
Features: 96 data tables with detailed analysis plus evidence images, index, glossary
Injustice for All takes you on a journey through well-documented evidence of the U.S. Department of Education’s consistent pattern of data manipulation, misreporting, and strategic lack of reporting that drives the agendas that threaten to annihilate American education ideals.