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.
*See below for a long list of the groups this involves, and it will become apparent that tutors are the plan.
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.
The School Superintendents Association (AASA)
All 4 Ed
America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Service Commission
American Association For Colleges of Teacher Preparation
American Federation of Teachers
America School Counselor Association
Bay Area Community Resources
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
California Afterschool Network
Communities in Schools
Connecticut Afterschool Network
Council of State Chiefs School Officers
Council of Great City Schools
Deans for Impact
EdTech Evidence Exchange
Education Redesign Lab
Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center
Eye to Eye
i Could Be
Jobs for the Future (JFF)
J-Pal North America at MIT
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University
Missouri Afterschool Network
National 4-H Council
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National College Attainment Network
National Education Association
National Education Equity Lab
National Student Support Accelerator
National Summer Learning Association
National Urban League
National Youth Leadership Council
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers
Partners for Rural Impact
Relay Graduate School of Education
Rural School and Community Trust
Service Year Alliance
The Center for Black Educator Development
Turnaround for Children
Voices for National Service
YMCA of the USA
Stanford, L. (2022, July 8). Biden’s Tutoring Initiative: What Will It Mean for Learning Recovery? Education Week.
Tutors Replacing Teachers: A Failed Privatization Plot Returns
Duane Edward Swacker says
“Believing that students will be college and career-ready with a scattering of tutors and anyplace, anytime instruction is a huge gamble.”
No, it’s not a huge gamble. It’s a guaranteed loss for the students. But we know that the children’s lives that are being gambled on will be the lower SES students and not the middle to upper SES students.
Nancy Bailey says
You’re right, of course. I’m going to change it. Thank you, Duane.
I suspect that not all of these organizations realize they are supporting the de-professionalizing of the teaching profession. Groups like the NEA and the AFT ought to know better after being taken in by Common Core and its testing regime. Just how is it that they think this serves their members? Moreover, it is laughable that these organizations think that students are going to be “career and college ready” after spending 12 years on a computer with little to no interaction with skilled professional educators. I wonder just when it is that students are supposed to interface with the real world.
Nancy Bailey says
It’s hard for me to be critical of the teachers’ unions, but that report about Reimagining Schools is worrisome.
I agree about computers. I can’t find any research that says they’re better than real teachers.
Thank you for your insight, as always.
Jane Whitney says
Forgive me. In am a fan of this blog, but what are the specific problems you want changed that will prevent thousa bvb ds of teachers from keaving the profession?
I am one of the many teachers who will not go back to teaching because of the constant exposure to Covid and right now, Long Covid is ignored. Is this one of your suggested changes? It would be great if our society would stop pretending that this virus is still here and just as dangerous, but they won’t, so teachers who are older quit. Tutoring will be offered as a solution because everyone is pretending that this variant is not dangerous. Until a massive turn around in reality happens, I see no other “changes” altering teachers’ decisions. It is Reality vs. Reaity
Nancy Bailey says
Hi Jane. I’ve never made light of Covid in the classroom and have repeatedly written about concerns facing teachers and students with this disease.
I also think Covid has been used to unfairly criticize teachers for trying to take care of their students and themselves and their families.
As far as Covid goes, how have school building ventilation systems been addressed? Who’s listening to teacher concerns?
Sadly, the tutoring push to replace teachers began long before Covid. And many teachers have other concerns about the classroom.
Thank you for reminding us to the covid concerns teachers still face.
Sheila Resseger says
The trifecta of the technocrat/neoliberal/neocon playbook has worked effectively and rolled relentlessly over our foundational and vitally important public education system, culminating in today’s perfect storm of dismantlement.. We are enmeshed in dystopia with seemingly no way to avert or even mitigate the disaster. That the NEA and AFT have capitulated to this is perverse. Our children, their families, and our society are suffering, and the future looks bleak. Thank you, Nancy, for immortalizing the perpetrators.
Nancy Bailey says
It’s called High Dosage Tutoring. I am not sure why they would sign on other than believing it will somehow help teachers as it’s made to sound.
None of this would be possible without the 40 million+ Chromebooks and the 7 million+ iPads
that public school administrators and teachers welcomed with open arms. Once the nearly 50 million, hi-tech Trojan Horses were in place, the stage was set for the corporate takeover of the public school system.
Nancy Bailey says
Absolutely! Thanks, Rick. And now, they’re encouraged to take those Chromebooks anywhere and learn when they want with a High Dosage Tutor.
I just heard about another great teacher who’s leaving. And there seems to be a shortage of bus drivers. What does that tell us?
Roy Turrentine says
I agree that the tech sector thought of the placing of chromebooks and similar notebooks in schools was a trojan horse, but these are now the tools of writing. They must be there. Ironically, computers make more work for the instructor, not less. We need more teachers now than we did during the days before computers were the engine for writing because more students are needed to write more in more places.
More work? Doubtful.
Less actual teaching . . . absolutely!
Ask any high school student.
Roy Turrentine says
Far more work. From teaching software tools (a teaching position) to training students to discern between good and bad information, the job of schools has gotten more intensive.
What is strange is that in California and many states private after school programs have lax hiring requirements often just a diploma or occasionally 12 units of ECE. Some of these organizations include YMCA and the Boys and Girls club whom the employees task include “tutoring” and “teaching”. If California or any state wants to “replace” teachers with tutors why not up the ante and increase the education requirement of these private after school programs and private tutoring centers theese states requires too much education for a public classroom teacher which is often 6 years masters degree or credential only.