This summer, Cheryl Wischhover came within a hairs-breadth of suffering the ultimate humiliation. The pediatric nurse practitioner applied to five private elementary schools for her 5-year-old son but was rejected by one and wait-listed by four. Thankfully, he got into a start-up school on the Upper West Side; otherwise he’d have — horror — had to go public. “Many people I know got into at least one school, but I definitely know people who didn’t,” she told the Times today. “It was a tough process.” Yeah, right, you are probably thinking. Wischhover’s kid is probably just dumb or displays characteristics common to a serial killer in interviews. But no! According to the Times, the city’s private schools really are at “crisis level in terms of capacity.”
Despite mounting layoffs on Wall Street and the broader economic downturn, private schools in New York City continue to thrive, with administrators and consultants saying this year has been the most competitive yet for admission to kindergarten. Some estimate that several hundred children were rejected from every place they applied.
Several hundred! Does that mean they will be loose on the streets? Not really. But it does mean that this year, several hundred toddlers will have their résumés sullied by boarding school or home school and will thus find it harder to get into the right high school and following that the right college and following that the right existence. See? It really is a crisis.