I think this is the coolest thing I’ve seen to hit the slow as morass world of education. Jonathan coined the phrase in response: “education arbitrage.” What a fantastic idea.
BOSTON (Reuters) – Private tutors are a luxury many American families cannot afford, costing anywhere between $25 to $100 an hour. But California mother Denise Robison found one online for $2.50 an hour — in India.
“It’s made the biggest difference. My daughter is literally at the top of every single one of her classes and she has never done that before,” said Robison, a single mother from Modesto.
Her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, is one of 1,100 Americans enrolled in Bangalore-based TutorVista, which launched U.S. services last November with a staff of 150 “e-tutors” mostly in India with a fee of $100 a month for unlimited hours.
Taylor took two-hour sessions each day for five days a week in math and English — a cost that tallies to $2.50 an hour, a fraction of the $40 an hour charged by U.S.-based online tutors such as market leader Tutor.com that draw on North American teachers, or the usual $100 an hour for face-to-face sessions.
“I like to tell people I did private tutoring every day for the cost of a fast-food meal or a Starbucks’ coffee,” Robison said. “We did our own form of summer school all summer.”
Jonathan and Lex said it better than I can:
Jonathan: Agreed. The real story is that it potentially undercuts the entire
govt-schools system. If you have kids going from failure to excellent
performance based on a couple of hours’ tutoring per day, how much better
would they perform if they spent four or six hours every day with their
online tutors and blew off their schools entirely? That’s what parents will
be thinking. The teachers’ unions are going to try to make this kind of
tutoring illegal or so larded up with mandated bulls*** that it won’t be
effective. I don’t think the unions can succeed, however.
Yippee. Education arbitrage.
Lex: EDUCATION ARBITRAGE!
Those bast***s in the real, existing, Brezhnevite system we have here are going to EAT DEATH at long last.
This is the beginning of the market wedge that will split the whole rotten system apart.
I hope I hope I hope.
I hope that’s the reception TutorVista continues to get as it catches. Check out their website here. Outsourcing hits education, disintermediation with a vengence…