Private-School Parents Spy on Prospective Students’ Families

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The New York private-school application process is just as insane and cutthroat as everyone thinks it is, according to the New York Post. The paper reports that parents of current students at places such as Columbia Grammar, Mandell, Collegiate, and Episcopal are sent to observe the behavior of prospective families during tours. They then report their findings to administrators."Oh, yeah, they say, 'This is Jane, and she’s just learning how to be a tour guide,'" said Amanda Uhry of Manhattan Private School Advisors. "She’s spying, duh!"

Uhry also explained why parents are happy to do this dirty work: "You are an insider. You get to know admissions staff and when your friends apply, you can put in a good word." Another private-school adviser, Terri Decker, told the paper that she warns her clients that they're being "watched by everybody." "The main thing to remember is that your kid isn’t going to mess up the process," she said. "You’re going to mess up the process by being a jerk." And that can result in not getting the opportunity to be a jerk to people just like them later on — plus their kid won't get a seat at a fancy kindergarten.