ERIC Number: ED029218
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Literacy Voter Tests.
Cortright, Richard W.
A review of the political controversy surrounding the constitutionality of literacy tests and fairness of judging literacy at a sixth grade level resulted in analysis of literacy voter tests in several states, and Louisiana and Alabama in particular. Both states required citizenship, age of 21, and ability to read and write any article of the United States Constitution, with Alabama requiring the English language be used. The Dale-Chall Readability Formula was applied to the Louisiana test and revealed a ninth grade reading level. The Flesch Formula was applied to the Alabama test, in addition; and the Dale-Chall reading level revealed a grade of thirteen to fifteen; while a third formula by Gunning revealed an eighth grade score. It was concluded that the tests were not based upon a sixth grade reading level, and either this grade should be changed to an eighth grade level or above, or a different test not requiring reading of the Constitution should be used. An alternative would be to teach registrants with special reading materials with technical political vocabulary. It was recommended that one consider the ability to take tests, to fill in blanks, and to complete multiple choice questions and sentences. (pt)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dale Chall Readability Formula; Flesch; Gunning Fog Index
Note: A paper prepared for the Workshop to Increase and to Improve University Teaching Training Programs in Adult Basic Education (March 9-18, 1969)