February 15, 2014

Meet the $1,250-an-hour tutor

By Robert Frank, CNBC Reporter and Editor, originally published 12/12/13

Nathaniel Hannan

Nathaniel Hannan looks and sounds like many other young, highly qualified teachers. The 33-year-old Indiana native went to Notre Dame and got his masters at Oxford in philosophy and theology before becoming a high school teacher in Washington, D.C. He loves to teach and has a gift for communicating. But today, instead of working for a school, Hannan tutors the children of wealthy families. And he makes up to $1,250 an hour. “It’s different clients, but the same business,” he said.

Actually, it’s a different business entirely—and it’s growing rapidly. While much of the American education system is struggling with tight budgets, overcrowded classrooms and low teacher pay, the tutor economy is booming. More and more of the world’s millionaires and billionaires are seeking at-home teachers to give their children a leg up in the increasingly competitive and important education race. And, as the number of rich people grows around the world—and as more of them split their time between multiple homes in different countries—they are creating their own mobile, ultra-private schools in their homes.

Tutors International, a London-based tutor agency that hires and places many tutors in the U.S., said its business this year will nearly double over last year. The typical salary for a full-time tutor today has jumped to between $70,000 and $120,000 depending on the requirements. But Tutors International has placed one tutor who is making $400,000 a year and another who was paid $80,000 for just 16 weeks of work. Along with their pay, most tutors also usually get free housing, cars or drivers, paid travel and meals, and occasionally even a private chef and personal assistant.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Commercial Providers,Small Private Practices

September 12, 2013

Is it time to keep tabs on private tutors?

Summary: A plan to regulate private teachers in England is causing deep divisions in this fast-growing industry. The Centre for Market Reform (CMRE) is supported by several of the UK’s largest tuition agencies in its proposal to form The Tutors Association. This article includes statistics from a survey conducted with 500 private tutors and interviews from a variety of perspectives.

by Jeremy Sutcliffe, The Independent, originally published on 7/17/13.

One to one: Alexander Moseley of Classical Foundations tuition service teaches at home.

“Freedom works. Leave it alone.” The rallying cry comes from Alexander Moseley, a 46-year-old former university lecturer, author of academic textbooks and founder of Classical Foundations, a private – and proudly independent – tutorial service in the Vale of Belvoir in the East Midlands. He is one of a vociferous army of private tutors who are objecting to a plan to set up a national association to represent an industry which, thanks to the internet and rising demand for one-to-one teaching and coaching, has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the education market-place.

The proposal to form The Tutors Association (TTA) comes from the Centre for Market Reform of Education (CMRE), a right-wing think-tank, and is being supported by several of the UK’s largest tuition agencies. The aim is to establish minimum standards for the industry and draw up a code of ethics by which all members will be expected to abide. A consultation on the new tutoring association, which is due to end next week, has set out a number of controversial proposals, including that tutors teaching secondary-age pupils should hold university degrees in their chosen specialist subject. Tutors teaching children up to the age of 11 should hold a general degree in any subject.

James Croft, the think-tank’s director and instigator of the plan, says the association is necessary to act as a guarantor of quality in an industry where there are no statutory minimum qualification requirements and no rules to prevent anyone from setting up as a private tutor. Although membership will be voluntary, Croft sees it as a “kite-mark” for the industry that will help parents who currently have “precious little guidance” when seeking tutors for their children.

Unfortunately for the CMRE and the major tuition companies who back the plan for self-regulation, that is not how many freelance tutors see it. A survey of 500 private teachers carried out by the UK’s leading private tuition website thetutorpages.com, published today, has found them to be ambivalent at best over the proposals.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Commercial Providers

May 7, 2013

UI alumni couple gains success with Illini tutoring business

by Adlai Stevenson, The Daily Illini, originally published 3/27/13

Spring season hovers cryptically over many upperclassmen as their remaining undergraduate days wind down and a new stage in life approaches. But two alumni encourage students to work as hard as they can in school and beyond so that they can achieve and learn the most out of what life has to offer. They haven’t just experienced this stage themselves — advice is part of their job. And students can receive their help before crossing the gates to college or even as early as high school.

Alumni Elizabeth and Taso Sotiropoulos help many students through Illini Tutoring, a local organization they founded in Champaign that offers coaching in several topics ranging from high school level to advanced college courses. With six employed tutors and over 100 students tutored every semester, both Elizabeth and Taso said Illini Tutoring is the only local tutoring organization that provides coaching full-time and receives sponsorship from the National Tutoring Association.

The couple founded Illini Tutoring in fall 2010 after graduating from the University, although they said their business did not start as swiftly as it may seem. Taso said he and Elizabeth were engaged, and considered graduate programs following college. However, the programs did not immediately appeal to them because of their work ethic, he said. They wanted to follow their own path after their time at the University, and work from there.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Associations,Coaching,Commercial Providers

March 31, 2013

School board nixes same school teacher tutoring

Editor’s Note:

This controversy has been brewing for months. The Crossroads of Learning Journal curated an article on 2/16/13, concerning a hearing in December of 2012 which resulted in the teacher’s union taking a position on school teacher tutoring being appropriate. [ Click here to read previous article.]

The following story was written by Dan Glaun, The Island Now, originally published on 3/14/13

The Great Neck Public School Board banned private tutoring between teachers and students within their buildings at Monday night’s meeting, capping months of debate between advocates concerned about potential conflicts of interest and opponents who said the change would harm students. Trustee and policy committee chair Susan Healy acknowledged in a statement the concerns of parents who use private tutors but argued that the change was necessary to guard against the appearance of favoritism or unfairness.

“The prohibition on tutoring students in one’s own building is directly related to the appearance of a conflict of interest,” Healy said. “We do not do so because there are inappropriate situations. We do it so that those situations cannot occur.”

The policy, which was approved unanimously following the fourth public hearing on the topic since September, expands the district’s tutoring restrictions from teachers and students within the same class to those within the same building. The board and several administrators and teachers who testified in favor of the change said the move was necessary to avoid placing teachers in compromising situations, creating the perception of unfairness and corrupting the teacher-parent relationship with money.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Commercial Providers,Government,High School,Small Private Practices,Test Prep,Tutoring Practices

June 15, 2012

Princeton Review charged city for tutoring it didn’t provide

by Philissa Cramer, originally poste on Gotham Schools on 5/1/12

A company hired to provide tutoring services in New York City bilked the city out of millions of dollars in federal funding for poor students, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The department today filed a civil fraud lawsuit against The Princeton Review, Inc., alleging that the company had gotten the city to reimburse it for tutoring it had not provided. According to the suit, the company’s fraudulent claims continued even after a city investigation — never made public — turned up misconduct in 2006.

The tutoring program, known as “supplemental education services” and mandated for low-performing students in high-needs under the No Child Left Behind law, reimbursed providers based on the number of students they served. Princeton Review documented how many students it had tutored by turning in signed attendance sheets; it also gave bonuses to supervisors of tutoring sites where attendance was high. One of those supervisors, Ana Azocar, is also named in the lawsuit.

The bonus system incentivized fraud, according to the suit. Investigators found that many of the signatures showing student attendance were falsified — and sometimes names were even misspelled. The company sought reimbursement for tutoring students who were out of the country and holding sessions when schools were closed, according to the suit. At one school, the now-closed M.S. 399 in the Bronx, the company said it had tutored 74 students on New Year’s Day.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Commercial Providers,NCLB

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