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L.A. Schools Superintendent to Step Down Early

The state's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, is once again under pressure to find a new leader. The interim superintendent Ramon Cortines surprised many people last week when he announced that he's making an early exit.

Oakland Teachers and Parents Rally for New Contract, Better Pay

Parents and teachers from Oakland Unified School District held a march on Tuesday demanding an increase in teacher pay and a reduction in class size. During the contract negotiations, some teachers have adopted a labor tactic known as "work-to-rule": working only the hours stipulated in their contract, and nothing more. We'll discuss the ongoing dispute and the impact of the "work-to-rule" practice on classrooms.

PBS NewsHour

Disconnected by war, family reunites through student history project

amgrad

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Editor’s Note: The full name of the National History Day program that Josh Slayton was selected for is called Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute.

GWEN IFILL: Earlier this week, we showed you a national history program that teaches high school students about World War II and D-Day by having them follow the life of a U.S. service member from their own community to the American Cemetery in Normandy, France.

Tonight, the NewsHour’s April Brown has the story of how one of those students’ research projects united families from two continents. It’s part of our American Graduate series, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

APRIL BROWN: Just a few months ago, Judy Shumaker of Meadville, Pennsylvania, had no idea she had French family members longing to connect.

JUDY SHUMAKER: I’m so happy.

APRIL BROWN: Decades after losing touch, relations on both sides of the Atlantic met at the American Cemetery in Normandy to honor a World War II soldier killed in action just after the D-Day Invasion of June 6, 1944.

ANNOUNCER: Six o’clock, D-Day, landing time for the first beachhead boats.

APRIL BROWN: Though he was born a Frenchman, Pierre Robinson died a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He was the adopted son of Shumaker’s grandfather, John Robinson.

JUDY SHUMAKER: He was very quiet and very mannerly.

I heard that grandpa loved him very much. He said that. I heard that he was killed and grandpa was very sad and never really got over that. I often wondered over the years if any members of the family on his side were still alive.

APRIL BROWN: There were. And they were interested in their American family.

GILLES GROSDOIT-ARTUR: I’m Pierre’s second cousin. So, Pierre’s mother, Blanche, was my grandmother’s sister.

APRIL BROWN: Gilles Grosdoit-Artur had been trying to reach out to Pierre’s American family for years.

GILLES GROSDOIT-ARTUR: I had always heard about Pierre from my grandparents. I had always heard about my grand-uncle and my grand-aunt, lived in Meadville.

APRIL BROWN: But the families never connected until a Meadville-area high-school student, Josh Slayton, began looking into the soldier’s life and death.

JOSH SLAYTON: Through all these months of research, you really do feel like you know this person.

APRIL BROWN: In March, before heading to France, The Meadville Tribune profiled Josh and his efforts to find out more about Pierre.

And that led to meeting Judy Shumaker.

JUDY SHUMAKER: I went, yes, finally. Finally, somebody recognizes an ordinary man with an extraordinary story.

APRIL BROWN:
Pierre was born in France in 1914. His birth father would die just two years later, killed in action during World War I. His mother, Blanche, remarried in 1920, and her new husband was Judy Shumaker’s grandfather, John Robinson, an American soldier still stationed in France after the war.

Robinson adopted Pierre and moved to Pennsylvania, where Pierre would spend the rest of his childhood. In 1941, Pierre enlisted in the U.S. Army and, by 1944, Sergeant Robinson became one of thousands of soldiers taking part in Operation Overlord, the code name for the Allied invasion of France.

JOSH SLAYTON: This morning, we went to Omaha Beach, and that was really amazing, because that is the beach that he actually came in on, on June 6, 1944, D-Day.

It was just really amazing to feel like we were there with Pierre.

ANNOUNCER: Through the cloud gaps, the airborne spearheads saw something of the invasion armada.

JOSH SLAYTON: You have seen all of the pictures, all of the ships and landings crafts all out in the channel. And just to see how much things have changed, but still you can just imagine how massive this invasion was.

APRIL BROWN: Pierre had made it back to France, but would never again meet his French family. At his grave site, with the French and American families together after so many years, Josh delivered a eulogy to Pierre.

