The current kerfuffle over the Education Department's efforts to make sure folks get what they pay for in higher education has, understandably, caused a bit of a stir in our hallowed halls.
Rather than offer my own view here, primarily because I'm still working through the arguments, I thought it might be helpful for my students and colleagues if I were to list some online sources that offer various perspectives.
The proposed legislation itself can be found here via the Federal Register, from the Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/proprule/2010-3/072610a.html
A Summary of the Advisory Committee's Hearing (Department of Education's Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance) includes testimony from interested parties.
The Chronicle of Higher Education weighed in with this article, Federal Proposal Could Jeopardize For-Profit Programs, Especially Bachelor's Degrees. Another article from the Chronicle offers another perspective: For-Profit Colleges Offer Another Way to Measure 'Gainful Employment.'
Inside Higher Ed pretty much defined the issue last December when it published its article on Defining Gainful Employment. A subsequent article from April was one of the first volleys fired in the most recent barrage of commentary. Going Ahead With Gainful Employment continues the discussion on the issue. Related articles are linked in the side bars.
The PBS program, Frontline, featured a segment called College, Inc., about the proliferation of for-profit colleges. The link is to the feature website, which includes teaching materials and student handouts with charts and statistics.
Greenwood and Hall, a consulting firm that focuses on relationships has published an interesting article that offers some solutions: Gainful Employment into Gainful Advantage: How Non-Profits and For-Profits Can Turn the Tables.
A Google search on "Gainful Employment Act" serves up a number of other sources, but those I've listed above provide fairly clear perspectives for those interested in constructing reasonable arguments and responding appropriately. Numerous proprietary schools have made public statements, and consumer groups and other interested parties are weighing in as well.
Image credit: The second panel from Louis Comfort Tiffany's Education, 1890, via Wikimedia Commons. This is the "science and religion" segment, situated between "art" on the left and "harmony" on the right.