Monday, May 15, 2006

Outsourcing Homework

If you can't beat 'em, hire 'em!
We're told over and over again how US students are falling behind their counterparts around the world. Many students have taken action by hiring international "virtual tutors" to help them with their homework.

The tutors, who communicate with students over the Internet, are inexpensive and available around the clock, making education the newest industry to be outsourced to other countries.
Seems to be a "win - win" propostion for everyone right? Not according to the American Federation of Teachers. They're not happy about this development at all.

[T]he American Federation of Teachers, said after-school tutors should be required to pass the same rigorous certification process as public school teachers.

"Quality control doesn't end at 3 o'clock when the school bell rings," he said. "If you need a highly qualified teacher in school at 2:59, you should have a qualified teacher as a tutor after school at 3:01."

Sounds to me like the union is more concerned about job security than actually teaching the material. How many of the AFT teachers could pass the rigorous final exam for many of these classes? At a recent education conference Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, pointed out that

the aggregate number of college graduates who take up teaching represent the bottom third of scores on the ACT and the SAT.
Maybe before we think about No Child Left Behind, we should think about No Teacher Left Behind! Let's make sure that teachers can pass the test before we require it of students. And if these tutors are helping with subjects such as physics and statistics, some how I just don't think that the "rigorous certification" process would be that much of a problem for them, do you?

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