I am biased against for-profit schools. I have long thought of them as diploma mills, without ever having visited one. I like public charter schools, but only if they are nonprofit. When Kaplan, then the most profitable division of The Washington Post Co., built a chain of for-profit colleges, I never wrote about them, says Jay Mathews for the Washington Post. Teachers I admired saw education as a public trust. They weren’t in it for the money. They wanted to help kids. I noticed that Edison Schools, a management network run by some smart and well-meaning people, failed to win the confidence of many parents and teachers because it, too, was trying to make a profit. Now those of us who think this way have been vindicated. The federal government has tightened regulation of for-profit colleges, including Kaplan’s, in response to criticism that many students were being misled about loans they were likely to need to obtain a degree. This has put the entire industry on the defensive…

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