We are hearing preliminary reports that ISEE scores are coming back low for a second year in a row. We are on the case and will keep you posted on ISEE news.
Right now we are working with Manhattan families interested in strategizing last minute details now that they know ERB and ISEE scores. We are also connecting families to New York's best ISEE tutor. Book early to ensure availability. 212-712-2228.
What do Manhattan educational consultants and school advisors do? We speak to people about private schools. In 2010, I talked to hundreds of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and psychologists. Here’s the scoop in private school admissions trends:
Competition for top private schools continues to be strong. Despite the economic pain in the country as a whole, Wall Street is doing well. Unless they're decamping for Bronxville, finance guys and gals are gunning for big name New York City private schools. They're also supporting lawyers, artists, plastic surgeons, and talk show hosts, whose children are also applying.
ERB prep has become a way of life, whether it's a four year old or a high schooler. ERB prep books and tutors are hot, hot, hot and everybody knows it, including parents, reporters, preschool directors, and admissions directors. The ERB itself now has free prep material on its website, making a mockery out of its traditional “no prep” stance. Unsurprisingly, far more than 1% of the population is scoring in the 99th percentile. When scores disappoint, parents often turn to preschool directors or educational consultants for a retake.
Changes in the New York City public schools continue to push many people who can afford it toward private. Many Manhattan and Brooklyn parents are so disgusted with the public schools—kindergarten admission to zoned NYC schools sometimes no longer guaranteed, prep for entrance into G & T, a schools chancellor picked from the publishing industry—that they’re seriously considering other options, like private school or Montclair.
Unless it's Saint Ann's, which gets a parent pass thanks to its perceived college admissions clout, many New York parents are turning from more relaxed, developmental teaching philosophies to strongly preferring more skills-based, structured, traditional schools. There's a feeling that children need to learn to read and do math in kindergarten, especially at these prices.
Kindergarten students seem taller lately. New York City private schools generally prefer older, more mature students. (How better to ensure that a child will succeed in kindergarten than to have him, in some cases, repeat the grade?) Parents, concerned by how high the bar is being raised, are more likely than ever to want to hold their child back.
An educational consulting client emailed me the following today:
I am so happy and lucky to have you on my ( and <child's name's>) side.
To put Abacus Guide to work on your child's side in the private school admissions process, call us now at 212-712-2228 or email info(at)abacusguide.com. We are now accepting early enrollment for the 2011-2012 season.
Ever wondered if you should hire a homework helper? If you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Westchester, you're not alone. (But according to Sarah Maslin Nir's New York Times articleLike a Monitor More than a Tutorif you live in Florida, you are.)
Her article explores pros and cons of the homework helper trend. I said:
“Sometimes parents can put unfair pressure on the homework helper” to get the work done “and the homework helper may go too far,” she said.
“The end goal is you don’t want a child who is dependent and scared and can’t do anything” by himself or herself, Ms. Glickman said. “A good homework helper is one who teaches a child so that they no longer need a homework helper.”
Sarah Maslin Nir of The Times today exposed the practice ofERB retesting, when kindergarten applicants have a second go at the test if the first score is disappointing. The practice, officially not allowed, happens anyway.
I was one of the educational consultants interviewed for the article. As I explained, retesting has been going on for years amongst those with in-the-know preschool directors and educational consultants. I have sometimes recommended it to my clients, and provided them with names of well-regarded IQ testers. Is the process fair? No, but neither is requiring 4-year-olds to take the ERB in the first place.