JOSH SLAYTON: Pierre survived the initial landing, but on the afternoon of June 7, 1944, the 3rd Battalion was facing strong opposition just below Vierville-sur-Mer. While out on patrol, Pierre was killed by a rifleman. In the reflective words of Pierre’s adopted father, John Robinson, “I couldn’t have had a better son if I had one of my own.”

APRIL BROWN: Pierre’s mother, Blanche, requested her son be buried in a permanent American cemetery in France, the one nearest to where he gave his life.

JUDY SHUMAKER: War can take away things that can never be given back. It can break families.

APRIL BROWN: The American and French families began to lose touch after Blanche’s death three years later. Now they are finally reunited.

GILLES GROSDOIT-ARTUR: There is a sense that there’s more to it than American students. It’s kind of too beautiful to be true.

APRIL BROWN: These cousins are now in regular contact with each other, as well as Josh and John. And they all plan to keep in touch, making sure Pierre’s story lives on.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m April Brown in Normandy, France.

The post Disconnected by war, family reunites through student history project appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Teachers and students retrace the lives of those who died at Normandy

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Editor’s Note: The full name of the National History Day program is Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: an effort to make history more meaningful by bring the classroom to where it happened.

The NewsHour’s April Brown traveled to Normandy, France, to see a program that uses a personal approach to highlight the sacrifices made during World War II. The report is part of our American Graduate series, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

APRIL BROWN: It has been more than 70-years since Broadway Valentine Sims, Eugene Mlot, and Francisco Blas died during the invasion of Normandy, the turning point in the allied campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany in World War II.

But their sacrifice and that of 13 other servicemen is being remembered and honored in graveside eulogies at the American cemetery perched above Omaha Beach in Northern France.

STUDENT: Technician 5th Class Broadway Valentine Sims was born in 1916 in the remote town of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

STUDENT: Eugene G. Mlot was an orderly worker, shipping clerk and electrician with four years of high school under his belt when he joined the Army Air Force in 1942.

STUDENT: Francisco Blas embodied the characteristics of bravery, courage and unwavering loyalty as he faced segregation, uncertainty and even death itself.

APRIL BROWN: This is an important part of National History Day’s Normandy Institute.

VANESSA TAYLOR, Normandy Institute Scholar: I will never sacrifice of Henry and Louie made for their country and the sacrifice they made for me.

CATHY GORN, Executive Director, National History Day: The program started because of a concern that today’s young people don’t really understand what sacrifice is all about, sacrifice and freedom and how those two fit together.

APRIL BROWN: As executive director of National History Day, Cathy Gorn has led 15 student-teacher teams on a journey through history each summer over the past five years. By following in the footsteps of those who served and died during the Normandy campaign, they learn about D-Day and World War II.

CATHY GORN: We have asked them to look at someone from their own backyards, their own community, or at least their own state, and find out all they could about this individual who gave that ultimate sacrifice — many of these people were not much older than the kids that we bring here — and to honor them in way that gives them their history back.

APRIL BROWN: Before they even go to France, teachers and students selected for the institute spend months becoming historians. They contact living family members, collect pictures, love letters and official military documents, hoping to unlock any clues about their silent hero.

CATHY GORN: We know about the generals. We know about the really famous heroes, but the average guy that went out there and did what he had to do, they are just numbers. So these kids are getting to know them.

APRIL BROWN: There is a stop in Washington, D.C., to learn more about the war beyond what can be taken from a textbook. At the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, the teams work with some of the nation’s leading caretakers of World War II artifacts, hoping to uncover further details amid the Archives’ four billion documents.

NORWOOD THOMAS JR., World War II Veteran: We had several planes that crashed with all men on board.

APRIL BROWN: But the human costs of war can perhaps best be told by those who were there; 92-year-old Norwood Thomas Jr. fought as part of famed 101st Airborne Division. He was among the first Allied troops to land in Normandy, parachuting into a field under cover of darkness.

NORWOOD THOMAS JR.: On the drop zone that I landed on, we were supposed to have three battalions of infantry. This would be approximately 2,000 men. I landed at 1:21 in the morning. Daybreak, we moved off that drop zone, we were able to garner 95 men.

APRIL BROWN: When they get to France, it’s time to tell the stories of their servicemen, among them a pilot, a technician and two radiomen, twin brothers from Nebraska.

Vanessa Taylor from Ainsworth, Nebraska, learned Henry and Louie Pieper died together when their ship struck a mine in the English Channel.

