Today, this Reuters article about outsourced private tutoring and homework popped in to my news aggregator. It put me in mind of recent posts by Harold Jarche among others.
Since I work outside of the field of formal education, I don't really feel qualified to pass judgement on whether this is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing, but it would be interesting to watch the conversation develop. I feel a bit like Diane Stark Rentner of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, who says, in the article:
"The big test is whether the kids are actually learning. Until you answer that, I don't know if you can pass judgment on whether this is a good or bad way to go,"A Blogger search for "homework" revealed several blogs that are covering this topic at the moment, including this response to the original Reuters article from Michael Shedlock.
Obviously, there is some resistance to off-shore e-tutoring from teachers' unions in the US, who feel that the quality of tutoring that the kids receive online will not measure up the standards of an onshore provider. If it is true, as Michael quotes Time CNN as saying, that "80% of the kids entitled to after-school tutoring--at taxpayers' expense--aren't getting it", then surely it's better than the status quo. Do I get the impression that these folks would rather that the kids continued to underperform until such time as they can find a solution that they control?
From where I sit it all seems a bit hinky, but then I'm an outsider.