Education Letter to the Editor

Why Not Also Quantify Private Tutors’ Outcomes?

January 11, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Susan Eaton expertly reveals the latest stealth tactics employed by the Bush administration in its agenda to privatize all schools in the country (“Outsourcing the Tutor’s Job,” Commentary, Dec. 8, 2004). The $2 billion that the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education estimates will go to private tutoring companies is a mere pittance compared with the money that is generated by the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The sales of tests, test-preparation kits, and textbooks, for example, constitute a gold mine for the private sector beyond its wildest dreams.

The irony is that nowhere in the accountability movement are the same mandates made across the board. Critics who are so exacting in their demand for measurable outcomes in public schools are so casual in their obligation for the same rigor in quantifying the performance of private tutors. The private sector, it seems, has diplomatic immunity.

This blatant double standard is being masterfully orchestrated by supporters of a free educational marketplace. The hijacking of public education is laid out in compelling detail in Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? by Kathy Emery and Susan Ohanian.

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles, Calif.

The writer taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week as Why Not Also Quantify Private Tutors’ Outcomes?