Archive for April 24th, 2003

24th April

First Published in The New York Sun, April 24, 2003

By Andrew Wolf

Parents of children in New York’s best private schools are finding that they are getting less information about their children’s performance than they expected, due to a new testing policy. This has raised concerns that the private schools are falling victim to the same type of lowered expectations that afflict many public schools. The new policy comes from the Educational Records Bureau, the New York-based non-profit organization that prepares and administers tests for 1,400 private schools and suburban school districts across the country. Rather than provide percentile scores that allow parents to evaluate and compare their child’s performance in a specific way, the ERB’s CTP 4 tests for the youngest children now give results in just three categories. These are different from the tests that the ERB administers on behalf of private schools that are used for admission purposes.

The ERB describes the new policy on its Web site in the following way: “Important to note is that Levels 1 and 2 are standards-based tests that avoid undue attention to comparisons for very young children. Committees of elementary school teachers from ERBmember schools reviewed samples of papers to decide levels of student performance defined as Exceeds Expectations,Meets Expectations, and Developing. The score reports will present the percentage of local students in each of these categories, without scale scores, percentile ranks, or stanines.” (more…)