In today's society, there is widespread agreement that the American educational system is less than optimal. Many feel that, although the No Child Left Behind Act established sound principles, its underfunding has rendered those principles meaningless. There have also been widespread reports that state are "dumbing down" standardized testing so that state scores can show the improvements necessary in order to maintain or improve their status. Many parents complain that school curricula is far too focused on teaching students how to test well, at the expense of truly teaching subjects in a way that engage students' natural curiosity.
Due to provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act, out of necessity, the focus of many schools is to raise the scores of students who test in the "far below basic" and "below basic" proficiency levels on their yearly assessments. Even so, most schools lack the resources to give those students the attention they need in order to improve their test scores.
Further, parents of children who test in the "proficient" or "advanced" range often feel as though their children are being left behind, in that they aren't challenged to do their best. In other words, they feel that the focus on remediating learners who have low test scores has the unintended consequence of bringing down the test scores of those who are gifted and advanced.
As a result, parents are increasingly turning to tutoring services in order to help their children reach their potential. They rightly feel that tutors can help fill the gaps in the education of children. For example, even a student who is proficient in math may need additional help, while a gifted math learner can use the services of a math tutor to augment classroom instruction and go to the next level. Likewise, when parents turn to a tutor, a student who needs remediation can often get the help he or she needs to succeed in the classroom.
Parents whose children are in middle school, junior high, or high school are also increasingly using tutoring services - especially online tutoring services. The highly competitive environment of university and postgraduate admissions make having a competitive edge a necessity. One-on-one tutoring for test preparation is growing exponentially, as test preparation services often enroll as many as 20 students in one class, making it difficult for individual students to get the attention they need.
For any student, the key to learning is being engaged with the material and interacting with the instructor. Unfortunately, the state of educational funding today makes it increasingly difficult for students to receive the attention they need. Even though they have the best of intentions, teachers all too often simply don't have the time to adapt material to individual learning styles. Tutoring services are popular because they can augment what children learn in the classroom, can help both remedial and advanced learners grasp subject matter that challenges them, and can help students gain a competitive edge in test preparation.