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Kindergarten Admissions

Parents Buy Pricey "Bootleg" Tests to Get Kids in Kindergarten

How far would you go to get your child into the "right" kindergarten? In some cities, the kindergarten application process is as involved as those for applying to college. There are applications to be filled out, interviews to ace, recommendations to gather and tests to take.

While some parents enroll their lil ones in kindergarten prep programs to tutor their tots into the top tier schools, others are taking the prep process a step further. In a recent expose on the kindergarten application process, New York Magazine found parents selling "bootleg" copies of the WPPSI, an intelligence test required for entry in many private schools, for $3,000 a piece. For parents willing to shell out $30,000 or more for a year of kindergarten, the tests may seem like a bargain, but for most families, the costs are prohibitive. In addition to costing a small fortune, I'm afraid that parents obtaining the under-the-table versions of the tests are teaching their lil ones that rules can be broken – for a price. Others may argue that if everyone else is doing it, they want to give their tyke an equal shot.

How far would you go to get your child into the school of your dreams?

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starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
Here in Germany we have a totally different system and Kindergarten is actually more like supervised playtime rather then school. They are mostly public, too, so the county decides who gets to go where. The only factors that matter are things like if siblings are already going there and urgency (if you're a stay at home mom you probably won't get your kid in whereas people who work fulltime have better chances). The downside is that since they are public, there's not much competition and so a lot of Kindergartens aren't all that nice. But they are affordable (the prize depends on your income, we'll only have to pay like 150€ a month.)
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
Maybe these parents plan on buying grades and degrees for the kid's entire life... you have to start somewhere, right?
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I agree that with spending the time with your children before kindergarten is soo important. I spent several years as a teachers aid in kindergarten classes and its usually pretty clear which kids had absolutely no work done with them, and add that to the range of ages being from 4-6, it can be very difficult. Even working full time you can spend 20-30 minutes a night and the weekends doing fun activities with your kids to help prepare them. If you start early, it is SO easy and fun to teach them the basics they need. I think the competitive schooling is totally out of control and more parents should be stepping up rather then shelling out thousands of dollars.
KrisB KrisB 6 years
Shoot they can hire me. I'll give them a discount $2000, lol. How hard can it be to teach colors, abc's, numbers....etc. Kristen for Kindergarten tutor.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
Why don't these parents who are so concerned with their children's education actually educate their children instead of spending a ton of money and doing unethical things to get them into a big-name kindergarten? It's not that hard to talk to your little kids, encourage them to talk back, count, sing songs, teach colors and letters and numbers...besides, that stuff is WAY more fun than shuttling a kid to kindergarten prep or buying a $3000 bootleg test!
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