ERIC Number: ED336967
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
The Competency Testing Mine Field: Validation, Legal and Ethical Issues with Implications for Minorities.
Garcia, Peter A.
A genuine concern for the condition of education in the United States has led to misuse of standardized tests to measure teacher quality. The tests have been used for purposes of admission, advancement, merit, graduation, and certification contrary to research findings and test developer guidelines. The current use of tests has resulted in exclusion of ethnic minorities from the mainstream of society. Flawed processes used in test validation have resulted in gross misapplication of standardized tests with serious consequences for American education. Competency testing does not improve the caliber of teachers entering the profession, but simply denies access to some, mostly minorities. In multilingual populations, testing in English discriminates against individuals with other native languages. Remediation for the tests is difficult to accomplish and may not be effective. Court litigation has addressed two well-established legal principles relating to teacher testing: (1) the right of individuals to engage in gainful occupations of their choice, and (2) the state's authority to reasonably regulate. Other measures of teacher success may be more appropriate than competency testing. A 51-item bibliography is included. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Admission Criteria, Competence, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Ethics, Graduation Requirements, Higher Education, Legal Problems, Minority Groups, Standardized Tests, Teacher Certification, Teacher Qualifications, Test Bias, Test Use, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Theory, Research and Applications: Selected Papers from the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Bilingual Education (16th, Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 3, 1987); see FL 019 511.