The American Dream says we should all have a fair shot at a good life, which includes the opportunity to get ahead. Over the past several decades, we have been told repeatedly the most effective way to do that is to attend college so we can meet the challenges of the rapidly changing work world. Betsy DeVos, the daughter of one vast fortune who married into another vast fortune, is spending the entirety of her time as education secretary attempting to stick a knife in people who do just that. But finally, someone is holding her to account.
On Monday, federal judge Sallie Kim lost patience with what can only be described as the Education Department’s foot-dragging on carrying out an order to stop collecting on loans made to former students at Corinthian Colleges. That dodgy for-profit institution of higher learning went out of business in 2015 amid widespread claims that officials lied to students about everything from graduation rates to job placement statistics.
The Corinthian lawsuit revolves around Education Department rules that allow students who believe they were defrauded by their college to petition for the government to dismiss their loan. DeVos considers this tantamount to “free money” (unlike, say, the millions and millions of dollars she inherited) and has tried to limit the amount of people eligible for relief as a result of the closure of Corinthian any way she possibly can.