Go Home

daily dish

March  13

It's Never Too Early To Obsess About Your Kids

Think Manhattanites are the only ones who go to extremes when it comes to their kids' educations? Think again. According to today's Ledger, parents are flocking to SAT tutoring mills to make sure their kids are prepared for standardized tests in elementary school.

Through tutoring companies and local classes like the one at Raritan Valley, they are spending $100 and up to give their children a head start on the tests, even for kids as young as 8 and 9 years old.

Although the state tests do not determine whether a child moves up a grade, and they don't carry the obvious weight of the SATs, many parents say it's important to get their kids on the right track as early as possible.

Today, meanwhile, is the first day of registration for new 2006-2007 students in Montclair. That means a lot of nervous parents trying to get their kids into Harvard or Yale, um, Watchung or Northeast. Question from a Glen Ridge parent: is Nishuane the equivalent of Rutgers?

March 13, 2006 in Sheesh! | Permalink


We were put into Nishuane even though it was our last choice. We have been thrilled!

On the other hand, Mt. Hebron was our first choice for our middle schooler and it has proven to be, frankly, a bit mediocre.

Posted by: appletony | Mar 13, 2006 1:57:54 PM

My father sent me to old Rutgers...

Posted by: Captain Vegetable | Mar 13, 2006 3:03:24 PM

Appletony - please fill me in, offline if you like. I'll be spending the next 12 months collecting unscientific data and opinions as we prepare for the middle school foray in Sept. '07.

Many thanks.

Posted by: Kay | Mar 13, 2006 3:26:05 PM

why would anyone mover to Montclair for the schools. Hard to believe. Glen Ridge yes Montclair not.

Posted by: Ern | Mar 13, 2006 3:59:49 PM

So that our children will learn to write properly. (mover?)

Posted by: MHS '87 | Mar 13, 2006 4:04:39 PM

Sick Sick Sick.

Posted by: The Jones's | Mar 13, 2006 4:11:52 PM

why buy in Montcleh when Glen Ridge is a top school. cannot compare the two at all.

Posted by: Ern | Mar 13, 2006 4:14:27 PM

That's true Ern, Montclair was never the title subject of a true life gang rape movie.

Posted by: Stick it | Mar 13, 2006 4:20:27 PM

"My father sent me to old Rutgers..."

My mother sent me to Old Navy and all I have is this lousy T-shirt.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Mar 13, 2006 4:23:33 PM

lol - if you are going to post a negative comment about Montclair or its schools the least you could do is proofread before posting.

Posted by: hrhppg | Mar 13, 2006 4:26:01 PM

"My father sent me to old Rutgers..."

me too! go RU!

Posted by: State Street Pete | Mar 13, 2006 4:39:28 PM

Nishuane is a great school. It was my first choice and no regrets at all.

Posted by: sadie | Mar 13, 2006 4:46:30 PM

You get to pick which PUBLIC school your child attends? That's really weird -- shouldn't it be based on address, etc.

Posted by: talliewoo | Mar 13, 2006 4:50:41 PM


Here in Montclair it is a magnet school system set up for racial integration. So you get to "pick" your school. The ultimate decision is made based on the child's race and gender to ensure racial and gender balance.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 13, 2006 4:53:29 PM

Thanks, ROC.

Posted by: talliewoo | Mar 13, 2006 5:09:31 PM

Montclair's elementary schools all have a focus of some kind: international, gifted and talented (count 'em, 700+ parent-identified gifted and talented grammar-schoolers!), Montessori, family...

The theme seems to break up a bit at the middle school level. That's where, for our family, private school came into play. Just for a few years, though.

Then back to Montclair High, where any motivated student can get a better education than at MKA (seriously, AP anything, honors anything, French 5 are only offered if more than three kids sign up).

BTW, has Glen Ridge ever had FIVE early decisions to Harvard? I thought not.

Posted by: Vivian | Mar 13, 2006 5:32:33 PM

You're welcome Talliewoo. We're quite proud of our system and it's effects on ending racism.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (AC) | Mar 13, 2006 5:52:05 PM

Well, that should get the kid all ready to be fired based on race & gender - and let's not forget age - later in life when his/her job is outsourced.

It's a grand future waiting out there.

