Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Johnny, meet your new tutor Anisha...

A pretty good article in the Boston Globe today on the outsourcing of tutors to highly educated nationals of foreign countries like India. From a market perspective this makes a ton of sense - the internet allows a student in Newton to be tutored by a PhD for the price of a movie ticket with popcorn.

I clearly see the concern of teachers being that the quality of the tutoring may not be up to par, but the markets will weed out the weak tutors. If I'm paying someone $25/hour and Johnny is still failing Earth Science then Johnny is getting a new tutor. I think this is an opportunity to exploit technology to improve science and math results around the US.

In a related story, the NY Times covers the cut backs that schools are making to meet the Math and Reading requirements of the No Child Left Behind act. My principal concerns with this course of action is that by lowering the bar to enable every child to "succeed" we are creating a culture of mediocrity. A collection of C students that think they're successful because they can read See Spot Run. This is of particular concern in Upstate NY where some of our schools and students test at or below the state averages.

I see the puzzled look on your face - but this is a financial blog, what's your point? Well, today's 2nd grader has to have enough intelligence/earning power to pay taxes to support my mother's Medicare/Social Security bill. In my opinion, raising a generation of underachievers is not the best way to reach that goal. I'd much rather see an educational establishment which pushes everyone to OVERACHEIVE with the realization that not everyone is Einstein. Some people are destined to be Mark Cuban or Paris Hilton and that's fine, but I want my school to foster as much growth as possible for the best and brightest, not curtail funding for education to help Paris learn to spell V-I-D-E-O.

Just my 2 cents.

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