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Art Teacher To Lose Job For Refusing To Sell Unneeded Books

These for-profit colleges are exactly what you would expect: For profit. Students come last. But since these schools have generously donated to both sides of the aisle, nothing will change until ATR (After The Revolution). For-profit schools attract

These for-profit colleges are exactly what you would expect: For profit. Students come last. But since these schools have generously donated to both sides of the aisle, nothing will change until ATR (After The Revolution). For-profit schools attract kids whose economic and social background is such that they're not aware of, or feel they can't handle better options (like community college) because these schools work around their schedules and tell them they'll graduate quickly. Except they have a very high dropout rate after and even the ones who do graduate find out most places don't consider their diplomas of much value.

I'm really impressed that this teacher is going public with his concerns, because he will most likely be blackballed as a result:

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Mike Tracy teaches at the Art Institute of California—Orange County, but not for long. In a note on his Facebook page, Tracy explains that AIC-OC (whose parent company, EDMC, is 41 percent owned by Goldman Sachs) has told him he'll be fired if he doesn't agree to sell a quota of expensive and, in his opinion, unnecessary e-textbooks.Here's the note Tracy posted:

As many of you know, I have been in a dispute with our school, the Art Institutes, for some months now, over their policy of mandatory e-textbooks in classes where their inclusion seems arbitrary, inappropriate and completely motivated by profit. In July I asked the US Department of Education, the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and WASC (our accrediting agency) to look into my concerns. Since that time, the school and its parent company EDMC have escalated the pressure on me to select a book for a class I teach that I don’t think requires one.

Today, the President of the school, Greg Marick, presented me with an ultimatum; either choose a book by Tuesday, Aug 14th or the company will terminate my employment for insubordination. My response, of course, is that I will not change my mind on this issue and that I’m determined to resist the policy however I can. I think this means that, as of this week, I will no longer be teaching at AI.

I want you, my students and colleagues to know that it has been my great honor and privilege to have worked with you over the last 11 years, and that I will miss the opportunity to work for you and with you. I have enjoyed my time as a teacher very much, but it appears as though it is now time to move on. Although it aint over till it’s over, it looks like a 99.5% deal, barring an 11th hour change of heart by the corporation, which would surprise me.

Sandra Bernardo is their regional PR manager. You can reach her at sbernardo@aii.edu or call 714-338-1303. Ask her if she knows how this looks.

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