VANESSA TAYLOR: Their parents had received a letter from the twins only two days before their deaths, stating: “Do not worry about us. We are together.”

SPENCER VALENTI, Normandy Institute Scholar: So he probably landed like right there.

APRIL BROWN: Spencer Valenti and his teacher, Thomas Leighty of Wilmington, Delaware, studied the life of medic William Verderamo, who saw action in North Africa and Sicily before the Battle of Normandy.

SPENCER VALENTI: A lot of his family members say that he was a really outgoing sort of person, that he’d always say — when he registered for the Army, that he would always say that he’s going out to save the world.

APRIL BROWN: Private Verderamo was killed on June 6, 1944 D-Day. Spencer uncovered a letter that was later sent by the Army Effects Bureau to soldier’s wife of six months, Mary.

It reads:

MAN: “I regret to advise that included among your husband’s effects are some photos which are damaged, apparently by bloodstains. I shall appreciate it if you will indicate whether you desire these articles forwarded with his property.”

AUDREY CALOVICH, Normandy Institute Scholar: It makes it very real and vivid. And I do have a very vivid imagination. So, I’m able to put myself in stories. I’m able to imagine if this is where they ran up the beach, got shot down.

APRIL BROWN: At first, Audrey Calovich of Kansas City, Missouri, only knew Flight Officer Edmund Decker as a decorated pilot killed by German fire on June 8, 1944. She’d eventually find out much more.

AUDREY CALOVICH: Ed possessed a joy of mischief and adventure, an eye for trouble, and a lover of life. He was dashing and handsome. Flight Officer Decker was idealistic, cocky and brave. He was a fighter pilot, a good one.

APRIL BROWN: Many of the details Audrey discovered came from Decker’s family in Kansas city and an alumni group at his old high school. But she found few military documents that mentioned Decker, and that has given her a new empathy for historians.

AUDREY CALOVICH: Being on this trip, you understand how important it is to preserve those documents for future researchers like us.

APRIL BROWN:
Audrey’s history teacher, Lisa Lauck, will use lessons learned on this trip to change how she teaches.

LISA LAUCK, History Teacher: Looking at it in the past, how I have taught it, you think about the troop movements and the overall big picture. And you know people died, but you don’t really, I don’t know, connect to it emotionally.

And that’s something I really want to change for my students. So, I hope that they can take away that these are people like you and I that had families, had loved ones.

APRIL BROWN: While there is much emphasis on the personal stories here, historian Antonin Dehays is conveying another important goal of the institute, that the past can be seen in many ways.

ANTONIN DEHAYS, Historian: Our job is to mention all the aspects of an event, the glorious ones, but the darkest ones as well.

APRIL BROWN: Among them, the horrors of the Holocaust and the almost six million Jews who died. But at a visit to a German cemetery, Nicole Cordes of Indianapolis became aware of how families in that country were affected as well.

NICOLE CORDES, Normandy Institute Scholar: Someone had come recently and put a laminated picture of a soldier, and they put flowers around it. And they were fresh flowers. So, I think he was 19 when he died.

APRIL BROWN: Back at the American cemetery, the students say a final goodbye to the men they have grown to know.

STUDENT: While Mack and I have never met, I feel that this experience has given me an opportunity to get to know a face beyond the statistics. A project that began as a way for me to share and teach history has now instead been a teacher to me.

STUDENT: Eventually, time and the elements will take back this plot, but it is a beautiful thought to think that he will stay here and that the earth will always remember him and his sacrifice.

APRIL BROWN: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m April Brown in Normandy, France.

GWEN IFILL: The students and teachers are building Web sites to share what they learned about their silent heroes. You can find a link to them on our home page, PBS.org/NewsHour.

The post Teachers and students retrace the lives of those who died at Normandy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Using telegrams and love letters to teach World War II

Telegram sent to the family of Corporal Henry Bernard Van Hyfte confirming their son's death in the Battle of Normandy.

Telegram sent to the family of Cpl. Henry Bernard Van Hyfte confirming their son’s death in the Battle of Normandy. Students are researching the heroes of World War II for a hands-on history project.

They found love letters, pictures, death-notice telegrams, and even insurance settlement claims that have survived for decades.

Corporal Henry Bernard Van Hyfte with his father in Minnesota before World War II.

Cpl. Henry Bernard Van Hyfte with his father in Minnesota before World War II.

