As a trainer of both CTI and non-CTI developmentals in the tower environment, I can't say anything good about this article. The implication is that CTI grads are the best and most qualified candidates to become air traffic controllers, which is simply not true. Sure, they've done simulator training and took courses, but what reporters don't understand is that the ability to work live traffic is an ability, not something that can be taught. Think of it like professional athletes. Some people can train their whole lives and play on varsity teams, but they'll never play for the pros because they just don't have the natural talent/ability.
The article says that some students were given the "answers" to the BQ. No one has been told what the correct answers are to that test. It's based on some kind of scientific research that we don't know a whole lot about, and it was recently revised based on how actual controllers responded to the same types of questions. As it is, someone had already taken screenshots of the questions and posted them on StuckMic, so it's nothing new. The BQ doesn't help people get jobs with the FAA; it's merely the first qualifier in the application process. You can still be disqualified at any point based on your application, failing a security/background check, failing the AT-SAT, failing the MMPI (the REAL biographical questionnaire that'll make you want to shoot yourself), or even bombing an interview; then there's washing out at OKC or even failing at your facility.
The ones complaining are the ones that believed these CTI schools when they were told that they were guaranteed a job if they paid lots of money and got a degree in the program, regardless of their abilities upon graduating. "And until last year, the FAA WEB page advised people like Douglas that the CTI program was the way to become an air traffic controller." No, it was listed as one of the ways to become an air traffic controller. The site has contended since (at least) 2008 that the FAA has multiple hiring sources, and they can determine at any time which method of hiring is used. Sure, preference used to be given to CTI grads, but that was when there wasn't a hiring spree where multiple types of candidats were requested. Ask any OG controller how it was as late as the 90s, when they were put through "the screen" in OKC where they were sat in an auditorium and told to look to their right and left; that two of the three of you would wash out before you ever left Oklahoma. With the retirement spree that started due to the post-PATCO hires hitting age 56, the FAA needed lots more candidates than what the CTI program could adequately provide. Off-the-street hiring was brought back (this was not the first time OTS hiring was used), and many people were found to be qualified than just those that went through a CTI school.
In the new off-the-street application process, college degrees and military experience weren't thrown out, as the article states. All work experience and education counts toward hiring. The FAA did multiple job bids, including one for CTO license holders and previous controllers with at least 1 year of experience, and this was simply another bid that also allowed the general public to apply. "CTI advocates say CTI graduates are more likely to achieve certified professional controller (CPC) status." Well, duh, of course a CTI school will say their program is successful.
tl;dr - Kids that paid for a CTI degree were promised by a school that they'd be hired as ATCs if they graduated. The FAA never promised that, and now the entitled kids are wanting to get a class-action lawsuit against the FAA for believing the wrong thing.