The ERB’s booklet, What to Expect on the ECAA, makes fascinating reading.
In the booklet, the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) maps out explicitly what is on the WPPSI and WISC (confusingly, also known as the ECAA), revealing to parents the tests’ content. The company goes on to recommend preparation strategies, going so far as to suggest some educational toys and tactics for one-on-one parent/child work. The company’s writer states:
The more you actively create opportunities for your child to develop these skills throughout his/her daily experiences, the more successful he/she will be when those skills are measured.
Even more importantly, the ERB believes that your work with your child may not only result in higher ERB scores, but also superior child mind development! What’s not to like?
However, g*d forbid you should hire someone or buy a book to help your child with the test. So much to worry about! Your tutor might be unqualified. Your ERB workbook might be inaccurate. Suddenly you are engaging in “overpreparation” and “excessive test preparation activities”.
But it gets worse. The ERB cautions:
Artificially inflating your child’s performance in order to gain admission to your school of choice is a short-term strategy that can result in long-term negative consequences. Ultimately, your child will flourish in a learning environment that is best suited to his/her unique skills and abilities. If children are placed in an educational program that is misaligned with their abilities, they may experience poor academic performance, frustration, reduced self-esteem, and difficulty connecting with their peers.
So if you work with your child, you can instill “lasting benefits for your child’s educational experience.” But if a tutor does, there can only be negative consequences.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The problem here is that most New York private school applicant parents are very confused, receiving a mixed and not very believable message from the ERB. This adds to their stress during what is usually a very stressful period.
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