ERIC Number: ED282932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Mismeasurement of Low-Income Blacks: A Quagmire for Counselors.
Since elementary school counselors frequently provide or interpret achievement test scores for academic placement decisions, they must be vigilant for invalid data. Standardized norm-referenced achievement tests can underestimate achievement or potential of low-income black children because of different learning styles and test bias. Recent research results confirm what many observers have suspected for a long time: standardized test scores are more significantly affected by social class than by race; and cognitive learning styles of low-income black children and their transition from concrete to abstract modes of communication may be different from other groups. Test data can become biased because items are more appropriate for middle class students; norms are not representative of low-income black students; and test readiness is not equally present in all groups tested. A planning model for counselors to avoid the probability of mismeasuring low-income black children on norm-referenced achievement tests includes: (1) review the test manual, especially for test validity, as it relates to low-income black students; (2) conduct workshops to help teachers communicate high expectations and check face validity of test items; (3) conduct workshops for parents to show their role in motivating students and in encouraging test readiness; (4) conduct workshops for students to disseminate test-wiseness information; and (5) evaluate previous workshops in a final workshop with all participants. (BAE)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Black Students, Cognitive Style, Content Validity, Economically Disadvantaged, Elementary Education, Low Income Groups, Models, Parent Workshops, Racial Differences, School Counselors, Social Differences, Teacher Workshops, Test Bias, Test Norms, Test Validity, Test Wiseness
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).