ISAAGNY, the Independent Schools Association of Greater New York, has published a chart for NYC private school kindergarten admissions, confusingly titled ISAAGNY ERB Chart.
What ERB test are they talking about? Is it the ECAA kindergarten test? It seems so, because the columns are titled "ECAA". ECAA stands for Early Childhood Admission Assessment (ECAA).
What is the ECAA? It is another name for a test that includes most subtests of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Why does the ERB--that's the Educational Records Bureau--need to call the WPPSI the ECAA? How oblique does this need to be?
Meanwhile, to make the NYC private school kindergarten story even more intriguing, the ERB has recently introduced yet another test. This one is called the Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners, or AABL.
So does ISAAGNY's chart mean anything at all? Even the NYC private school admissions group doesn't seem sure. From their site:
Please find a chart identifying those schools who will still require the ECAA test for Kindergarten, and those schools who will not for the 2014-2015 admissions season. As always, please check individual school's websites for further details.
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.
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 havemoreto 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.
Many NYC private schools are announcing they will not accept ERB scores next year for kindergarten entry. Instead, they will step up in-school testing/interviewing, looking to evaluate students' readiness for kindergarten, both academically and socially.
From one Manhattan girls' school:
Hewitt, as suggested by ISAAGNY, will not be requiring, or accepting, the ERB ECAA test for kindergarten or first grade applicants. We will also not be accepting any other standardized test scores in lieu of ERB scores.
Hewitt will continue to see our kindergarten applicants in groups of six girls before meeting with their parents for an interview. The girls will be greeted by two members of the admissions staff and brought to a classroom for group work, individual, and one-on-one work. Our objective is to uncover each girl's strengths and potential contributions. We will use a combination of those activities and games that we have developed ourselves and those that were recommended by ISAAGNY. Our assessment will be tailored to determine readiness for Hewitt's program and the activities will be developmentally appropriate and engaging.
We encourage you to tell your families that the best preparation they can give their children is to talk with them, read to them, make observations together and give them opportunities to draw and build with whatever materials are available.
Other private schools, while not requiring the ERB, may make sending the scores optional.
Meanwhile, Horace Mann WILL require the ERB, and a handful of other schools may as well.
Will a different test be introduced? I'll keep you posted. I'll also be keeping my clients posted on my preparation recommendations.
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