ERIC Number: ED371042
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
What Do We Mean by Equity in Relation to Assessment?
The United Kingdom has a history of performance assessment even for accountability purposes, as the public examinations (standardized achievement tests) at age 16 demonstrate. What the country does not have is a strong history in the area of equity. Debate and policy-making, when concerned at all, have been concentrated on equality of opportunity, but there has been relatively little interest in equality of outcome. Equity does not imply equality of outcome and cannot presume identical experiences for all. Both are unrealistic. Equity in assessment rather implies that assessment practice and interpretation of results are fair and just for all groups. Experience in the United Kingdom with performance assessment suggests that high stakes performance assessment can change curriculum focus and broaden teaching. It is possible to use performance assessment for accountability and certification purposes. Problems do arise, and some of these are discussed in the context of assessment pertaining to the National Curriculum. Although there is no such thing as a perfectly fair test, paying attention to assessment administration and scoring can make tests more fair. Although equality of outcome is not possible, genuine equality of access is a necessary goal. (Contains 22 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Accountability, British National Curriculum, Educational Assessment, Educational History, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, High Stakes Tests, Outcomes of Education, Performance Based Assessment, Policy Formation, Scoring, Test Bias, Test Construction, Test Use, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United Kingdom
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).