Spring ERB Testing

TPS administers “the ERBs” each spring to students in 4th through 7th grade. Please read this letter carefully to better understand the process and to make note of the testing dates for your child(ren). Please do not schedule appointments for your child(ren) or other days away from school during the ERBs, as make-up testing is challenging.

What are the ERBs? And why do we administer them?
The Educational Records Bureau Comprehensive Testing Program, commonly referred to as “the ERBs,” is an assessment of concepts and skills in language arts and mathematics.

There are several reasons why TPS administers ERBs. The tests serve as a group diagnostic tool that helps us gauge our students’ academic progress relative to national and independent school norms. Group scores can help identify areas where a given cohort is very strong or has particular gaps. The tests can also serve as an individual diagnostic tool that helps us more fully understand each student as a learner.

In addition, the results of 7th grade ERBs are currently used in the application process to the School District of Philadelphia’s Special Admission High Schools (Central High, CAPA, SLA, etc.). Independent secondary schools also require standardized tests, such as the SSAT or ISEE. Taking the ERBs can provide important practice for future standardized assessments and help to lessen test anxiety for students.

It is important to understand what the ERBs do not test and to approach the results of any standardized testing with the appropriate perspective. The ERBs reflect a child’s performance on a given test on a given day, and they are by no means intended to be the definitive measure of a child’s ability or intellect.

ERBs do not measure creativity, perseverance, or passion; nor do they assess communication skills or the ability to collaborate. A standardized test is simply one of many lenses through which a child’s knowledge and skills may be measured.

The dates for this spring’s ERBs are

  • 4th & 5th grades: April 9-11
  • 6th grade: May 7-9
  • 7th grade: May 14-16  

If your child qualifies for testing accommodations, you will receive an email from a member of our Learning Resources team. Test results will be available in the early summer and will be shared with families shortly thereafter.