Friday, May 25, 2012

Princeton Review Law Suit: My Thoughts

The reality is that the case of Princeton Review, Inc. vs. The Federal  Government will get settled and it will be labeled a "victimless crime." There will be no trial and Princeton Reviews’ insurance will pay out the government. The thieves will get away with it and this case settlement will be long forgotten. Everyone will let this slip under the rug.

But the real victims here are the children, the students who never had the chance and benefit of high quality tutoring and test preparation, because I have seen first-hand at Kweller Prep what an incredibly positive impact high quality tutoring can have on a child. We have no government subsidies, so any kids we take low cost or on scholarship comes out of my pocket,

I'm very familiar with Princeton Review, and not surprised by the allegations. I run my own boutique test prep and tutoring center (Kweller Prep Tutoring in New York) and could never understand how The Princeton Review Company can keep their rates so low, never check homework, and not carefully monitor student progress while they seem to have so much staff. I also thought always thought that it was illegal for them to obtain private student data from public schools, such as home addresses and emails (beware! You can never get off a Princeton review email list serve!)

 I always suspected this company of bribing school officials or doing something shady. They seem to be in almost every low income school in New York, yet I never heard of their effectiveness from even one.

 We also had many students who went to Princeton Review prior to going to Kweller Prep, and they kept complaining how disorganized the program was at their school. We took such students at a huge discount, because they had already spent precious money on another program. I always felt so bad for the Princeton Review Kids in particular, because they usually would hear about Kweller Prep after taking Princeton Review and wasting their time, and wind up re-taking the SAT senior year.

Well, I guess when the government pays $75 per student per hour for group tutoring,  where there are 30 kids enrolled in a class, it all makes sense.

Shame on the Princeton Review, and shame on the Federal Government for knowing about this fraud since 2006, but not doing anything about it until they collected more evidence.

Perhaps the most stressful time in a student’s academic life is preparing for the SAT’s. My heart goes out to the kids who put their faith into the Princeton review and to all the parents who thought they were getting a “discount.” Shame on them for doing this to New York City children.  

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