Can you remember how hard it used to be to get into kindergarten? Of course not. That’s because it wasn’t. You just went. And somehow you survived, maybe eventually getting into college, serving in the Marines, or starting a family.
Well, that was then. Now, the New York City Department of Education has set the bar to dangerous new heights. According to The New York Post, parents all over the Big Apple have been paying for tutoring services for their — sit down before you read any further — three-year-olds.
I don’t know about you, but this strikes me as child abuse masquerading as early education. If three-year-olds were meant to sit at computer screens to memorize sample test questions and their correct answers, they’d be born with mini-iPads attached to their tiny fingers. Why wait till they’re three? Why not start while they’re nursing, the better to teach them to multitask?
Here’s a vocabulary-boosting word these parents, tutoring services and the NYC Department of Education could study: “childhood.”
According to the Post, “Taylor Dior started cramming at age 3 for what some New Yorkers think is the most important test of her life — getting into kindergarten.”
Her mom, Chavon Peele, paid up to $79 a month to a private service for access to 1,000 sample questions that she says gave Taylor the skills needed to ace the city’s Gifted and Talented test.
They worked together 45 minutes most nights so that tiny Taylor, soon after turning 4, could discern patterns, do analogies, understand concepts such as “greater than,” and recognize a rhombus, among other tough tasks.
The city’s gifted kindergarten programs are so coveted — of 14,000 preschoolers who took the test this year, 2,700 snagged seats — parents bent on sending their kids to Harvard (in 14 years) are turning to commercial test-prep books and services like TestingMom.com, which Taylor’s mother used.