As a Manhattan Firm Schools educational consultant in practice for over a decade, I can tell you reliably that 2009 was a unique year. Here’s what we’ll remember about 2009:
1. The New York Times ran not one, but two stories about companies running ERB prep programs. If you want to irritate a private school admissions director, that is the way to do it. As a result, look for less emphasis on ERB scores in 2010 admissions decisions.
2. The strange Manhattan economy—lots of people financially strapped and stressed, and lots of other people doing just fine—has not translated into reduced competition for private school seats. Admission for kindergarten remains extremely competitive at the most sought-after Firm Schools. Demand for seats vastly outstrips supply, since most affluent, ambitious families seek the same few destinations.
3. Living on Park Avenue, summering in the Hamptons, running a bank, chairing a benefit, starring in a television show—it’s all good. Thanks to the economy, generous, more affluent families have an even greater admissions advantage than usual.
4. The ISEE was changed this year, and scores are all over the place, particularly on the Lower Level exam. The good news: disappointing scores may not lead to disappointing admissions results.
5. The zoned public school situation is so in flux and out of wack that 2009 marked the first full year that some families considered private school as their backup.
About the Contributor: Emily Glickman is a regular contributor to the NYC Firm Schools Blog in the area of area of private school admissions.