This from a reader:
I wonder if this is worth a discussion?I have heard several friends at different preschools express frustration over the following: Preschool Directors who insist on parents applying to at least 5 schools, who then turn around and fight for the families who only applied to 3 schools and were not accepted at any of them, to the detriment of families who did follow the rules and got in to a second choice school. (We did not have this issue, but two close friends and several acquaintances have all shared their stories and I am disappointed/ upset for them.)Here's an example: Family A, at XYZ preschool applies to 5 schools at the direction of their ED, Plum School is their top choice and really the only school they care about. Family B at XYZ preschool ignors the repeated urging of the ED and applies to only their top two or three schools, Apple School is their top choice. When the letters come out, A gets into Banana School - a fine school, but low on their list, they immediately contact Plum to indicate that Plum is their first choice, and to please keep them in the Waitpool; A is told by the AD that they are at the top of the list. A calls the ED of the preschool to indicate that Plum is still their first choice and they would like help advancing their case at Plum. The ED hears that A got in to a school and mentally crosses A off her list of things to worry about.Family B gets in nowhere - they took their chances against the advice of the ED and it seriously backfired. Now they are scrambling. Apple is still their number one choice, but there is no movement on that WL. Family B calls the preschool ED very upset and demands help in getting into ANY school. The ED does not want an unplaced child - that reflects poorly on the school. So what does the ED do? Goes to bat for the kid who has no spot because their parents refused to follow the ED's rules.Ultimately B gets into Plum - their second choice, and A loses the spot because the ED went to bat for B instead of A (who had Plum as their first choice).Assuming they were both basically "qualified" is it fair for B to get the spot over A just because B didn't have any acceptances (by their own doing)?The EDs obviously need to help all families get in to schools - but I have heard repeatedly this year how unfair the system has been to those families who did everything they were told to do. I wonder what others think and what the solution might be. I heard that one preschool is requiring parents to sign a contract with the ED that commits the parents to applying to a minimum of 5 schools, and if they don't apply to 5, they explicitly agree that the ED will have no obligation to help them if they do not get in anywhere. This seems more ethical to me. I understand that the EDs want everyone to get in, but it does seem extremely unfair to families that did everything that the ED asked to be penalized for doing so, while families who (some arrogantly) believed that they did not need to follow the rules are then rewarded for their flouting of the rules.