Abacus4With all the parental angst concerning getting into Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Riverdale nursery schools and elementary schools, I had to laugh today at Sarah Maslin Nir’s New York Times article about competitive entry into Manhattan dancing school.

Her article made me think about other New York institutions which rank and judge children for entry.  One that popped to mind:  the American Museum of Natural History’s Science and Nature Program.  From the museum’s website:

THE SCIENCE and NATURE PROGRAM is on-going from ages 3 through 5th grade. Admission is by application followed by a family interview. A parent or grandparent must accompany children in The Science and Nature Program until the 3rd grade. Students who graduate in the 5th grade have the opportunity to enter the Museum’s “pipeline” in the sixth grade, and may continue with their science learning at the Museum through high school.

It has never made sense to me that such a prominent Manhattan museum should find it necessary to rank, judge, and often reject young children for admission to a science class.  Since space must be limited, a lottery would make sense rather than the puzzle, do you love animals? questions they use, as well as giving preference to people with connections.