March 15, 2011

Hahaha, They Put 'The Ivy League' In Quotes

Holy Moses, I've been writing this blog post a thousand times in my head since yesterday.

From the NY Daily News comes news that an Over-Upper East Side mother is suing the ["$19,000-a-year"] York Avenue Preschool for "damaging [her] 4-year-old daughter's Ivy League chances" by not prepping her for the ERB, but instead, throwing her in a ball pit all day with a bunch of 2-year-olds. The ERB is the standardized test used for private school admission in New York City:

Imprescia's court papers suggest the school may have damaged Lucia's chances of getting into a top college, citing an article that identifies preschools as the first step to "the Ivy League."

"Lucia Imprescia, for the record, will get into an Ivy League school, York Avenue Preschool notwithstanding," said Paulose, of Koehler & Isaacs.

"The child is very smart and will do well in life."

First of all, "'the Ivy League'"? Does the Daily News' readership really require those quotes? Second, how awesome is that "for the record" the lawyer throws in there? More than paid media endorsements, though, private kindergartens really look out for prospects with feisty, litigious parents. It makes me wonder who their admissions consultant is.

And fourth through tenth, seriously, $19,000 may be a lot of money for pre-school on York Avenue, but it can't be full-day. And if it is, I can't imagine what kind of ERB prep you can honestly expect for such a modest amount. If they're not supplementing with Princeton Preschool Review, I suspect these Imprescias are just trying to blame the school [which apparently cited "construction" for the temporary shared classrooms] for their own bad educational strategies.

My advice would be to teach her field hockey, so at least she'll have an outside chance at Dartmouth, but then to go ahead and try again with a second kid.

Manhattan mom sues $19K/yr. preschool for damaging 4-year-old daughter's Ivy League chances [nydailynews.com]

9 Comments

Obviously not a legacy. Sorry, "legacy."

I like the part where everyone is stupid.

See? SUNY students are made, not born.

I serve on the graduate admissions committee at my university, which I'm sure is on the acceptable list for these parents, god help us, and I'll admit that I get an inappropriate thrill when I have the opportunity to reject certain types of applicants.

This year it was someone who wrote on the "disadvantages I have experienced that may affect my application" that he had never suffered any rejection or setbacks, which placed him at a relative disadvantage to, say, a poor immigrant from a refugee camp who moved to the US in high school. And I'm thinking, well, this is good news for both of us! Let me be the first to offer you the rejection you've been missing all these years.

But an essay on not being prepped for private school tests in preschool would top that.

I love the city, but stories of preschools and life in the Manhattan private school subculture make me glad to live in LA. LA has it's own issues, but it doesn't seem quite as bad...

Dorothy,

That's a poor lookout for most American kids. You make it sound as if the key to getting into your school is how hard one's life has been.

Odd.

Lydia, the immigrant reference was the applicant's.

We admit many "American kids" (by which I presume you mean children lucky enough to be born in the US) with interesting backgrounds that involve some degree of privilege, for example, applicants able to play 15 different musical instruments, who clearly have supportive parents with a lot of disposable income. But we try pretty hard not to admit jerks and headcases. And someone who argues that his life of upper middle class ease is a hardship when compared to the life of a poor, non-English speaking immigrant from a refugee camp is, at the very least, a jerk.

@dorothy. I want to agree with you and I know admissions is your business and not mine. But, do college college admissions essays really provide that clear a window into the hearts and souls of applicants? Aren't those essays often heavily edited or written by parents, counselors and consultants? Is there a chance that these weren't the applicant's own words or even sentiments? If memory serves, essays are informed as much by the countless inputs an applicant receives about what colleges are "looking for" as they are by the applicant's true ideas and beliefs.
Reading those words in an essay, I probably would have rejected the kid too. But I wouldn't have had such confidence that I was rejecting a "jerk or headcase." I guess I'll buy into the college essay as a means for screening out jerks and headcases when I see the freshman class that has neither.

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