Mom Sues Pricey Preschool For Dashing 4-Year-Old’s Ivy League Chances

Did a private preschool kill a 4-year-old's shot at Harvard?

I love New York. I grew up there. But I thank God my kids didn’t have to go to preschool there (Cambridge is bad enough.) Read on to understand why (and then file this story under mental illness):

The mother of a 4-year-old is suing her kid’s $19K-a-year preschool for apparently ruining the child’s shot at getting into an Ivy League college, The New York Daily News reports.

How? The report suggests that by dumbing down the classroom with 2-and 3-year-olds in the mix, and offering play, not rigor, and a less-than-stimulating curriculum of blocks and shapes, the child might not get in to Harvard.

In court papers, Nicole Imprescia suggests York Avenue Preschool jeopardized little Lucia’s chances of getting into an elite private school or, one day, the Ivy League.

She’s demanding a refund of the $19,000 tuition and class-action status for other toddlers who weren’t properly prepped for the standardized test that can mean the difference between Dalton and – gasp! – public school. “This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another,” said Mathew Paulose, a lawyer for the outraged mom.

Impressed by the school’s pledge to ready its young students for the ERB – a test used for admission at top private schools – Imprescia enrolled her daughter at York in 2009. A month into this school year, she transferred the child out of the upper East Side center because she was forced to slum with 2-year-olds.

“Indeed, the school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom,” the suit says. The court papers implied the school could have damaged Lucia’s chances of getting into a top college, citing an article that identifies preschools as the first step to “the Ivy League.”

Study: Higher Education Linked To Lower Blood Pressure

A new report finds women with higher education degrees have lover blood pressure over a lifetime

By Marielle Segarra, WBUR intern

There are many ways to decrease your blood pressure. You can diet, exercise, quit smoking and reduce your stress. But Brown University researchers have found another path to lower blood pressure, particularly for women: getting an undergraduate or master’s degree.

In a study published Sunday in the open access journal BMC Public Health, researchers found that women who had 12 years or less of schooling (up to high school), measured 3 millimeters of mercury higher on blood pressure tests than women who attended school for at least 17 years. Men had a 2 mm difference.

Eric Loucks, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of medical science at Brown, says that on an individual level, the difference in blood pressure is not earth shattering. But if the overall education system shifted to reflect these findings, public health as a whole could improve significantly, he said.

In the paper, Loucks examined 4,000 patient records from the 30-year Framingham Offspring Study. The study participants were the children of members of the Framingham Heart Study, which found that smoking cigarettes causes heart disease, and elevated blood pressure can cause stroke.

Other studies have linked heart disease with lower education levels, but Loucks wondered if the connection was even stronger, and if the biological underpinnings of heart disease (blood pressure, in this case) were also affected by educational level.

Upon closer examination, the female participants had much more dramatic results. Continue reading