The population continues to increase; experts are predicting we will have over 8 billion people on the planet in about 10 years. According to the World Bank Group, Canada is growing at 1.14% each year, and according to Statistics Canada there will be well over 41 million Canadians by 2024.
Our Canadian school system has not been adding additional schools or increasing staff to match the population growth which has been resulting in over crowded classrooms. The dangers of over crowded schools leads to less individualized teaching where it can stunt stronger students, by slowing them down, or weaker students may be unable to comprehend the materials and are given a “move it or lose it” approach. Tennessee’s statewide Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio, or STAR project, begun in the late 1970s, and found that the learning gains students made in classes of 13 to 17 students instead of class sizes 22 – 25 students persisted long after the students moved back into larger size classes. Follow-up studies through the years have found the students who had been in small classes in their early years had better academic and personal outcomes throughout their school years and beyond.
Looking forward to university, the most prestigious universities are not increasing in numbers, and are not increasing their sizes too drastically either. This creates a more competitive atmosphere for high school students fighting to get acceptance to their chosen universities. If the high schools cannot help all of the students, and the students are more competitive than ever, it seems that our education system is in need of help. Even though the Canadian government has promised changes to the school systems, it seems that the issue of class sizes quickly gets forgotten after the voting polls are closed. Parents are not waiting for the education system to change and instead have been finding options on their own with private tutors.
Balthazar Sauer is the CEO of the Canadian branches of Academy for Mathematics & English and Above Grade Level. Academy for Mathematics & English is a location based tutoring franchise, which operates throughout Canada and the US with over 30 franchise partners and was founded in 1993. Above Grade Level is an in-home private tutoring franchise with 28 franchise partners across Canada and the US, and was founded in 2007. “There is more competition than ever in schools and in the workforce, and grades do matter. We have a success rate of increasing 1 – 2 grade points of a student in as little as 2 hours per week in 6 months.” Sauer states. Above Grade Level has invested over $1,500,000 into developing their educational programs, tutor coaching training and protocols, and have created an audio and visual learning program, which is unmatched in their industry. Their program uses the 3 senses: listening, reading and writing that enables the student to take in far more information than using only one sense at a time. They also pride their business in providing much stronger course material; although they have clients from as young as five, 50% of their business are students in grade 9 – 12. Sauer says this is a part of the market many competitors do not touch.
The Wall Street Journal has predicted an annual growth of private tutoring by 14% yearly. Balthazar can verify this growth, “We have seen 10 -15% growth each year from our inception in 1993.” Both companies continue their growth as they support their franchise partners and actively recruit new ones. “Our franchise partners certainly feel proud in the difference they are making in their local communities – it is rewarding personally and financially.” Sauer concludes.
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