Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lessons In Dishonesty: Immigrants Swindled By Fake "School"

When many folks immigrate to the United States, they quickly learn the value of having an education as their "ticket" to success. Unfortunately, there are a variety of hucksters out there just itching to take their money. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that one such group of educational racketeers have been halted in their tracks. Better yet, they are going to have to pay:

Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer announced a $500,000 settlement Friday of a civil suit against a Huntington Park-based adult school accused of giving immigrants bogus high school diplomas after a 10-week course that cost hundreds of dollars.The suit, filed in August, alleged that California Alternative High School had preyed on immigrants' aspirations with false claims that the program was recognized by state and federal authorities, would qualify graduates for college and would help them win higher-paying jobs. In fact, the school's diplomas were worthless, the complaint said.

The settlement, which still requires a judge's approval, would permanently prohibit the defendants — school founder Daniel Gossai and his wife Janet — from claiming to operate a high school, offering high school diplomas or claiming their program is recognized by any government agency.

Let's take a look at what type of education these hapless victims were getting for their hard-earned money:

Investigators found that unqualified instructors were teaching immigrants that there were 53 states in the union, four branches of government and two houses of Congress, one for Republicans and one for Democrats. The school claimed to have graduated thousands from its 26 California locations and sites in at least four other states.
Even though nothing can replace the investment in time that these immigrants put into the worthless diplomas, at least they will be recovering some of their lost investment in cash.

Hopefully, some kind-hearted person will point these folks to their nearest community college or one of the numerous public high schools here in California that offer free classes for adults.
For the latest edition of The Carnival Of Education, click here.

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