The United States: land of opportunity, birthplace of the American dream. That dream was once rooted in a world class education system. Today, while the US is still considered a world leader in many areas, education is not one of them. The current world education rankings put the US at 17th in Reading, 32nd in Math, and 23rd in Science. For a country that ranks 6th in the world in GNP per capita this seems a little low… Doesn’t it? I mean we chose daily how to allocate our financial resources. Isn’t the education of our tudents the most critical investment we can make?
We are not short on attempts to change education. We try something new almost yearly. We reform, retest, retool, reteach, increase standards, increase teacher accountability… the list is endless, and year after year, change after change we don’t get a whole lot better at educating our children. So who are the ultimate losers in this failing system?
The students of America are. Those students are growing up in a globalized society. Their future will be one of competition with each other and with the students from the rest of the world. Are they prepared for that eventuality? Will they rise to the top? Are we ready to accept the consequences if they don’t?
So who benefits from the status quo here? This part of the question is rarely addressed, but requires an understanding that in this country someone has to be benefiting or a change would have happened. We consciously or unconsciously have decided to prioritize something above the education of our children. What is that something? You don’t have to dig very deep to find the simple answer. The beneficiary of our educational ineptitude is the test prep and supplemental tutoring services industry. Take two major purveyors of these services. Princeton Review in 2009 reported a profit of $76.3 million. Kaplan goes beyond the test prep and tutoring services to include college offerings in “for profit universities” and in 2006 their revenue exceeded $1.6 billion. So our flawed education system does have benefits. It benefits businesses, and this industry is a multibillion dollar industry.
At this point you may be asking yourself about my own hypocrisy. After all, I am part of this industry and I reap the benefits of the system failure in my own career as a test prep
There is a difference though. When I started my business, Ace It Test Prep, LLC, in the greater Daytona Beach area, I consciously chose to try to make it restorative. I want
it to actually help the education system. I was determined that I wouldn’t be just another parasitic prep company that feasted on the scraps from a flawed system. So I gave back to the community – I offered my services cheaper than my competitors but made them better, I provided free services to those with financial need, I even started a scholarship fund to help students with college expenses. After seeing my own success I realized that this industry can actually be part of the broader solution to the education
woes of our country. That’s where the idea for Top Teacher Test Prep, LLC began.
Top Teacher Test Prep will not be another company that gives little if anything back to the system and actually benefits if the worse our system gets. Most companies have no interest in actually improving the education system because it would make students more successful and consequently lower their profit margins. That’s one of the key differences between Top Teacher Test Prep, LLC and other companies following this antiquated model. Our business model is to use test prep tutoring, and the money flowing through it already, to actually improve the education system of America by recruiting and retaining the highest quality teachers. We anticipate a trickle-down effect from this initiative. More good teachers means fewer bad teachers, which means better quality education, which means less need for all of these ineffectual reforms, and in the end this means overall improvement in our educational system.