Today Javier C Hernandez of The New York Times wrote what is sure to be the most hotly discussed article of the fall: Private Schools Are Expected to Drop a Dreaded Entrance Test

Is the ERB indeed dead?  This is HUGE NEWS.

Uncertainties abound:

  • How many New York City private schools will actually drop the ERB?  Horace Mann claims it will continue to use the test.  However, it’s only September.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • The private schools say they will make their own kindergarten assessment; however, directors are not sure yet what they will assess.  George Davidson, head of Grace Church School, hopes the new test will include handwriting and a child’s ability to recognize his own name.  Hmm, fine motor and pre-reading skills will be there.
  • What this will mean:  A decrease in test prep?  No, sorry.  The genie is out of the bottle.  Parents are going to be calling test prep companies strategizing about to what prep they should subject their four-year-olds.  Already, child interview prep is up.  Unfortunately, now that trend will continue until more is known about the new assessment.
  • As long as Manhattan, Brooklyn and Riverdale private schools rank and sort four-year-olds and pretend to be able to predict long-term school success based upon preschoolers’ performance during brief meetings, parents will respond.  It is ALWAYS true that tests are followed by test prep which is followed by test revision which is followed by test prep revision.  Sorry, four-year-olds.  Davidson’s assertion that “You’re not going to hire a $2,000 tutor to teach them their name” does not hold water in today’s hot climate.