Sunday, March 26, 2006

Do You Want to Know When Your School Is Being Investigated?

A March 26, 2006 Seattle Times article makes one wonder: should students be told when a school is being investigated?

Here are a few quotes from the article:

"In the eight years that Judy McKinney was attending the Court Reporting Institute in North Seattle, the state investigated her school three times. But she didn't know about it.

"Neither did other students attending the Court Reporting Institute. A state analysis found that only 6 percent of CRI students graduate. One percent become court reporters...

"McKinney took out nearly $28,500 in loans to pay for school. After eight years of school, her transcription still isn't fast enough or accurate enough to pass the state's test to become a court reporter.

"Now the state Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, which oversees some vocational and technical schools, is trying to shut down the school...

"The students said they were left on their own to learn to type in court-reporter shorthand and had to work off of taped dictations so garbled that they often couldn't understand the words. Computers didn't work and classes were taught by lab assistants — current students who weren't court reporters...

"Some former students say that by the time they realized there were problems with the school, they had invested so much time and money that they thought they should stick it out. Some say they were so beaten down by failure that they didn't have the confidence to quit. Others were so far in debt that they couldn't afford to drop out because they would have to start paying back their loans..."

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246

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