Everyone knows that exclusive private kindergartens in Manhattan are too expensive, too competitive, and make parents crazy. But one good story on $400 per hour kindergarten interview consultants really drives home the point: everyone involved here is awful.
The WSJ takes a look at the kindy-garten interview prep business. Which is quite lucrative! Four hundred bucks for "a 45-minute observation and assessment" is the going rate to have your tot trained by former Horace Mann admissions director Dana Haddad. For that, your four year-old will be evaluated like so:
The assessment concluded that the child "appeared to enjoy the game of 'Simon Says,' engaging in gross motor tasks such as jumping, clapping, hopping" but other skills were "more challenging, such as balancing on one foot (she was not fully able to balance for more than 1 second or so)."
Accompanying the assessment is suggested activities for improvement such as encouraging the 4-year-old to speak directly with a waiter to place her own restaurant order or handing the money to the cashier at the grocery store to emphasize more natural interaction with adults.
Horace Mann can't have any fucking kindergartners running around unable to balance on one foot for at least several seconds at a time. You have to have standards. This, of course, is in addition to the standardized test that your child has to ace just to be considered for an exclusive day care program like this. From the administrators who run these places, to the parents who train their kids like performing seals in hopes of impressing those administrators, to the consultants who prey on those desperate parents, everyone except the children themselves are pretty despicable, top to bottom.
Although we'd like to give a special mention to former Horace Mann admissions director turned kindergarten interview consultant Dana Haddad, who said this:
Ms. Haddad tells stories of children explaining to admissions directors that their parents promised them ice cream for good behavior during the interview. Others have blurted out that they've already been preparing for play dates. "Admissions directors don't like that," she says.