The Standards for Education & Psychological Testing

Instructor: Alicia Taylor

Alicia has taught students of all ages and has a master's degree in Education

Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing tells readers everything they need to know about testing accurately and ethically, from classroom to counseling office to career.

A Test Without Standards

Your teacher hands out a test on simple addition. You're ready to ace this thing. After all, you have been adding since you were a baby. Mrs. Krause sets the paper in front of you, and you see that the entire test consists of word problems written in a foreign language you have never seen. Immediately, you foresee your final grade in math plummeting into an abyss of unfair testing.

Well, after you fail the Slavonic math test, you can go to the library and open up Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing to build a case against this test destroying your math grade.

Standards exists to provide guidelines for fair and accurate testing. Associations of psychologists (American Psychological Association) and educators (American Educational Research Association and National Counsel on Measurement in Education) worked together to develop this book, which is used and recommended by professionals in those fields as well as policy-makers whose work includes education. And perhaps even well-informed students who want to prove that they shouldn't need to know a foreign language to pass a math test.

Mostly, Standards is used for standardized tests. However, since Standards does everything possible to create and encourage fairness, you should be able to build quite a case for yourself. Let's take a look at each section of the book.

Part I: Test Construction, Evaluation, and Documentation

Our first stop on the fairness patrol is a visit to the test maker. Standards directs test makers to ensure that their tests only measure the one thing they say they test. In our case, that thing is addition. Our test maker, however, accidentally let a little bias sneak in by writing the test in a foreign language. Bias exists when certain groups will do better or worse based on something irrelevant to the test. For instance, a group of students who speak Slavonic will excel on our math test whether they know how to add better than us or not.

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