This is a long and sordid tale of the latest ways @usedgov and sr official Diane Auer Jones are putting their thumbs on the scale for #4profit colleges. The story ends with tens of millions w/ student debt and a school stealing millions of taxpayer $ meant for students. 1/
The story *starts* with ACICS, the notorious agency responsible for accrediting such gems as Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech, Virginia College. 2016: ED withdraws recognition after massive failures and noncompliance. Good. But then in 2018: @BetsyDeVosED restores recognition. 2/
This restoration was conditional on submitting a compliance report in 2019 (✔️submitted). The report would need to be reviewed by ED and #NACIQI, an independent advisory body. My comments on their continued noncompliance here: 3/
Now, suddenly, a month before #NACIQI and almost 3 months after comments were submitted, ACICS is off the agenda.

With the next meeting ~6 months off, that's a free pass for ACICS to continue accrediting schools like...The Cleveland School of Cannabis 5/
Instead of addressing ACICS’ failures, the Department has put Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on the agenda. It's been investigating HLC for some actions it took with Dream Center (aka Art Institute aka DCEH) schools. Here's THAT story. 6/
Ai and other campuses were sold to Dream Center in 2017. HLC, its accreditor, was concerned about the change of ownership and move from #4profit to nonprofit status. So, in Jan 2018, it moved the schools from accredited to preaccredited status. 7/
The colleges...failed to mention this to students, continuing to say they were accredited. That could have meant big $$ for students who learned they were misled. So Diane Auer Jones worked with the college to help them skirt the law. 8/
How? Well, it was against federal rules to retroactively apply accred. decisions, so DAJ issued NEW guidance allowing retroactive decisions. By back-dating, it would be like DCEH never lied on its accred status once HLC restored accreditation. 9/
Internal emails at the college show DAJ orchestrated the whole thing, talking with HLC and with Dream Center, behind the scenes. (Ultimately HLC did not restore accred to DCEH.) @EricaLG and @StacyCowley got the goods on that in this @nytimes story: 10/
Remember earlier I noted that despite years of evidence about bad practices at ACICS, they’re bumped off the agenda? It turns out, that's to instead investigate why/how HLC took action resulting in DCEH being unaccredited. In other words, ED is covering for DCEH, again/still. 11/
(Side note: In Spring 2019, DAJ testified to the House Oversight Committee that the retroactive accreditation decision had nothing to do with DCEH. The emails and recordings obtained by Rep. @BobbyScott reveal otherwise. Smells like lies.) 12/
There’s more. Documents obtained by @BobbyScott also show @usedgov back-dated the schools' nonprofit statuses. #4profit colleges can't get federal aid while preaccredited; nonprofits/publics can. Back-dating let DCEH schools get millions of $$ they weren't eligible for. 13/
The Dream Center is a corruption scandal of, by, and for Diane Auer Jones. This change to #NACIQI's agenda is just the latest in a saga that has left thousands of students to deal with debt, a derailed education, and wasted years of their lives. END/
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