Saturday, December 24, 2005

1936 Outsourcing education

While I was Christmas shopping this week I noticed that all the labels on sheets, blankets, and towels at Macy's were from India and Pakistan. Global competition isn't new, but it did make me remember what a healthy textile industry we used to have in the United States. It isn't my intention to research this topic right now because I'd be in way over my head trying to sort out NAFTA, improved technology, role of unions and environmental regulations, and trade agreements, but here's a site for North Carolina that does present some positives and negatives in the textile industry.

What I did sit up and take notice of was an article in Kiplinger's about outsourcing math and science tutoring to India. Growing Stars is a California based on-line tutoring service which uses Indian tutors with American English accents. They charge $20 an hour, which is about half the rate you'd pay if you used a homegrown math genius for Susie. Smarthinking in Washington DC also uses foreign tutors from Chile, India and the Philippines who were educated in the United States.

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