Thursday, November 11, 2004

NCLB may provide a new boon for businesses in India

Why is it that NCLB has probably helped start a new market in the country of India? Read on:
Education process outsourcing can be big business in the future
Indian teachers could soon have something to thank George Bush for. In January 2002, the American President signed an act that is now lighting the sparks of what could become a huge outsourcing opportunity for India. Its early practitioners are calling it ‘Education Process Outsourcing.’ It is a very small business now, if you can even call it a business, but enthusiasts like R Satya Narayanan, the 30-something chairman of education company Career Launchers says it’s where the BPO business was in 1995.
They aren't shy about where the money is going in public education.

Gobs and gobs of money goes not to help kids get a better education but to private companies who are doing so well that they are thinking of outsourcing their work to India.
What’s triggered this round is the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Programme that Bush initiated a couple of years ago. The NCLB Program has a $7.4 billion budget; it was upped 42% last year after. It serves schools with economically disadvantaged children. But it’s not money handed out without questions being asked. The education funding of schools and districts in the United States depends on the performance of their students in tests conducted annually.

• Education process outsourcing promises many jobs for Indian teachers
• For teachers able to adapt quickly, the world could be their oyster

In the first two years after the launch of the programme, US-based education companies like the Princeton Review, Kaplan and Sylvan saw a boom in their business. Now it’s getting too much for them to handle and they think they can outsource it cheaper to Indian companies like Career Launcher.
Something seriously wrong here, which brings to mind what Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords once said about NCLB:
Senator James Jeffords, who chaired the Senate committee that oversees education from 1997 to 2001, has described the law as a back-door maneuver “that will let the private sector take over public education, something the Republicans have wanted for years.”