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ERIC Number: ED423281
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-16
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Why Is It So Hard To Agree on Professional Testing Standards? A Test-Publishing Perspective.
Green, Donald Ross
As the new version of the "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing" is being developed, it is apparent that putting together a set of standards for test publishing involves many difficulties. Although the basic intent of almost all parties involved is similar, there are many potential areas of disagreement among parties to the standards, which include test publishers, test sponsors, test users, and test takers. Areas of general agreement include the nature of validity and evidence for it, the importance of reliability, and general considerations of test construction. However, that areas of agreement about validity exist does not mean that agreement on specific wording is easily obtained. Test developers and school systems know that the uses of the test cannot be controlled by the developer. For this reason, asking the test developer for evidence of validity in specific situations is likely to be an area of disagreement. Trying to ensure that all necessary steps toward fairness and test bias have been taken is another area of potential disagreement about what the "Standards" should specify. Other issues come up in the section of the "Standards" related to educational testing that make it difficult for the parties to agree on what the "Standards" should say. One is the area of opportunity to learn. As it is being written, the standard for making decisions about student promotion or graduation requires that the test cover only what students have had the opportunity to learn. Determining what this is poses problems for all concerned. Other problems on which the "Standards" have little chance of gaining agreement are the testing of students of limited English proficiency and the tendency of state legislatures to pass testing requirements that cannot be met for one technical reason or another. It is difficult to agree on professional testing standards because the various groups have legitimately different interests and because the "Standards" are easy to misunderstand. Another reason is that the wording chosen can leave publishers, developers, sponsors, and users open to public and even legal attacks by those who dislike the outcomes or have political axes to grind. (Contains four references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A