Sibling Preference vs. Meritocracy

, New York Law Journal


Daniel J. Kornstein is a partner in Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard. "It is terribly unfair to the child who should be in a G&T program but is excluded because of it," he argues, "because another child, who had scored lower on the qualifying test, was accepted due to the other child having a sibling already in that program."

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What's being said

  • Jacob Suslovich

    MR. Kornstein opposes sibling preferences as being at war with meritocracy and apparently the G&T program should be based only on pure meritocracy and not on any other considerations. Unless, of course, the other consideration would be to champion racial and ethnic diversity in education.

    For most people, meeting the needs of a large family is difficult. The juggling of schedules, especially when both parents work either by choice or by economic necessity, is difficult enough without having siblings attend multiple schools, with multiple PTAs, car pools, etc. If a second sibling cannot get into the program, the parents do indeed have a choice – but it is a choice that often will, indeed often must , result in the child who does qualify even without the sibling advantage being deprived of the opportunity to attend the program because of, to paraphrase Mr. Kornstein, nothing other than happenstance over which the first child had no control. Mr. Kornstein is elevating abstract theory (at least when it does not impact on politically correct affirmative action) over practicality. By failing to accommodate families with more than 1.2 children on average, Mr. Kornstein argues for a policy that is more and more becoming unfriendly to larger families.

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