The Return Of Voodoo Economics
Greg Mankiw's Abstract Is Misleading...

International Trade

Amit R. Paley, Washington Post staff writer, should quit his job. The chance that somebody who at "3 a.m.... knew he would flunk his Statistics 52 exam later that day if he didn't call his tutor for help" would then pull an A on said exam after one hour of pre-dawn tutoring is very small. A reporter needs a bullshit detector. Amit R. Paley doesn't have one, and should find another line of work.

That aside, a nice piece about how outsourcing is creeping closer to academe proper:

Homework Help, From a World Away: By Amit R. Paley: Monday, May 15, 2006; Page A01: It was almost 3 a.m., Alex Del Monte recalled, and he was cramming like crazy. He gulped can after can of Red Bull to stay awake, but the George Washington University sophomore knew he would flunk his Statistics 52 exam later that day if he didn't call his tutor for help. But so late at night? Not a problem if your tutor works 8,500 miles away and 9 1/2 hours ahead in Bangalore, India.

In an hour-long session that cost just $18, the Indian tutor, who said his name was Mike, spent an hour walking Del Monte through such esoteric concepts as confidence intervals and alpha divisions, Del Monte recalled. He got an A on the final exam. "Mike helped me unscramble everything in my mind," the 20-year-old said.

Thousands of U.S. students such as Del Monte are increasingly relying on overseas tutors to boost their grades and SAT scores. The tutors, who communicate with students over the Internet, are inexpensive and available around the clock, making education the newest industry to be outsourced to other countries. Tutoring companies figure: If low-paid workers in China and India can sew your clothes, process your medical bills and answer your computer questions, why can't they teach your children, too?

But educational outsourcing has sparked a fierce response from teachers and other critics who argue that some companies are using unqualified overseas tutors to increase their profit margins. "We don't believe that education should become a business of outsourcing," said Rob Weil, deputy director of educational issues at the American Federation of Teachers. "When you start talking about overseas people teaching children, it just doesn't seem right to me."...

"Overseas people." Really nice locution, there, Mr. Weil. Why don't you quit your job and find some honest work as well?

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