Mom Sues Pricey Preschool For Dashing 4-Year-Old's Ivy League Chances

Did a private preschool kill a 4-year-old's shot at Harvard?
Did a private preschool kill a 4-year-old's shot at Harvard?

I love New York. I grew up there. But I thank God my kids didn't have to go to preschool there (Cambridge is bad enough.) Read on to understand why (and then file this story under mental illness):

The mother of a 4-year-old is suing her kid's $19K-a-year preschool for apparently ruining the child's shot at getting into an Ivy League college, The New York Daily News reports.

How? The report suggests that by dumbing down the classroom with 2-and 3-year-olds in the mix, and offering play, not rigor, and a less-than-stimulating curriculum of blocks and shapes, the child might not get in to Harvard.

In court papers, Nicole Imprescia suggests York Avenue Preschool jeopardized little Lucia's chances of getting into an elite private school or, one day, the Ivy League.

She's demanding a refund of the $19,000 tuition and class-action status for other toddlers who weren't properly prepped for the standardized test that can mean the difference between Dalton and - gasp! - public school. "This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another," said Mathew Paulose, a lawyer for the outraged mom.

Impressed by the school's pledge to ready its young students for the ERB - a test used for admission at top private schools - Imprescia enrolled her daughter at York in 2009. A month into this school year, she transferred the child out of the upper East Side center because she was forced to slum with 2-year-olds.

"Indeed, the school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom," the suit says. The court papers implied the school could have damaged Lucia's chances of getting into a top college, citing an article that identifies preschools as the first step to "the Ivy League."

This program aired on March 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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