For legions of 4- and 5-year-olds and their parents, the test known as the E.R.B. is the entree into the world of private schooling, its pressure and price a taste of the expensive years to come.
Gabriella Rowe, head of the Mandell School, which has dropped the test. “None of us can truly trust the E.R.B. results because the prepping materials are so accessible,” she said.
But parents who grumble about a test that they fear could determine their children’s educational future now have company: some of the private schools themselves.
At least two schools in Manhattan have dropped the exam as a requirement for admission starting this fall, bucking a trend of more widespread use of such tests. More broadly, a powerful coalition of New York schools is contending that pretest preparation, which they believe skews the results, has become so widespread as to cast doubt on the value of the test.