Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Outsourcing Education

by Paul Jacob

A recent trend in tutoring children is outsourcing. The students work at their computers in America, and their online tutors work with them from their computers in . . . India.

Shocking? No. If you believe that the prime responsibility for educating children should rest on the parents, then ALL teaching outside the home is outsourcing.

In America, of course, most people are used to outsourcing the job to the public schools. But our governments' schools haven't been doing so well. So there is growing competition...Now even from India.

A September 7 C/NET article informs us that "Companies like Growing Stars and Career Launcher India in New Delhi charge American students $20 an hour for personal tutoring, compared with $50 or more charged by their American counterparts."

How good are they? The report quoted enthusiastic parents, but it probably takes actual usage to tell. Of course, American Federation of Teachers' spokespeople warn us that the industry is unregulated. But then, our public schools ARE regulated, so take that for what it's worth.

Experts that I know suggest that judging even American services can be tricky. "The bigger the ad budget," says one, "probably means poorer word-of-mouth -- and it's word-of-mouth that keeps good, independent tutors busy."

But more sources for education sounds better than fewer. Whether down the street, on the other side of town, or the other side of the globe, the more options we have, the more likely we will find better sources for teaching.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

Common Sense is published by Americans for Limited Government. Their website can be visited at www.limitedgov.org