I’ve known for over a year that the ERB (WPPSI) is being revamped, but Pearson, the company that constructs the ERB test used for NYC private school admission, hasn’t announced when.

Finally, Jenny Anderson of the New York Times gives clarity to the issue:  New York City Schools Struggle to Separate Gifted from Merely Well-Prepared

The private school association is scheduled to vote soon on whether to abandon the E.R.B. test, Mr. Davison said, although some veteran school admission officials said it was unlikely they would vote to do so. For all of its faults and susceptibility to manipulation, it also gives schools in high demand a way to say no other than “we didn’t like you, or your child,” several admissions directors said privately. A new version of the test will be used starting April 1.

So it’s April 1st, the start of the new NYC private school kindergarten admissions testing season.

My sources tell me that the changes should not be significant, and I am confident that my testing partners will be able to handle preparation.

Anderson correctly points out that any new test that emerges is shortly followed by new test prep.

George Davidson, of Town School, believes:

…that the schools should develop their own test that would be administered by the schools themselves, and not by psychologists, who are widely believed to be, along with professors and consultants, among those supplying the tests to test prep companies.

Yes, a few psychologists do supply the tests to test prep companies, and also to individuals.  I once bought an ERB test on ebay.

It seems to me obvious that some moonlighting school administrator would also share the test.  So I don’t think Davidson’s solution would work.

Interestingly, it used to be that Manhattan, Brooklyn and Riverdale schools administered their own individual tests, and the ERB was developed to centralize matters and make kindergarten admission simpler.   Now schools are talking about going back to the old system, but they probably won’t because the ERB works so well for them.

With today’s ERB test prep, many more New York City students prep into the highest percentiles, but the lower scorers–often children with developmental lags– can still be easily screened out.  This simplifies kindergarten admissions decisions, which is in the private schools’  best interests even if it is not in children’s.