View Full Version : All NYC Abandoning E.R.B. Test for Kindergarten Admissions May Also Put End to a Status Symbol

09-26-2013, 09:54 AM
From N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/education/on-entrance-test-whose-days-appear-numbered-a-95-just-wasnt-good-enough.html) by Winnie Hu:

When other preschool parents bragged that their children had aced the admission test for New York City private schools with a top score of 99 in every section, Justine Oddo stayed quiet. Her twin boys had not done as well.

“It seemed like everyone got 99s,” recalled Ms. Oddo as her sons, now 7, scampered around a playground near Fifth Avenue. “Kids you thought weren’t that smart got 99s. It was demoralizing. It made me think my kids are not as smart as the rest of the kids.”

Her sons’ scores? Between them, they had one 99 and the rest 95s, which would still put them in the top 5 percent of all children nationwide.

A decision last week by a group of private schools to move away from the test, commonly known as the E.R.B., will spare many 4- and 5-year-olds from a rite of New York childhood that dates back half a century. But it could also bring an end to a particular New York status symbol — a child with knockout scores — and to the uncomfortable conversations that occur each year when results start rolling in.

From the Upper East Side to Brooklyn, score-dropping in playdates and parks is common, with high marks flaunted by the parents of children who excel with 99s and anguished over by those who have to explain anything less.

One wealthy couple even celebrated their daughter’s 99s by throwing a catered bash at their Hamptons home with their closest preschool friends, said Bige Doruk, founder of Bright Kids NYC, which prepares several hundred children for the test every year. “I was thinking to myself, ‘What are they going to do when their kid gets into their school of choice?’” she said.

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