ERIC Number: ED151124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Implications of Current Assessment Procedures for Mexican-American Children. Bilingual Education Paper Series, Vol. 1 No. 1, August 1977.
Mercer, Jane R.
Disproportionately large numbers of Mexican American children are labeled as mentally retarded by the public schools and placed in special education classes. Two explanatory hypotheses are discriminatory referral procedures and discriminatory clinical procedures. Findings from research conducted between 1963 and 1969 concerning these processes and procedures indicate that clinical assessment is the primary factor in disproportionate placement of Mexican American children in classes for the mentally retarded. The primary instrument used is the standardized individually administered intelligence test, i.e., the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test, Form LM, or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). Failure to take cultural differences into account and failure to recognize the cultural biases in these tests are the primary reasons for disproportionately large numbers of Mexican American children being labeled as mentally retarded. The logic of the pluralistic evaluation of intelligence is based on a three-step process: identifying sociocultural characteristics correlated with IQ for Mexican American children; developing a sociocultural index for classifying children by family background; and interpreting the IQ against two normative standards--the standardized norms of the test as published in the test manuals and the pluralistic norms based on the distribution of scores for persons from comparable sociocultural backgrounds. (NQ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.; California State Dept. of Mental Hygiene, Sacramento.; Office of Bilingual Education (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Univ., Los Angeles. National Dissemination and Assessment Center.