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ERIC Number: ED141467
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: 0
Ethnic Minorities and National Standardized Testing.
Spencer, Thelma L.
This paper provides a historical review of national standardized testing and its relation to ethnic and racial minorities. In the pre-World War I period, psychological testing was conducted on the large masses of immigrants that were arriving in the U.S., and on black and white army draftees. Generally these tests showed that black draftees and refugees scored lower than the white middle class. No one in this period questioned the appropriateness of these tests for people whose backgrounds, language, and life styles were different than the majority of the population. But then, as now, the cultural bias inherent in such tests served the very useful purpose of labeling. Until recently race was still not considered to be a factor in test sampling. Furthermore it is only recently that there are provisions made in test administration for children whose first language is not English. Many who presently oppose the use of standardized tests with minority and ethnic groups and blacks do so out of the belief that such tests, especially intelligence tests, cannot be divorced from the cultural frame within which the individual exists, lives, and learns. While it may be argued that procedures of test development are less biased now than forty, twenty, or ten years ago, two problems remain to be solved: the development of test content representative of a pluralistic American society, and more appropriate use of tests and test results. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Third Annual Conference of the Society of Ethnic and Special Studies (Atlanta, Georgia, November 12-15, 1975)