For many years, young children applying to enter elite private schools in New York City had to take the ERB, which was supposed to be like an SAT for toddlers.

Now these schools have decided to drop the ERB as an admission test because of the pervasiveness of test prep. According to a story in today’s New York Times:

Next year, the test, commonly known as the E.R.B., is likely to be dropped as an entry requirement by most of the schools. A group representing the schools announced this week that, because of concerns that the popularity of test-preparation programs and coaching had rendered its results meaningless, it would no longer recommend that its members use the test.

“It creates a lot of anxiety in families and kids that is unnecessary,” said Patricia Hayot, the head of Chapin School, who leads the group, the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York. “We’re being brave. We’re trying to explore a new way.”

The decision quickly upended the frenzied arena of private school admissions. The association represents 130 private and independent schools, including some of the city’s most respected institutions: The Dalton School, Riverdale Country School and Packer Collegiate Institute, among others.

Now it is time for colleges and universities to drop the SAT as an entry requirements. Tutoring for the SAT is pervasive and very expensive. In New York City, the “best” tutors earn as much as $700 an hour. Getting prepped for the SAT is a very expensive proposition.

Consequently, SAT scores reflect family income even more than they had in the past. All standardized tests are reflections of socioeconomic status. Now the effects of family income are exaggerated by the families’ ability to pay for private tutoring.

When I took the SAT many years ago, the College Board insisted that coaching had no effect on the scores. Then they changed their story and admitted that coaching can raise scores. Then the money race was on. And the SAT scores heavily favor the rich.