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How do private school tests (ERB or ITBS) compare to public school tests?


Marian February 9, 2009

Does anyone have experience with public school testing vs. private school testing? Did you notice much difference? Grade level by grade level, is one harder than the other?

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healthy11 February 9, 2009

Public school testing for NCLB varies by state.
Public testing isn't normed in the same way that ERB testing is. (I don't have experience with ITBS, but I believe it to be similar to ERB testing.)
When my son was in elementary school and his ERB test results were reported, it compared the results 3 ways: to how public school students performed, private school students performed, and how other students in that grade at that particular school performed. Although the ERB tests seemed more challenging, as a group, the students in private schools still consistently out-performed public students.


TeacherParent March 25, 2009

Once upon a time, the ERBs were considered the most rigorous of the then commonly used standardized tests. Only a few public school districts used ERBS though they were commonly used by private schools.
Since the advent of state standards and state mandated testing, public schools must use tests supplied to them by their state and written specifically to conform to state standards.
It would help to know why you ask to give your question the best answer but safely said - any testing - public or private, ERBs or ITBS or SATS or ACTS, all show the same results over and over again. Kids from more affluent homes do better on any and all of these tests than kids from less than affluent homes. If a school - public or private - has students from privileged backgrounds, their students always outperform students from less than privileged backgrounds. For all of the billions of dollars we spend on education in our country, for all the money we've poured into 'educational research', we have yet to figure out how to change the fundamental reality that you're far more likely to do well on tests and be successful in school if you're rich than poor. To compare a private school to most public schools then -based on their test scores alone - would be an unfair comparison even if both were taking the same test.

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