Mom Sues Preschool for Not Prepping 4 Yr. Old for Elite University

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by overedge, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    It's actually really hard to judge from the article exactly what happened. But lets say, the school promised they'd prep the kids for that kindergarten entry test. And instead her precocious 4 year old was put with 2 year olds and doing 2 year old appropriate activities. May be she was telling her parents that she is bored.

    That would not be what was advertised by the school. And if you are paying $19K, you expect what you paid for. You expect the product as advertised.

    Imagine that she complained and the school blew her off as they've already pocketed the non-refundable tuition. So she felt stuck and the way out was to sue for tuition and put her in another school.
     
  2. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    According to the NY Post:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/...reschool_PrY32mNfMyUdwW2JQqVE3I#ixzz1GjeVOtQR
     
  3. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I've read several articles about this now, and there seems to be a lot of conflicting info.

    For example, she and her lawyer have been quoted as saying that the child was pulled out after two months. But a school spokesperson was quoted saying that the child attended for a full year. And somewhere else I read that it was most of the the year. Then I read that the child was only sometimes mixed in with younger kids, but that was not a regular occurrence. In agalisgv's link, it says it happened ONCE: "In one instance, plaintiff's daughter, who at the time was 4 - perhaps the most important year for a pre-schooler, just shy of taking the ERB - was dumped with two-year-olds," the suit says.

    What stands out for me is that she is suing about events that took place in 2009. That would mean her daughter has already taken the ever-so-important kindergarten test. I wonder if the child did not do as well as her mother expected. No one has said so, but what else is the mother going to use as evidence that the school curriculum wasn't demanding enough?
     
  4. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    My nephew took that test in 2009 and did very well. His prior education background was 2 days a week of public preschool. Of course, his parents read to him from the time he was born, and started counting and basic math with him when he started to talk.

    I guess he must have had an unfair advantage from learning a few words of Japanese from his best friend's parents and from the street Spanish he picked up. It couldn't possibly be that his parents taught him and didn't dump him in a prestigious preschool. :lol:
     
  5. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    There's a test for kindergarten? I feel very sheltered, living in a tiny town where every kid goes to the same school. A public school. For free. Oh well...less pressure and more time to just be a kid is how I look at it.
     
  6. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I do, too, but both of my kids still had to test to get into kindergarten. it wasn't an admission test, which is what they are talking about there, but it was an assessment test that was supposed to evaluate their preparedness.
     
  7. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Nowadays, sadly there can be. Chicago has this in some schools too. It's a navigational nightmare for a parent, especially if you don't have the $$$ for private school. I'm wading these waters right now and it's hard to figure out what's what.
     
  8. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what they do here...an evaluation of skills so they know what areas to focus on for each kid. No pass/fail or I'm sorry, your kid isn't good enough for this school. Sometimes small towns have their advantages.
     
  9. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    We don't even have any of that. It is more "if you kid is born between these dates, it is time for them to start kindergarten, ready or not." :lol:
     
  10. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    If you want a better look at the process, check out Nursery University - a documentary that was aired on Showtime among other places.

    Fascinating and scary all at the same time.
     
  11. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    My nephew and his family live in an area of NYC with a large population of well heeled dual income families. When my niece-in-law got pregnant, neighbors nearly scared her to death about getting on the admission lists for certain pre-schools as soon as the baby was born. Well, they're not nearly as well off as some of the neighbors, so pricey pre-school and was out of the question. They still get quizzed often about their choice to use public schools. They're treated as if they enrolled their kid in some sort of fanatic cult school. Fortunately, they won the school lottery and got their kid in an EXCELLENT school which guarantees his brother a slot, too.
     
  12. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    It's all awfully confusing. I don't think that I have enough information to really form an opinion. But as agalisgv's link said, they've acknowledged the falsehood--shouldn't they had given the money back at that point?
    I finally got around to partially watching it. But even before I saw it, I knew unless I had unlimited income, I'd high tail it out of NYC as soon as my pregnancy test turned positive. Not an easy place to raise a child, that's for sure.
     
  13. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    The link said that the mother said that the school had acknowledged the falsehood.

    In the shark-infested waters of New York preschools, can you see a preschool director making such a foolish admission? Not that it couldn't possibly happen--maybe it did--but I think it's unlikely enough that I would like to know exactly how that acknowledgment was stated before I just accept what this woman says about the school.

    It seems to me that she wants her tuition back; she signed a contract saying that the tuition is non-refundable. Therefore, she has to prove fraud. I hope she has something better than "My child spent a day with two-year-olds and they dared to teach her colors and shapes."
     
  14. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Well, of course. If that's her only grievance, that her child spent some time with the little ones, even if it's a few weeks, I don't think she has a leg to stand on. But if it's the whole year (and how long did the girl attend the school? That's also confusing) and say, no French lessons, no test prep and doing 2 year old level activities instead, then yes, I'd say that's fraud.

