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Some Points of Confusion in Discussing the Testing of Black Students

Flaugher, Ronald L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Black Students, Minority Groups, Psychometrics, Test Bias, Test Validity, Testing Problems


Four confusing issues that have delayed progress toward an awareness that testing is not a source of unfairness for minority students are discussed: (l) the assumptions underlying most of our psychometric manipulations are often not acknowledged or understood; (2) the extent of the objectivity of psychometrics is frequently exaggerated; (3) the meaning of certain terms, particularly "validity" (largely because it has both a technical and common usage), is quite confused; and (4) the understanding of just what function the tests are serving shifts from one function to another, unnoticed by those concerned.

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