The discoveries are a result of a months-long assignment for 15 student-teacher teams selected from across the nation to be scholars for National History Day’s Normandy Institute.

Their primary task? To find out all they could about about the life and death of a single U.S. serviceman killed in action during the Battle of Normandy — the turning point of World War II that led to the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. The teams each chose an individual who came from their community or home state.

Death record card of Radioman Julius H. Pieper who died along with his twin brother Louie when their ship struck a mine
         in the English Channel.

Death record card of Radioman Julius H. Pieper, who died along with his twin brother Louie when their ship struck a mine in the English Channel.

Letter from the father of Technician Broadway Valentine Sims, who was killed on June 11, 1944

Letter from the father of Technician Broadway Valentine Sims, who was killed on June 11, 1944

Cathy Gorn, the Executive Director of National History Day, said the assignment is called the “Silent Hero Project.”

“We know about the generals and the really famous heroes,” Gorn said. “But the average guy that went out there and did what he had to do, they are just numbers, so these kids are getting to know them.”

More than 200,000 Allied troops are estimated to have died in Operation Overlord, the military codename for the invasion of northwest Europe. The task of picking just one soldier was not an easy one for some students, including Audrey Calovich of Kansas City, Missouri.

Audrey Calovich at American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Photo by Mike Fritz

Audrey Calovich at American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Photo by Mike Fritz

“Choosing one person who lost their life in an epic battle in history is a little bit like ethics class,” Calovich said. “Who deserves it? Well, they all do.”

She eventually decided to profile Flight Officer Edmund Decker, a decorated pilot killed by German fire on June 8, 1944.

Flight Officer Edmund L. Decker

Flight Officer Edmund L. Decker

Through an alumni association at Decker’s high school in Kansas City, she found pictures of the young fighter pilot. Calovich later uncovered Decker’s dental records from his official military file.

Documents from Flight Officer Edmund Decker's official military records.

Documents from Flight Officer Edmund Decker’s official military records.

The students and teachers scoured local libraries and historical societies before visiting the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, to work with some of the nation’s leading experts on World War II documents.

Notice of settlement claim sent to Corporal Henry Bernard Van Hyfte's parents after their son was killed on July
         27, 1944.

Notice of settlement claim sent to Cpl. Henry Bernard Van Hyfte’s parents after their son was killed on July 27, 1944.

The group then headed to Normandy, where they saw key sites related to the D-Day invasion, which began on June 6, 1944. On their final day in Normandy, they visited the American Cemetery there, where students gave eulogies at the gravesites of their fallen serviceman.

Yet the assignment did not end when they returned home. The students must build websites using all the material they uncovered about their Silent Hero. They are also required to share their journey and help their teachers with World War II history lessons next year.

The 140th Infantry Regiment. Corporal Henry Bernard Van Hyfte is in the second to last row third in from the right.

The 140th Infantry Regiment. Cpl. Henry Bernard Van Hyfte is in the second to last row third in from the right.

Audrey Calovich said the whole experience has confirmed her previous desire to one day become a historian.

“Being on this trip you understand how important it is to preserve history for future researchers like us,” she said.

See the websites from participants of the Silent Hero project.

The post Using telegrams and love letters to teach World War II appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Are for-profit universities taking advantage of veterans?

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JUDY WOODRUFF: The G.I. Bill represents America’s promise to its military veterans. Since 2009, it has paid the cost of college tuition for those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, up to $21,000 a year in taxpayer dollars.

Today, 40 percent of that money is flowing to for-profit schools, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. But when veterans finish their studies, some employers and graduate programs don’t recognize or value those degrees.

From the Center for Investigative Reporting and Reveal, Aaron Glantz reports:

AARON GLANTZ: Three years ago, President Obama said he would stop for-profit schools from taking advantage of service members and veterans.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: They are trying to swindle and hoodwink you. And, today, here at Fort Stewart, we’re putting an end to it.

AARON GLANTZ: The president was responding to reports that for-profit colleges enjoyed virtually unrestricted access to bases, where they enrolled new students and profited from taxpayer money.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We’re going to up our oversight of improper recruitment practices. We’re going to strengthen the rules about who can come on post and talk to service members.

