Commentary

To tutor, or not to tutor . . .

Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy is admirable for trying to force schools to be accountable for results. Like most efforts to get government entities to focus on outcomes rather than how hard everyone is trying, it has its problems. Lisa Snell dug into how schools report violence and crime and test score results under NCLB, and no surprise, found plenty of cheating. NPR this morning did a story discussing how NCLB provides funds for low-income kids in crappy schools to get tutoring, and looked at questions about how well the money is being used. They began looking at the boom at Sylvan Learning Centers, which from all I have seen do a fantastic job of helping kids who have trouble learning. But, of course, the story soon slipped into a discussion of how all the federal money and relatively little regulation of tutoring services has led to “a wild-west atmosphere.” Members of Congress are criticizing states for not bet tight with controlling the tutoring business, etc. No discussion of where the decision point is here. It is not the schools or the state that puts these kids in tutoring, it is the parents. They are in a pretty good position to look at their kids grades and test scores and see if the tutoring is working. They don’t get any other benifit for sending their kids there, so they likely take a real interest in the result. (Snell looks at tutorings role in kid’s reading performance here.) I wish Congress would take as much interst in creating real consequences for school officials that cheat on statistics reported to parents as they do in slavering over discovering a type of business they haven’t got their regulatory hooks into yet.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.

Moore, who has testified before Congress on several occasions, regularly advises federal, state and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs.

In 2008 and 2009, Moore served on Congress' National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission. The commission offered "specific recommendations for increasing investment in transportation infrastructure while at the same time moving the Federal Government away from reliance on motor fuel taxes toward more direct fees charged to transportation infrastructure users." Since 2009 he has served on California's Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission.

Mr. Moore is co-author of the book Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "Speaking from our experiences in Texas, Sam Staley and Adrian Moore get it right in Mobility First." World Bank urban planner Alain Bartaud called it "a must read for urban managers of large cities in the United States and around the world."

Moore is also co-author of Curb Rights: A Foundation for Free Enterprise in Urban Transit, published in 1997 by the Brookings Institution Press, as well as dozens of policy studies. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Orange County Register, as well as in, Public Policy and Management, Transportation Research Part A, Urban Affairs Review, Economic Affairs, and numerous other publications.

In 2002, Moore was awarded a World Outsourcing Achievement Award by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Michael F. Corbett & Associates Ltd. for his work showing governments how to use public-private partnerships and the private sector to save taxpayer money and improve the efficiency of their agencies.

Prior to joining Reason, Moore served 10 years in the Army on active duty and reserves. As an noncommissioned officer he was accepted to Officers Candidate School and commissioned as an Infantry officer. He served in posts in the United States and Germany and left the military as a Captain after commanding a Heavy Material Supply company.

Mr. Moore earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. He holds a Master's in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and a Master's in History from California State University, Chico.