As if the impending battle for the hearts and minds of basketball lovers in the boroughs weren’t fierce enough, what with the Brooklyn Nets loading up on Hall-of-Famers and all. Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images Outgoing Knicks GM Glen Grunwald Which is all the more reason to wonder why Grunwald would, in essence, be ousted at all. It strikes me as a bit unusual for a GM to lose his job after the team he put together tallied 54 regular-season wins and netted its first postseason series victory since 2000. Then again, if coaches (i.e. George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro) can get the ax after leading their respective franchises to historic seasons, why shouldn’t GMs “enjoy” that same “privilege?” Remember, Grunwald’s the guy who brought Tyson Chandler to New York. He’s been responsible for digging up bargain-bin gems left and right, from Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak to Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni. He may not have been the chief architect behind the Carmelo Anthony tradethe credit for that belongs to Donnie Walshbut he certainly had a hand in the matter. This isn’t to suggest that Grunwald was in any way the perfect GM. To bring Chandler on, he had to use the team’s one-time amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups. That left then-coach Mike D’Antoni without an experienced floor general to run his point-guard-heavy system and the Knicks without an easy means of clearing Stoudemire’s onerous contract from their cap sheet. And if we’re going to give Grunwald credit for greasing the wheels on the ‘Melo deal, we’d also have to apportion some blame to him for New York’s decision to give $100 million to a player, in Amar’e, whose knees were uninsurable. Last year, Grunwald neglected to make an actual contract offer to Jeremy Lin before the MSG fan favorite signed off on a “poison pill” pact to take his “Linsanity” act to the Houston Rockets .
It makes me really sad that four-year-olds are getting this kind of tutoring, said Dr. Nancy Close, PhD, a pediatric psychologist at Yales Child Study Center, who never recommends test prep at the preschool level. I wish parents could feel more confident in the way they are parenting, whether reading to their children, or helping them develop socially, all of the intangibles that a child take into a testing situation. Close says that the ERB and other developmental assessments like it are a rather benign experience for most toddlers. The ERB, administered to an individual child by a child-studies expert, takes around 45 minutes and has two parts: the verbal, which covers vocabulary, similarities, and listening comprehension, and the non verbal where a toddler interacts with pictures and blocks. Afterwards, a child is compared to students his or her age, by both year and month, in the national population. A parent receives three percentile scores, one for each section and one overall test score. The problem, according to Close, isnt the test itself, but the fact that children have great radars. They are fully aware and sensitive to an adults reaction to the admissions process, and when a parent gets fixated on a particular school, they too can feel quite anxious about it. Launa Schweizer, a humanities teacher at Brooklyn Heights Montessori, and a former lower school head of one of New Yorks most leading private schools, agrees that the ERB test itself isnt the root of the problem. Related Story Discovering That Your 18-Month-Old Is Using an iPad in Pre-School Its the cost, the stress, and the potential for people to try to game the system, Schweizer says. And since the citys private schools are already very tight and the parents who apply to them tend to be high powered, these factors are amplified. Take the parents who consider a 99 in each section of the ERB a status symbol or the wealthy couple who celebrated their daughters high scores with a catered bash for her preschool friends in the Hamptons. Its hard to believe these New Yorkers will suddenly become rational, well-adjusted parents because this particular admissions test has been phased out. Indeed, there is already trepidation about what exactly will replace the ERB. After all, its not as though theres any indication that New York private schools are overhauling their admissions standards or revamping private school culture.