Abacus4Thanks to Jennifer Senior of New York Magazine, for a penetrating, insightful, original look at testing and test prep for the preschool set.  The article’s key points: the ERB, Stanford-Binet, and OLSAT don’t do a good job predicting intelligence, and the children of wealthy, educated, savvy parents benefit most from all the preparation options now available.

Senior explores what would happen if the private schools put less weight on the ERB:

That doesn’t mean, however, that the selection process will become more democratic. “I’m afraid schools will be judging the child in ways that aren’t any better,” says Emily Glickman, founder of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting. “There’ll just be more weight on the school report, and what the nursery-school director says about the child verbally. And often kids who come from expensive, high-cachet nursery schools have elaborate evaluations written about them, because the preschool directors themselves have a high stake in the class’s placement success.” And in the case of private schools, she notes, even more emphasis may be given to a family’s socioeconomic status: “The kindergarten-admission process has always been about openly judging a 4-year-old and secretly judging the parents’ wealth, connections, and likeliness to give.”