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Some NYC Private Schools To Drop Entrance Exam Requirement

Group No Longer Recommending Test For 4- And 5-Year-Olds
A nursery teacher reads to children at a private nursery school. (file/credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A nursery teacher reads to children at a private nursery school. (file/credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Starting next year, a New York City private school entrance exam for 4- and 5-year-olds may no longer be required.

The group representing the schools announced it will no longer recommend the use of the test.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, a fair amount of parental anxiety and expensive prep have been spent on the test known as the ERB.

Lydia Spinelli, director of the Brick Church School on the Upper East Side hailed the decision to get rid of it.

“It’s very, very hard to put a number on a 4-year-old,” she told Diamond.

The head of the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York says the growth of test preparation had rendered its results meaningless. Patricia Hayot, who also leads the Chapin School, says the schools are still free to continue to use the exam.

Many private schools say they won’t be using the test next year, but experts said a new exam is likely to replace this one.

“To tell the schools what the cognitive skills of the child are. So something is going to replace this and the question is what,” Karen Quinn, also known as the testing mom, said.

The Educational Records Bureau, which administers the test, defended it. It says having a uniform assessment was in the best interest of the children and schools.

The association represents 130 private and independent schools.

The private schools are looking for a replacement exam that would assess non-cognitive skills like attention span, Diamond reported.

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