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ETS Contributions to the Quantitative Assessment of Item, Test, and Score Fairness ETS R&D Scientific and Policy Contributions Series DIF SEA

Dorans, Neil J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Test Fairness, Differential Prediction, Differential Item Functioning (DIF), Score Equity Assessment (SEA), Quantitative Analysis


Quantitative fairness procedures have been developed and modified by ETS staff over the past several decades. ETS has been a leader in fairness assessment, and its efforts are reviewed in this report. The first section deals with differential prediction and differential validity procedures that examine whether test scores predict a criterion, such as performance in college, across different subgroups in a similar manner. The bulk of this report focuses on item level fairness, or differential item functioning, which is addressed in the various subsections of the second section. In the third section, I consider research pertaining to whether tests built to the same set of specifications produce scores that are related in the same way across different gender and ethnic groups. Limitations with the approaches reviewed here are discussed in the final section.

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