The Cure for the Common Core

We are often asked why The Grosse Pointe Academy doesn’t intentionally align with the Common Core and administer the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test to our students. The simple answer is that the MEAP tests are not broad enough to do justice to our program, nor do they compare our students to a similar population of high achieving students.

The CTP 4 test, on the other hand, which is administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), aligns with our whole child approach vs. a rote standardized testing – or “teaching to the test” – approach. The ERB CTP 4 test allows us to see how our students and curriculum fare when compared with other top students and independent schools. While both the Common Core and the MEAP reflect modest educational expectations designed to meet common standards and reach a broader school population, the ERB gives us a strong indication of how our students are doing when compared to the best and brightest in the country.

So what were the ERB results this year?
Students in grades 2-7 take the test and we receive national norms for grades 4-7. Of those benchmarked results, two thirds of our students scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the national norms in at least one subtest of the ERB CTP 4. This means that when looking at our students compared with the entire nation, the majority of them rank in the top 10% in at least one academic area.

How does taking the ERB benefit GPA?

Student Benefits:

  • Students placing in top percentiles may be eligible for university sponsored gifted and talented programs such as the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS).
  • GPA students are at distinct advantage when competing for high school admission or scholarships to elite independent schools.
  • The structure and difficulty of tests prepares students for college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT taken at the high school level.

Teacher Benefits:

  • High scores help faculty members identify students who may benefit from a more challenging curriculum, generally at a higher grade level.
  • ERB scores enhance our understanding of each student’s specific needs.
  • Reviewing trends across curricular areas allows faculty and administrators to evaluate the curriculum as a whole, identifying areas of strength as well as opportunities to offer additional challenges.

The Grosse Pointe Academy believes that the ERB best supports our philosophy of educating the whole child. This testing framework gives us the independence we need to both provide a rigorous curriculum that sets high expectations of individual achievement and individualize our approach for each child.