One problem with the No Child Left Behind Act is that 80% of the kids entitled to after-school tutoring--at taxpayers' expense--aren't getting it, according to a new government report, and some rural districts offer no tutoring at all. But extra help is on the way. And like a lot of customer service these days, it comes with a distinctly Indian accent. The Bangalore-based TutorVista, which last fall began providing online tutoring to U.S. students in everything from grammar to geometry, last week announced it will provide a year of free tutoring to kids in the 10 poorest rural counties in the U.S.
That means all students in, say, Texas' Zavala County or South Dakota's Ziebach County can get first-rate help--which ordinarily would cost $20 an hour--regardless of whether their school is performing poorly enough to be on the NCLB's watch list. (The only catch for kids in impoverished, remote areas: they must have access to a high-speed modem.) TutorVista chairman Krishnan Ganesh dismisses critics who lament the further siphoning of jobs overseas. "There is plenty of work to go around," he says. "The American educational system is pathetic."