Posted by: crank | Mar 13, 2006 7:52:21 PM

Glen Ridge has probably not had 5 early decisions to any SINGLE school, since the entire graduating class is usually right around 100 students. It is a really big year this year, graduating 123. That includes several early decision Ivies, including Harvard, Dartmouth and Penn. Maybe others. I'm not totally in the loop.
I hate that people think that Glen Ridge High School is full of "bad kids". I have 2, one graduated and one still in the high school. Both studied hard, were considerate of other people, volunteered, participated in school activities and sports, stood up for friends with problems and both had large circles of friends who were just like them. I am proud of them and their friends.

Posted by: donna | Mar 13, 2006 9:04:11 PM

Are you proud of Porno Hate Train, a product of the Glen Ridge School system?

Posted by: silly willie | Mar 14, 2006 7:28:39 AM

When sixth graders bring knives and pellet guns to school in Montclair, the school and town are not blamed. Why then is Glen Ridge blamed for a band that chose to record offensive lyrics? Aren't these all examples of breakdowns in individual/parental responsibility, rather than a reflection of the morals and culture in a particular town?

Posted by: lurker | Mar 14, 2006 9:52:30 AM

Lurker, I think the viewed difference is that action was appropriately taken by the schools when the knife and pellet gun incident occurred and no one defended the actions.

Posted by: BeanCounter | Mar 14, 2006 10:11:10 AM

Montclair High is not in the top 75 in the state. Glen Ridge is in the top 10 or 20. No comparision whatsoever except for those that overspent in Montclair and want to justify their purchase.

Posted by: Ern | Mar 14, 2006 11:02:54 AM

My family didn't over spend, my family bought their house for peanuts and its has turned out to be a great investment. And our school experience was great. But to each his own.

Posted by: hrhppg | Mar 14, 2006 11:15:20 AM

Montclair has the responsibility of educating children of all races, income levels and abilities. It's well known that families with special-needs kids choose Montclair because of the district's extensive accommodations.

Glen Ridge teaches white children (with a few tannish ones thrown in) from a pretty darn homogeneous demographic. Like that's hard?

Try merging Glen Ridge with Bloomfield and then you might actually begin to replicate Montclair's school district. Average your rankings, and then you might actually be making a realistic comparison.

Educating a small number of demographically similar kids is just not a challenge. Well, except for getting them to learn to share their cocktail onions and stop slingshotting olives in the lunchroom.

Glen Ridge kids do just fine; I have no wish to denigrate their accomplishments. In recent years, they have even migrated up from the Lehighs and the Connecticut Colleges to attain Ivy admissions. But Montclair continues its decades-long heritage of placing top students in top schools. They recruit here for a reason.

Posted by: Vivian | Mar 14, 2006 12:06:44 PM

Click & Jump to our INSIDE PAGES:

· In Case You Don't Look at Our Announcement Box
· Window Painting
· Flatulent Friar
· Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend
· Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action
· Open Space Call For Action
· Closed For Renovations?
· Thrill Seekers
· Heroic Dudes
· Making Montclair's History Demo-Proof

May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004

A Friend Writes
April Fool's!
Bada Bing
Barista Does the Math
Barista's Sunday Poll
Betty Says
Brand New
Civic Virtue
Comings and Goings
Culture Club
Current Affairs
Cute as Hell
Don't Ask: Dating in Baristaville
Flu Shot Central
Food and Drink
From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Raymmmondo
Funniest Home Videos
Good Reads by Neil Baldwin
Growing pains
Help Your Barista!
In Your Dreams
Intersections We Hate
Karma Violation
Lights! Camera! Craft service!
Lights, Camera..... Roll Tape
Major Dudes
Marlboro Inn
Movie Mojo
Only in Montclair
Our Favorite Diversions
Paranoia Beat
Parties We Crashed
Party With Baristanet
Photo of the Week
Pop Culture
Postcards from the EB
Really Freaking Weird
Scooped by Phil Read, Again
Scot's Photo Journal
Seasonal Decorating Violation
Seen around town
Seen in Cyberspace
Shopping With Barista
Songs We Can't Get Out of Our Head
Suburban Archeologist
The Daily Chat
The Sunday Barista Poll
The View from Her Pickup
Those Crazy Kids
Time Capsule
We All Bow to Java
We Ask Random Strangers
Where For Art Thou?
Win Stuff
Yard Sale Treasure Map