Normally, I don't buy women's service magazines, whether secular or frum. I'd rather curl up with a good book, or a sefer. However, when I'd heard that Mishpacha's Family First had an article about a little girl that had been rejected from six different nursery schools, my curiosity got the better of me. The author had supposedly done everything right. Both she and her husband had grown up frum, and the little girl had gone to playgroup. However, the schools were rejecting her over things like the school the author had attended, or her driver's license, or the way she looked, or other outright snobbery. (Reminded me of my Bais Yaakov of Doom experience.)
Then I got to thinking.
The child in question is two years old. TWO! She has no academic record or test scores. I doubt she could spell her own name yet. And yet, because of lifestyle choices that had nothing to do with her, she was rejected six times, sight unseen. Now, of course, most parents think their kids are the greatest. However, a nursery school should only be thinking of admitting kids until they are full. (In all fairness, one class was already full between siblings and legacies before enrollment opened--but that's one out of 6. That's 16.6 percent!) Have we finally come to the point where we dance attendance on a school's whims? Where they are in control? Where details about a person's childhood or lifestyle are more important than educating our children?
Why do we have yeshivas? I always thought it was to impart Torah values to our children. Builder insists that it's the best environment for our kids to learn good middos. However, unless we change our attitude, the only benefit to a yeshiva education will be a notch in the belt--and that won't really play out too well with Hashem.
(BTW--the magazine included an article about homeschooling--for parents who want to avoid this craziness.)