Sorry, yes. The New York Sun reported last week that 3100 students took the ERB (the private school admissions test) this year, a 15% increase from last year. While we don’t know what percentage of ERB test takers actually applied for the 2400 kindergarten spots available (some number of low scorers and others drop out of the process), it is clear from reports from private schools, preschools, and educational consultants (me!), that this was the most competitive year ever. The schools did nothing to relieve the stress, and in some cases, they exacerbated it. Many schools cut off interviewing early, several schools that never wanted the ERBs began requiring it, and the new first choice policy was confusingly worded.
I think this is unfortunate, to say the least. In October, at the beginning of this admissions season, the Sun quoted me:
Ms. Glickman said her preference is a lottery that would sort children automatically — eliminating measures such as play observations, applications, and parent interviews, which she called a “farce.” “If you remember that the whole point of this is that they’re ranking and sorting 4-year-olds openly — and secretly judging parents’ wealth connections and likeliness to give — it really becomes apparent what a disgusting process this is,” she said. Reminded that an end to the traditional application process could hurt her professionally, Ms. Glickman maintained the position. “I also have a conscience,” she said.
Given what ended up happening this year, I maintain my position.