ERIC Number: ED363618
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-12
A Technological and Historical Consideration of Equity Issues Associated with Proposals To Change Our Nation's Testing Policy.
Madaus, George F.
The equity of a national examination system using authentic assessments is discussed from technological and historical perspectives. Testing is, in fact, a technology embedded in sociotechnical systems such as education, government, and business. The historical perspective is important because it provides lessons for present policy. The first section of the paper offers reasons from the history of technology for proceeding with national testing with caution from an equity point of view. In the second section, the historical evolution of technology is described, and how that evolution brought about the present revolution in testing is traced. Section 3 describes the historical paradox associated with testing policy aimed at assisting the underprivileged. The final section lists the following characteristics of a high-stakes examination system that will be necessary for ensuring equity: (1) a level playing field of social and educational conditions; (2) a clear definition of purpose; (3) the need to recruit more minorities into testing; and (4) the need for an independent monitoring agency. The technical and equity considerations of a national examination system require that we proceed with the utmost caution. (Contains 115 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Policy, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, High Stakes Tests, Minority Groups, National Competency Tests, National Programs, Performance Based Assessment, Policy Formation, Student Evaluation, Test Bias, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Ford Symposium on Equity and Educational Testing and Assessment (Washington, DC, March 1992).