AARON GLANTZ: President Obama signed an executive order that placed restrictions on for-profit schools to weed out deceptive recruitment practices. Three years after the president’s executive order, no school receives more G.I. Bill money than the University of Phoenix, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The University of Phoenix is a large for-profit college chain with about 200,000 students, a majority of whom take classes online. We wanted to know whether the University of Phoenix was complying with the spirit and the letter of the rules President Obama put in place, and whether the for-profit college had gained an advantage through its relationship with the military.

DAN DRESEN, U.S. Military Veteran: University of Phoenix was one of the first schools to contact me.

AARON GLANTZ: Iraq War veteran Dan Dresen wanted to be a social worker, so he could help other veterans. The University of Phoenix gave him college credit for his military service so he could graduate quickly. That’s what convinced him to enroll. He even got credits for marksmanship.

For learning how to shoot a firearm in the Army National Guard, you got course credits for social work?

(LAUGHTER)

DAN DRESEN: Yes.

AARON GLANTZ: When Dresen went to apply for a master’s in social work at a state university, that school wouldn’t recognize his bachelor’s degree.

DAN DRESEN: I was devastated. I can’t use my degree.

AARON GLANTZ: It was stories like Dresen’s that led to the president’s executive order. The military followed up with new rules that ban inducements, including entertainment, for the purpose of securing enrollments of service members.

But what constitutes recruiting? The university paid for the reality TV star Big Smo to entertain the troops.

Here at Fort Campbell, the University of Phoenix is spending thousands of dollars to sponsor this concert. It’s one of dozens of events the for-profit school is sponsoring on military bases across the country. The University of Phoenix’s representative was introduced on stage as a friend of the military.

He gave away electronic devices. Fifteen minutes after the concert began, the Army kicked me off the base. An Army press officer told me off camera that I was asked to leave because I was talking on camera about the military’s relationship with the University of Phoenix.

Robert Muth is a former officer in the Marine Corps. He runs a legal clinic for veterans at the University of San Diego.

ROBERT MUTH, University of San Diego: It looks like you have a corporate entity buying access to look like the preferred or the selected educational provider for the veterans or soon-to-be veterans at a base.

AARON GLANTZ: Under President Obama’s 2012 order, schools are allowed to recruit on base only as part of official regulated education activities.

Documents from five military bases obtained using the Freedom of Information Act show the University of Phoenix sponsored events that had little to with education, hundreds of events over the last five years. The question remains, was the University of Phoenix recruiting at these events?

At the five bases we looked at, it paid the military about a million dollars for this access. The investment is dwarfed by the $345 million in G.I. Bill money it received last year, and, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees the program, more than $1.2 billion since 2009, when the new G.I. Bill went into effect.

The University of Phoenix also produced a coin that its representatives hand out on military bases. It includes the insignias of every branch of the service on one side and the University of Phoenix logo on the other.

ROBERT MUTH: There’s a long tradition within the military of commanders providing challenge coins to individual troops who’ve done something great. If I’m a 19-year-old lance corporal and I see that coin, I assume the Department of Defense has viewed and vetted that organization and approved them in some way to provide me with an education.

AARON GLANTZ: Many organizations produce military coins. We found the University of Phoenix was using military insignia without authorization. We asked the Pentagon and the University of Phoenix about the coin.

Dawn Bilodeau, is the chief of education programs for the Defense Department.

Does that concern you?

DAWN BILODEAU, Chief of Education Programs, Defense Department: Yes. That would be — depending on where that was received and if they’re currently handing them out and it was reported, I would be compelled to take action.

AARON GLANTZ: Retired Major General Spider Marks is a dean at the University of Phoenix.

GEN. JAMES “SPIDER” MARKS (RET.), Dean, University of Phoenix: If there’s an issue with the specific coins that we were passing out, we’re going to get to the bottom of that, and those have been taken off the shelves. They’re not available. They’re gone.

AARON GLANTZ: Even so, Marks says, the coin doesn’t imply the University of Phoenix has the military’s seal of approval.

GEN. JAMES “SPIDER” MARKS: There isn’t an endorsement, implicit or explicit, by the use of that coin that DOD thinks any differently about the University of Phoenix than it does Lockheed Martin or it does Prudential life insurance or other companies that have challenge coins.

AARON GLANTZ: Ryan Holleran served 11 months in Iraq. When he returned home, he wanted to get an education.

