ERIC Number: ED178616
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Implications of Minimum-Competency Testing for Minority Students.
Down, A. Graham
Most of the arguments lodged against minimum competency testing are really observations about the abuses of testing. Blacks and other minority groups are understandably mistrustful of recent developments in minimum competency testing--possible grounds for legal challenges include the adequacy of the phase-in periods; the match between tests and instruction; past and subsequent discriminatory practices; and the rationale for setting standards. Problems have been evident in New York City, Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina. Despite these reservations, Americans of all races who were polled about their educational attitudes favored minimum competency testing; 90% favored standards for grade promotion and high school graduation, and 80% favored prompt remedial instruction for students failing competency tests. The American public, and particularly blacks, indicated low levels of confidence in the quality of public school education. There is evidence, however, that testing programs have shown gains in student achievement in Anacostia (District of Columbia); Greensville County, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Gary, Indiana; and Detroit, Michigan. Minimum competency standards constitute a guarantee never before asked of public schools--that no child will leave school as a functional illiterate. This is why minorities can, and do, support the competency testing movement. (GDC)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Black Attitudes, Evaluation Needs, Graduation Requirements, Legal Problems, Minimum Competency Testing, Minority Groups, Negative Attitudes, Public Opinion, Racial Differences, School Districts, Secondary Education, State Programs, Test Bias, Test Results, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541 ($2.00 while supplies last)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Tests, Measurement, and Evaluation, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers: Information Analysis Products
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (San Francisco, CA, April 11, 1979); For related documents, see TM 010 017-020