From The Education Sector, a DC-based education policy thinktank, comes some good news for both India and America.
Led by Thomas Friedman, our national prophet of globalization, many commentators are warning that failure to improve our school system will lead to the outsourcing of high-paying jobs overseas. Foreign investments in education, combined with the explosion of cheap global telecommunications, have created a pool of inexpensive, well-educated workers who are more than happy to perform white collar jobs in accounting, programming, medical diagnostics, etc., for a fraction of the American going rate. Now, in an ironic twist, entrepreneurs are outsourcing NCLB-funded tutoring jobs to India to help students learn enough so they can compete in the global job market and not have their jobs outsourced to India.
Companies like Growing Stars Inc. are hiring English-fluent Indian teachers with subject-specific master’s degrees for $300 a month to provide one-on-one tutoring via phone and interactive computers. The parents and students seem happy enough with the service, and while some unions and members of Congress have objected, it’s hard to discern a reason for their opposition other than old-fashioned protectionism. If you accept that effective teaching can happen remotely, it shouldn’t matter if the distance is 9 miles or 9,000. And if you consider some of the sketchy American companies that are jostling for NCLB tutoring money (Example: The "Da Vinci Learning Center," an approved provider in the state of California, will teach your child that "Hurricane swirls act just like those clowds in your coffee"), we should be glad for every effective tutor we can find.