RYAN HOLLERAN, U.S. Military Veteran: I have a bunch of friends who’ve gone through the University of Phoenix. I have comrades, like buddies who I went to war with who their partners were going to the University of Phoenix.

AARON GLANTZ: He’s headed to a Naval air station outside Dallas to attend a Hiring Our Heroes job fair sponsored by the University of Phoenix. Holleran agreed to take a hidden camera onto the base, so we could see if the University of Phoenix was following the rules.

The sponsorship of this event is permitted, as long as the school doesn’t use the event to recruit students. Holleran attended a resume workshop taught by the school.

RYAN HOLLERAN: When you walk in, there’s like four or five fliers and the biggest logo on all those fliers is the University of Phoenix.

AARON GLANTZ: The presentation had the school’s branding on every slide. And participants were repeatedly encouraged to visit the University of Phoenix’s Web site. Model resumes used by the University of Phoenix’s trainer included a degree from the University of Phoenix.

Yet, the main online campus that 24,000 veterans attended last year has a graduation rate of 7.3 percent, according to the Department of Education.

RYAN HOLLERAN: It wasn’t like they were just mentioning, like, oh, here, go get a higher education. It’s like, hey, come. Come buy my product.

AARON GLANTZ: Last month, two former University of Phoenix recruiters filed a lawsuit in a Kentucky circuit court against the school, alleging they were improperly fired. The recruiters said Hiring Our Heroes was just a cover, that they were required to operate stealthfully. It was a tool for surreptitiously obtaining personal information and/or prohibited recruitment activity.

The University of Phoenix denies the allegations. Internal company documents show the University of Phoenix has been tracking recruitment numbers on military bases, including at job fairs and entertainment events, where recruiting is supposed to be banned by military regulations.

And, so, even as the University of Phoenix lost half its students amid scrutiny from Congress and the media, the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using the G.I. Bill there tripled, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We contacted the Fort Worth Naval Air Station about the Hiring Our Heroes event. They directed us to the Pentagon.

Again, Dawn Bilodeau:

DAWN BILODEAU: If any one of our educational institutions was providing a workshop where they provided their own marketing materials, used their own references and had their slides with their name, that would be a reportable offense, a noncompliance action. And we would receive those and adjudicate them.

AARON GLANTZ: But, so far, you have received no such complaints about Hiring Our Heroes?

DAWN BILODEAU: No, sir.

AARON GLANTZ: But if it turned out to be true, that would be very troubling to you?

DAWN BILODEAU: It would be listed and we would take action.

AARON GLANTZ: As for morale-boosting events such as big-name concerts, Bilodeau said the Pentagon is aware of past improper recruitment practices and is taking action.

DAWN BILODEAU: In the past, it was a concern, but I feel very confident, with the new agreement that we have in place, that we’re going to be able to enforce the requirements that are in there and take action, place schools on probation when needed, which impacts their bottom line if they’re not able to recruit new students.

AARON GLANTZ: The University of Phoenix’s Spider Marks says the school is following the president’s executive order and Department of Defense regulations.

GEN. JAMES “SPIDER” MARKS: In terms of compliance, we do compliance exceptionally well. If we’re going to sponsor morale, welfare and recreation events on military installations, it’s to benefit the service member and to bring entertainment to them, opportunities with businesses off post, that kind of stuff.

If we are looking to find students who want to go through the University of Phoenix experience as they transition or while they’re on active duty, that’s a separate and completely distinct action on our part.

AARON GLANTZ: Dan Dresen says he was betrayed by the University of Phoenix. He’s already spent most of his G.I. Bill, and, on top of that, he’s $9,000 in debt.

DAN DRESEN: I feel that I wasted my VA benefits going to the school.

AARON GLANTZ: He’s starting over at this community college in Sacramento.

DAN DRESEN: It’s a little late for me, because I already went there. I think the other veterans should get out while they still can.

AARON GLANTZ: Dresen hopes more veterans will step forward to complain. If that happens, he says, perhaps the government will stop the flow of G.I. Bill money to for-profit schools.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Aaron Glantz from Reveal in Sacramento.

JUDY WOODRUFF: After learning about Reveal’s report, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois sent a letter to the Pentagon asking it to investigate recruitment practices by the University of Phoenix. The Defense Department says it takes the allegations seriously and is looking into the matter.

The post Are for-profit universities taking advantage of veterans? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.