Big news that the old NYC private school ERB–the WPPSI–is being replaced with a new ERB–the AABL (Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners) at Horace Mann and Riverdale.  As the summer approaches, we will see which other private schools will follow.

From Horace Mann’s site:

Horace Mann School requires the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (AABL) for Kindergarten and First Grade applicants. The AABL assessment is an iPad-administered, child-friendly assessment of a child’s development in verbal and quantitative reasoning, early literacy, and mathematics. AABL was developed for PreKindergarten through Grade 1 applicants by national experts in early childhood literacy, mathematics, and gifted and talented. AABL assesses constructs that are deeply grounded in theory and research to identify a child’s ability and achievement levels. The AABL has been in development since 2011 and has been extensively field-tested during that time.

Our School’s decision to require the AABL for admission ensures that every applicant for Kindergarten and First Grade at Horace Mann School has completed a standardized measure of reasoning and achievement that is psychometrically valid.

Fascinatingly, the new AABL test willl be administered on an iPad.  While this will save money, it fundamentally changes the nature of the test from one administered person to person to a child working alone on an electronic device.

The new ERB test, rather than being pitched as an IQ test, is instead supposed to assess ability and achievement in math and pre-literacy. Sections include math, phonics, and pre-reading skills, subjects that were not previously tested.  So preschoolers now have more to learn to succeed.

Whether the AABL has any longterm predictive value is a complete unknown since the test was only recently developed.  In my own experience, I find that many very bright children are late blooming readers.

We are recommending prep tutors for the ERB and child interviews to our NYC private school consulting clients.  To learn more, NYC top educational consultant.