Mom Sues Preschool, Claiming It Didn't Prepare Her 4-Year-Old For The Ivy Leagues

from the this-can't-be-serious dept

In a story that seems to pull together some of the more insane stereotypes about Manhattan parents and their attitudes towards pre-schoolers, Manhattan Mom Nicole Impresscia has apparently sued the York Avenue Preschool, claiming her “very smart” 4-year-old was not properly prepared for the private schools of New York, and this could harm her chances of getting into an Ivy League college down the road. Her lawyer, Mathew Paulose, appears to have an interesting definition of “theft”:

“This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another… They’re nabbing $19,000 and making a run for it.”

Of course, that’s not even close to what’s happening, and it’s hardly “theft.” Perhaps there’s an argument that the school overstated its claims, but that’s not “theft.” Even looking deeper into the complaint, Impresscia’s big concern seems to be that the 4-year-olds had to spend time with 2-year-olds, and had to spend time learning about shapes and colors. Apparently, her daughter is all over that. I’m struggling to see how that hurts a child’s educational ability, but what do I know? I guess I didn’t attend the right pre-school (and my Ivy League degrees must be mistakes).

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Comments on “Mom Sues Preschool, Claiming It Didn't Prepare Her 4-Year-Old For The Ivy Leagues”

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RikuoAmero (profile) says:

Something a bit similar happened to me, although I was educated in public schools. When I was about 6 or 7, I started what is called “first class” here in Ireland, which is the third year of primary level education (Irish education years go from Junior to Senior Infants, then First through Sixth Class (that’s all primary) then secondary school (high school) is First Year to Sixth Year (with an optional Fourth Year called Transition Year)).
Anyway, I had been reading encylopedias for fun since I was about four, and the rest of my class was stuck learning how to read Ba, Ka, La, Ma sounds. My mother complained to the school about what a waste of time this was for me, and I was bumped up a year.

Anyway, I’m on the side of the school here. Its a private school and as part of its advertisement campaign, it must have laid out what exactly the girl would have been taught in class. If she was ahead of the curve, then bump her up, as I was. You don’t sue, they’re only doing exactly as they advertised. I mean, 99% of four year olds can’t read and still have to learn the basics.

A Dan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Here, regular schools won’t admit children younger than a certain developmental level (read: age) because they need specific motor skills to perform the tasks required at the start of primary school. A preschool is unlikely to have a higher level to bump her to if she is truly far above-average, and they can’t send her to primary school early.

Daniel says:

Re: Re: Re:

They’re supposed to be. Its PREschool. Being the step between daycare and school automatically makes it either a glorified daycare or dumbed-down primary school, depending on which way you’re coming from.

Daycare is expensive in New York in general. How much is average for a year in preschool there? It would be interesting to see how much over that she is paying for extra services.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The right pre-school is not a waste of money

If you are sending your kids to a good pre-school then it is a far, far cry from a waste of money as some commenters are saying here. Pre-K can serve a number of critical functions with regards to both socialization and learning. If the kids are sitting around watching SpongeBob all day then yes, you may as well save the money. If the kids are learning about how to interact and co-exist with teachers and friends and if they are getting the academic building blocks then I would argue it is a huge value. We’ve made the explicit decision that we are going to invest in our children’s early education, even though it is reducing the money we can put aside for college. They’ve been through an amazing pre-K and now they will continue at the same school through their elementary years. From an academic perspective, we agree with the research that shows how sensitive kids are to learning at even a young age and how big a role it can play in their subsequent love of school and learning. From a financial perspective, I’ve resigned myself to the idea that worst case, we can borrow for their college education.

HothMonster says:

Re: Re: The right pre-school is not a waste of money

I agree that its important but i would certainly argue that its not worth 20k a year. Some parents seem to think if you can start learning things earlier you have some kind of advantage that carries for the rest of your life. You most certainly don’t.

I learned to read early, because my mom loved reading to me and therefore I loved reading, but let me tell you nothing I read at 5 shaped my world view or prepared me for complex thought. Maybe the moral implications and the deeper philosophical and sociological aspects of Dick and Jane books just escaped me. I’m being snarky, I understand the importance of childrens literature and that good childrens lit is packed with morals and lessons. My point is learning that being a star bellied sneetch isn’t important 4 months earlier does not help make you a genius, and you can learn the lesson just as well if someone reads it to you.

Just because you talk 2 months earlier than average and you read a year earlier that average and blah blah blah your way ahead of the curve at age 4-6 doesn’t mean when your 18 your gonna still be that ahead of the curve. Your still just as likely to get stumped when you first see algebra or complex logic or have to deal with reading comprehension of complex material. Just because your toddler is ahead of the curve doesn’t mean he won’t turn out to be stupid when hes 12 and just because you start average doesn’t mean you wont end up an Einstein (i.e. Einstein). [see advanced classes all through grade school and i can never remember how the punctuation works with parenthesis, i know it goes inside quotes…]

As the AC above says pre-school should be about learning to learn and learning to love it. Its about getting used to being in an academic environment, following rules/respecting authority, following a schedule, learning to share and socialize. Above all it should be fun, if you are pressuring, pushing and expecting too much from a 4 year old how long until they hate school, or fear it? Seriously these are the kids that end up killing themselves during finals week at college. Kids should have fun, learn through play, and a love for learning should be fostered.

I will certainly spend some time and effort finding the right preschool for my child because I agree its important. However right will have nothing to do advanced curriculum, 2 year waiting lists, and pressure to get into a ivy league school. I certainly won’t be paying the cost of a year of public college for a 4 year olds education, teaching the dumbest, non-disabled, college age student shouldn’t cost the same as teaching the worlds smartest 4 year old. They are fucking 4,( I love when people say they have the smartest 2-4 year old, if I can make them think I just stole their nose they aren’t quite geniuses yet) at that age any deviation from normal can not be guaranteed to continue. Also you shouldn’t rely on pre-school to make your kids develop at an above average rate that all starts at home years before pre-school. Its called spending time with them and reading to them, playing with them, talking with them and treating them like they are smarter then they can be but not getting mad because they are not.

Also I love the schools that make the big push to teach little kids other languages. After that kid “graduates” pre-school if their parents don’t speak the language how long do you think they will hold onto it. You think some 5 year old is gonna remember how to speak French if no one ever speaks to them in French. I don’t remember being 5 let alone retain knowledge from then that I never had to use again until high school. I know someone will say “but what if they do speak that foreign language” then the child would have learned that at home the same way French kids do or all the little Mexican kids in my neighborhood who can translate for their parents. Unless all these children of immigrants are going to super expensive pre-schools….hmmm…


sorry for the long posts the last couple days, works slow

Anonymous Coward says:

It will all be ok.

Mom has managed to screw her child out of any future chances now.

All of the private schools she had intended to send her little snowflake to all have boards that pick and choose the kids who are deemed worthy of having way to much money spent on giving them their name on the school record.
Did mom think maybe any future school will see that she is insane and will sue them if she thinks it is their fault her baby did not score in the top of the S.A.T.s??

What she has done is taken her privileged child and screwed her future. I hope when she is 18 she follows her mothers example and sues her mother for ruining her life.

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