Welcome to another edition of NPR Ed’s Weekly Roundup!
Warren announces ‘DeVos Watch’
Since before her entry into politics, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been a fervent advocate of consumer protection, particularly when it comes to financial matters, like student loans. In an op-ed and a video this week, she introduced ‘DeVos Watch,’ to intensify oversight of what she called the U.S. Secretary of Education’s “steps that undermine protections for students and taxpayers.”
What are these alleged steps?
Most of the actions that the Education Department has taken so far with respect to student loans are pretty tough to unpack in simple terms. Betsy DeVos hired two advisers from the for-profit college industry, one of whom resigned after Warren sent a pointed letter asking about conflicts of interest. The secretary delayed enforcement of an Obama-era rule called “gainful employment” that was meant to rein in for-profits. And she’s signaled a rollback in oversight of the servicers that collect student loans. Finally, the head of the office of Federal Student Aid suddenly resigned last week, citing “the risk associated with the current environment in the department.”
As part of her project, Warren is asking for “whistleblower tips” about DeVos from the general public.