Nancy Bailey: Students Need Teachers NOT Tutors! Who’s Pushing Tutors and Why?
Tutors are the Next Big Thing. Nancy Bailey looks at why, and who’s cheering for them. Reposted with permission.
Reports of teacher shortages, or call it the Great Teacher Pushout, run rampant in states, a crisis this country has never seen before. But instead of working to improve conditions and lift the teaching profession, many groups are conspiring to replace teachers with tutors!
Tutors will complete the longtime goal of ending professional teachers and placing students on computers.
Please don’t argue that tutors are essential or that they support teachers. The teacher-to-tutor/tech transformation is about a concerted effort to remove teachers from the classroom. Little is being said about how to attract teachers.
Believing that students will be college and career-ready with a scattering of tutors and anyplace, anytime instruction is a huge loss for students.
Tutors will babysit students who work online. This goes along with the states reducing teacher qualifications.
Democrats Want Tutors
The Biden administration is promoting tutors. Education Week reported that his administration plans to work with the National Partnership for Student Success, including Americorps, towards this endeavor.
Is it any wonder that Americorps also supports Teach for America, providing them eligibility to receive federal funding for paying off student loans and covering some costs incurred while they earn their teaching certification?
In all these years, why hasn’t Americorps assisted individuals who choose teaching as a career from the start, those committed to professional teaching like Dr. Jill Biden?
Republicans Want Tutors
But don’t only blame the President and Democrats for the tutoring rush. Republicans are on board with this phenomenon as well.
When the President of Michigan’s ultra-conservative Hillsdale College, Dr. Larry Arnn, recently disparaged public school teachers, saying among other things that . . .you don’t have to be an expert to educate a child because basically anybody can do it, Tennessee’s Republican Governor sat by and said nothing.
Tennessee has awarded $27M to community partners (not directly to school districts) for tutoring, a plan that Chiefs for Change, former Republican Governor Jeb Bush’s program (also see their New Guidebook To Help Districts Launch High-Dosage Tutoring Programs), has enthusiastically endorsed and is pushing on school districts across the country. Tennessee’s education leader Penny Schwinn is originally from Teach for America.
And it’s Republican Governors across the country, like in Arizona, who are reducing the qualifications necessary for teachers to teach.
The goal has always been by both parties to make teachers look like failures, so they can be replaced by screens and nonstop data collection by those with a lesser, cheaper background. This is Privatization 101.
The list below of groups supporting tutors (with links) work with the National Partnership for Student Success.
Notes About the Groups for Tutors
A few notes about the schooling business:
- Those who support tutors include the AFT and the NEA. There’s worry about a document written a few years back signed by the union leaders Education Reimagined: A Transformational Vision for Education in the U.S. The role of the teacher seems to be missing.
- Accelerate is led by Kevin Huffman (remember him?), and America Achieves is helping this group get its start. Dr. Janice K. Jackson, chief executive officer of Hope Chicago and former chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, will serve as executive chair.
- Playworks always show up promoting recess when they’re P.E. and will likely replace Physical Ed. Instructors. Americorps is now with them.
- Jon Schnur is the chief executive officer of America Achieves. Schnur helped start New Leaders like Teach for America for Principals with no background in teaching or leading schools.
- There’s much overlap with the groups helping to fund one another. For example, America Achieves raised $65 million for Accelerate [see above]. Arnold Ventures provides initial support, along with Kenneth C. Griffin, the chief executive officer of Citadel; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Overdeck Family Foundation.
- EdTech Evidence Exchange is a new group from the Walton Family Foundation. On LinkedIn, they claim they’re Working to Unlock the Information Trapped in the Heads of Millions of Educators. They connect with ISTE, InnovateEDU/Project Unicorn, Digital Promise, and the Center for Education Market Dynamics.
- Deans for Impact and Relay Graduate School for Education are here too.
- Many of these groups, like Saga, are businesses or tutoring providers. They call themselves educators, but it’s unclear what credentials they hold.
The Groups for Tutors
Check out the links by clicking the groups listed under the National Partnership for Student Success.
Maybe we can do little to stop this teacher-to-tutor/tech transformation, but at least teachers and parents will know who failed them. And when parents realize their students are unprepared for their futures, at least they’ll know who to blame.
Stanford, L. (2022, July 8). Biden’s Tutoring Initiative: What Will It Mean for Learning Recovery? Education Week.