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Randy Best Is Going to Save Texas’ Public Universities, Or Get Rich Trying The man who made a fortune on No Child Left Behind takes on a new market—online higher education.

Ohanian Comment: Don't miss this detailed cover story. Randy Best lands on his feet again. Or I should say he's landed in the public pocket again. A lot of these universities paying him million are public universities. I really can't fathom why they need him to do their job.

Curriculum control, of course, is a major issue. So Many Students So Little Time, in Insider Higher Ed, talks about this. Of course I'm old-fashioned enough to think that college isn't just about taking courses and getting a degree. College is the outside-of-class stuff you rub up against each day.

Of course as Michels points out, critics of Randy Best aren't against online ed; they're against the trickiness of what he's doing.

And don't miss the interactive map at the end of the article. There, you see which universities are joining hands with Randy Best.

Here's summary of University of California at Irvine's contract with him:
University of California Irvine
Contract with Academic Partnerships began Dec 14, 2011, and ends 2013
Read it here.
AP gets by contract, up to $500,000 of tuition, for a total of $500,000.00 as of July 2012.
Programs include: "online certificate programs"

You read this and wonder, "Why do they need Randy Best for this."

Here's Arizona State, which to me, seems more ominous:
Arizona State University
Contract with Academic Partnerships began Aug 5, 2010, and ends 2015
Read it here.
AP gets 50% of tuition, for a total of $3,933,349.35 as of July 2012.
Programs include: Nursing, master's in education.

To be specific, here are the programs:

*RN to BSN
*M.Ed in Educational Administration and Supervision: Teacher Leader Concentration
*M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision: Principal Concentration
*M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching and Learning Board Certification for Behavioral Analyst
*M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching and Learning--Autism Spectrum Focus

I really can't look at any more--too sick to my stomach.

Go to the map and read more.

Texas Observer doesn't like me to post articles, so go to the url below. Patrick Micels has put a lot of work into this story, and it is well worth reading. . . if, for nothing else, to see how universities are inviting Ramdu Best in to eat them alive.

by Patrick Michels

. . . In the past five years, the company has expanded to 24 public colleges and universities, including eight in Texas. The institutions have combined to pay Best's company at least $105 million in that time, according to university payment records. . . .

Best's critics aren't against online education, but they wonder why a university, with all its resources and scholars, needs a for-profit company to develop online courses and recruit students. Couldn't the schools launch online courses themselves and avoid turning over so much tuition money to Best? Some critics see administrators and for-profits like Academic Partnerships cashing in while faculty get saddled with more work. To them, the company looks like a pipeline from the public coffers to Best's bottom line. It's a familiar charge against him.

With a talent for networking and a killer instinct for sales, the 69-year-old Best has built a far-flung money-making operation from high in one of Dallas' iconic downtown high-rises. "Those people who have been with him through successful business ventures would put him somewhere between God and the Beatles," Best's former spokesman told Mother Jones four years ago, in a story about how Best capitalized on political connections and No Child Left Behind under George W. Bush to turn his tutoring company, Voyager Expanded Learning, into one of the most lucrative literacy programs in public schools. . . .

Go to the url below for the article.

— Patrick Michels
Texas Observer





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