I've blogged before (here being the most recent) about the troubles of the for-profit, online education sector. The stories of closures, cutbacks, and retrenchments - not to mention investigations and legal woes - over the past year have been legion, and at some point I just stopped chronicling them. The evidence of an industry sector in crisis is pretty strong at this point.
So what does an industry in crisis do? Why, commission its own "research" and try to frighten states into backing off with their pesky investigations, that's what. We are now treated to just such a spectacle designed to "prove" how much states would have to spend if it weren't for those wonderfully civic-minded for-profits picking up the slack:
The fact that this "research" is funded by Phoenix's parent company and its founder's foundation, of course, rather gives the game away. No, funding does not always buy the results that you want. But given that the authors of this report seem to have gone out of their way to avoid bringing folks who might have a more objective (or even dissenting) view on board, it seems a pretty good bet that this was largely "made to order". I just hope that state legislators (including those in my own state) ignore this bit of nonsense.