ERIC Number: ED441652
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Testing Hispanic Students in the United States: Technical and Policy Issues.
Figueroa, Richard A.; Hernandez, Sonia
In the rush to implement world-class standards supported by systems of accountability in public schools, education leaders have compromised the educational future of Hispanic students by making high-stakes decisions based on inaccurate and inadequate testing information. State policies often require that Hispanic students be assessed in English with tests they don't understand or in Spanish with alternative but less rigorous tests, whether or not they are receiving instruction in Spanish. Neither approach produces accurate information about student learning, but the results are often used to hold students, rather than educators or the public school systems accountable. Where exemptions from testing exist, Hispanics disappear from accountability systems. This report aims to bring attention to the growing crisis of "invisible" Hispanic students and provide guidance on rectifying the conditions that allow Hispanic students to be wrongly measured and unaccounted for in their own schools. Chapters cover: (1) basic questions about cultural and linguistic influences on test scores; (2) historical context of educational and psychometric testing of linguistic and cultural minority groups; (3) standards for educational and psychological testing and Office for Civil Rights guidelines; (4) six sources of test bias with Hispanic test-takers; (5) Hispanic performance on achievement tests and efforts by the National Research Council to address the testing of English language learners; (6) diagnostic testing for special education; (7) other types of testing; and (8) a summary of 7 options for the testing of Hispanic children, followed by 18 recommendations to the Office for Civil Rights, educators, and researchers. An appendix contains standards for testing individuals of diverse linguistic backgrounds. (Contains approximately 180 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Achievement Tests, Bilingual Students, Educational Assessment, Educational Diagnosis, Educational Testing, Elementary Secondary Education, Hispanic American Students, Limited English Speaking, Mexican American Education, Special Education, Student Evaluation, Test Bias, Testing Problems
ED Pubs, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OIIA/Hispanic/rr/.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (ED), Washington, DC.