ERIC Number: ED179644
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Competency Testing and Equal Educational Opportunity. IRCD Bulletin, Volume 14, Number 2. Spring, 1979.
Haney, Walt; Kinyanjui, Kabiru
IRCD Bulletin, v14 n2 Spr 1979
After a period of striving for equal educational opportunity and progress toward that goal, American society is now shifting toward more emphasis on educational quality. However, some fear that the rise of Minimum Competency Testing (MCT) may hinder rather than help minority students' opportunities for equal education. Despite gains in the number of years of schooling, black students still fall far behind their white classmates in terms of test results. Racial disparities also appear in the area of curricular track enrollment since test scores determine who gets assigned to which high school tracks, and high school tracks help determine standardized test performance. Although the issue of test bias is relatively recent, much attention has been paid to possible remedies, including group parity models, which have been criticized as ineffective and discriminatory against other minority groups. Whether competency tests are unfair or biased depends on what happens to students who pass or fail the tests. If students who do not pass competency tests receive effective instruction to help them master basic skills or competencies and hence to proceed with their education, then the impact of MCT on equal educational opportunity may be positive. If not, the outlook is not promising. (Author/RLV)
Descriptors: Black Achievement, Black Students, Educational Quality, Equal Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Minimum Competency Testing, Minority Group Children, Racial Differences, Remedial Instruction, Secondary Education, Test Bias, Test Validity
Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. for Urban and Minority Education.