If you haven’t started your three year old on Mozart yet, you just might be in for some big problems in New York. That’s because she’s already behind the curve, as parents are going crazy trying to make sure that their little ones get into the right nursery school and kindergarten programs.
Getting a Gifted Spot
New York City has a number of gifted kindergarten programs, and they are so coveted that 14,000 preschoolers took the test this year for only 2,700 spots. Parents want their little ones to have a leg up so badly that they are using test-prep books and services like TestingMom.com in order to put in long hours of test preparation before the big day.
While experts do agree that coaching bright kids can raise their test scores a great deal, these same experts aren’t weighing in on the emotional and psychological damage that this race might create for sweet young people.
Chavon Peele, a mother in the area, said, “Even though I think it’s unfair that some people don’t have the resources to prepare, I’m going to be one of those who prepare. I do it because she has to stay competitive.”
Michael McCurdy and Karen Quinn have launched TestingMom.com together. Membership starts at $14.99 a month and includes some 5000 practice questions to help kids get into gifted programs, private schools and beyond.
Make ‘Em Sit Young
Brooklyn mom Elana Walsh explains that it’s imperative to “train your child to listen to instructions and be able to sit.” Never mind playtime and childhood fun.
Sometimes, even those who achieve the desired goals end up disappointed. The Brooklyn School of Inquiry, for instance, which is a citywide gifted school, has so many kids who apply and score well on the test that they hold a lottery.
And sometimes, even the most gifted of kids aren’t holding the winning ticket.