    I have no idea what really happened though. The reporting is so fragmented.
     
  15. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    But what stands out to me is that neither mother nor lawyer have EVER claimed that the child didn't get French or anything else that was listed on the website.

    What they have said in every quote I have read is that:

    The school said that it offered separate curriculum by age, and the child was sometimes mixed in with children of other ages, although how often this happened is unclear.

    The curriculum was not what the mother deemed advanced enough--although she has never claimed that it was not what the school promised, only that it wasn't what she considered advanced enough for a four-year-old.

    Have they actually claimed anything else?
     
  16. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    You've read more than I, but aren't the reports comprised of quotes taking from the lawsuit filed? I wonder if it's a matter of a reporter taking select quotes instead of the mother not speaking to it.
     
  17. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I don't know. They appear to quote the mother; they definitely quote her lawyer, who is talking to the press

    The school has, to date, refused comment, except for that one comment somewhere that says the girl was in school the entire year.
     
  18. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Yes and who knows what is not getting reported. May be they didn't give the promised French lessons, may be they did. May be the kid was stuck with the 2 year olds for a day, may be for the whole school year. :confused:
    Actually, neither mother nor lawyer have ever been reported to have claimed that the child didn't get French, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  19. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Quite true. But since that would be fairly explicit evidence of fraud, I would think both they and the reporters would jump right on that.
     
  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Yes, it would. May be the reporters decided that suing for failure to prep for Ivy Leagues is a better headline? Does the suit actually contain this language, I wonder.
     
  21. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, it doesn't. That Ivy League thing was supposedly taken from one of the studies cited in the lawsuit that argued the importance of pre-K/K education could show effects through college, and even have residual impacts on things as remote as Ivy League admission stats. So it wasn't something the mother was accusing the school of.
     
  22. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    I'm procrastinating, so I copied the text of the complaint. Here are the relevant fact allegations about the alleged fraud ("plaintiff" is the mother; "defendant" is the school):

    ETA: The only mention of Ivy league schools is in an introductory paragraph that provides background about how expensive and competitive nursery school admissions can be.

     
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  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I lurve FSU, the best news source in the world. Thanks, reckless.

    My question is this: is the word "dumped" commonly used in legal documents? :eek: It's just so informal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  24. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    Since I began practicing, the definite trend in legal writing has been to emphasize using more conventional language in documents instead of legalese. I sometimes give seminars on legal writing to our junior associates and tell them to assume that their average reader just has a high school education. I'm not saying that judges are dumb, just that you never know who will be reading your papers and how well-educated they are.

    It's also dangerous to assume that well-educated people have good vocabularies. Just the other day, I edited a brief and told two associates that the tone was too "glib." One of them later told me that they had to look up the meaning of the word. :wall:
     
  25. Yehudi

    Yehudi Well-Known Member

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    Has there been any studies done to show what percentage of kids at these prestigious nursery schools go on to the Ivies? I went on the website of Horace Mann to see if they had any statistics on where their graduates go. It seems that yes, their kids go to Ivies but there are also CUNY and SUNY schools as well. The prep school I went to was supposedly a feeder school for Ivies as well but we had just as many kids going to SUNY Buffalo and Binghamton as there were kids going to Harvard or Yale.
     
  26. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    A reporter wouldn't have written the headline unless it was a blog - then it is a blogger and not a reporter. Copy editors are the ones who write headlines. Usually it is after reading the story, but sometimes they just breeze over it and decide what headline they think is a good tease and what will fit in the space allowed.
     
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  27. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I wonder what the suit is basing the claim that "colors and shapes" are a two-year-old's curriculum on. I don't see any reference backing that up, which is kind of funny. They cite newspaper articles as sources to back up the claim that preschool is important, but they don't have anything in there about specific curriculum standards except this:

    Defendant's website states its “curriculum is developmental and is based on the guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and standards of the New York State Department of Education.

    The NAEYC recommends a play-based curriculum used with both small and large groups.

    I still think the real problem is that the child didn't do as well as expected on the ERB. She should have taken it between the fall of 2009 when she entered the school and the fall of 2010 when the mother asked for the tuition back. What else could it be?
     
  28. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    It could very well be that the well heeled mother is just embarrassed that her child didn't get into Miss Uppity's kindergarten despite spending $19,000. Of course, it had to be the pre-school's fault.
     
  29. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Yep. Both my kids went to a NAEYC pre-school and, in our case, the "curriculum" was what they call child-based, which means the teachers developed projects based on whatever the kids were interested in that week. :lol:
     
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Lovely. I wonder if this trend is going to spread to medical charting. :scream: The chart note is intended to be read by medical staff and not lay people.

    Thanks for the clarification, ArtisticFan.