Here are some toys and workbooks that will help your preschool-aged child do better on the ERB (WPPSI, ECAA) block design subtest and NYC private school kindergarten interviews. These may be especially helpful for doll-players and other children who don't take naturally to manipulatives like blocks and Legos. And if your children already play with blocks and Legos, they may appreciate some new building ideas.
Barely a day after the New York Post broke the news of the mom suing York Avenue Preschool for not properly preparing her daughter for the ERB for kindergarten, and hence, Harvard, delighted Europeans have pounced on the story.
Observers from outside Manhattan, with its frantic yearly competition for private school places, might point to the fact that the venerable institution to which <child's name> had been entrusted was a nursery school.
(English person chuckles at American antics.)
Pavia was good enough to ask me to contribute my two pence.
Emily Glickman, a consultant who advises parents on how to secure the best places for their children, said that 2010-11 had been the “most competitive year to date for getting children into private-school kindergarten in Manhattan”.
As for the ERB tests, she said: “Officially, it’s always been true that children are supposed to sit the ERB test without prepping, but in the last few years prepping has become more and more open.”
Academy of St. Joseph Head of School Angela Coombs writes:
After reading the recent article in the Wall Street Journal, I ask for your help in getting the word out that the Academy of St. Joseph, a new private school in the West Village extends a warm invitation to families still seeking placement for the 2011-2012 academic year to come and visit us.
We currently offer programs for children in PreK3-3rdgrade and will be adding a grade each year. Our programs are rooted in project-based learning. Class size is limited to 18. All teachers are New York State certified. Students receive daily Spanish instruction as well as the opportunity to explore their individual interests in music, art, physical education and yoga. Enriching after school programs (golf, tennis, ballet, piano, violin, art, soccer and chess) are offered. A daily hot lunch program is also available to students.
Please feel free to call (212) 243-5420 to arrange a visit. You can also visit us online for further information about our school atwww.academyofsaintjoseph.org.
Thank you for the service that you provide for the families of New York City!
I felt sick today reading Louis Uchitelle's excellent Times article,Even in Wealthy Town, Schools Feel Pinch. Uchitelle details how some in top Westchester public school district Bronxville, one of Westchester's most affluent towns, are fighting school tax and teacher pay increases. Uchitelle writes:
But even here — as in other affluent enclaves — corners are being cut, bringing home the wrenching debate that has caused turmoil in so many other communities. What some really fear is that the cuts will continue. “You hear people say they want Mandarin taught in the sixth grade or they want smaller class size or some other enhancement,” said Julie Meade, president of the Parent Teacher Association and mother of two school-age children. “But they don’t talk about raising taxes to pay for what they advocate. I haven’t heard anyone say raise taxes to pay for quality.”
Some residents argue that the town should be more businesslike, cutting other costs to offset the outlay for smaller classes. Peter P. Pulkkinen is one. A 40-year-old investment banker, he and his wife, Sarah, moved here in 2004 from the Upper East Side and their two oldest children are now in the first and third grades. He wants small classes for them. But rather than raise taxes, he would restrict the compensation of existing teachers — particularly their benefits.
In Bronxville, they've already laid off the janitorial staff, outsourcing the work.
In my and many others' view, local public schools should be communities, not businesses. When wealthy investment bankers fight small annual teacher pay increases and lay off janitors, who have sometimes worked in local schools for generations, they are basically destroying a school's community fabric. By resisting tax increases that would pay for the Mandarin classes and science labs that families want, they instead are asking others -- teachers -- to pay for parents' desires to enrich their kids and build their college resumes.
Given that private school tuition is about $35,000 per year, property taxes are still relatively low when you think that many of Bronxville's homes are filled with two, three, and four children.
The losers in these disputes are public school staff and children. The winners, as usual, are private schools. Given the budgeting trend, I expect my phone will be ringing more than ever with concerned Westchester parents seeking private Riverdale and Westchester private schools for their kids.
The last time private schools saw this kind of increase was between 2006 and 2007, when the city's real-estate market was in a frenzy, the stock market was at an all-time high and the number of students taking the admissions tests shot up by 12%. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, test takers dipped by nearly 2%; they fell by 5% in 2009.
"We had a banner year in 2007 with a surge in test takers, but where we are now even surpasses that jump," ERB's executive director, Antoinette DeLuca, said.
In Banjo's article, I said:
"Manhattan families are getting bigger as parents choose to raise their kids in the city, so there are fewer places in private schools for new families," said Emily Glickman, president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting.
Banjo also covers the impact of increasing applicant numbers on the numerous private schools opening in the city and G & T public programs.