Monday, October 30, 2006

No teacher left behind 

At least not in New York City:
In a ruling this week that could jeopardise the fledgling field of long distance education, the NYC Department of Education has said in effect that U.S companies cannot use tutors from India because they cannot comply with laws that require teachers to undergo background checks.

Under current rules, teachers are required to furnish social security numbers and be fingerprinted as part of background checks.

The ruling came after NYC reviewed a case involving an Indian-American owned company that had won a contract to tutor 2000 school children under a federal "No Child Left Behind" program.

The Texas-based company, Socratic Learning Inc, was found to be using 250 teachers based in India, although it claimed they were in Plano, Texas, NYC�s Department of Education said. The city has since cancelled Socratic�s contract worth more than $2 million a year.
The education department required Social Security numbers as well, effectively eliminating any outsourcing of tutoring to offshore providers. Indian tutors cost a fraction of the $40 per hour that American tutors charge ... and more now, given the creation of this trade barrier.

(h/t: Joanne Jacobs.)
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