Last week, the New York Times ran this piece about how many private schools will no longer require the ERB’s. We asked two admissions advisors to weigh in with their reaction to this:
Its About Time…
The ERB test has been around since our twenty years collectively in the admissions world! It has been a valuable tool used to help admissions directors get another glimpse of the students they are viewing for their school. Unfortunately, this test has been compromised in many ways.
Some parents do not believe in the ethics of having their young children prepped for an IQ test. Sadly, these parents now feel that their kids will be at a disadvantage. The test is no longer at a level playing field and is no longer a fair assessment of the child’s abilities.
Other parents are over-prepping so much, that the results are inaccurate. The testing materials can actually be bought at this point for a very steep price. Scores mean little and can hide areas of weakness where kids need support. These tests are also not showing learning differences that would better serve a child to be addressed early!
However, there are disadvantages of not having this test. The ERB is one more piece of a complicated puzzle to use when evaluating a child – not only the score, but the comprehensive write-up the ERB provides about the child. If this write-up matches what the admissions associates observed in a playgroup, as well as what the nursery school report communicated, it was very helpful in making an admission decision.
If the write-up did not match, it was a clue that something was amiss and needed to be investigated. Without this piece, admissions directors are only relying on their own playgroup/child interview and a nursery school report – some of which are completely honest while others tend to build up all children, not addressing all of their needs and behaviors. Families will also be much more dependent on the Nursery School director and their relationship with her.
Not having a uniform test is a shame, but the ERB is no longer that test.
Jennifer and Vimmi
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