Re: Welcome to Dialogue on Equity in Educational Assessment

Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 15:39:05 EST

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    I would like to start out by asking the panel, and anyone else who cares to
    comment, what may be considered a philosophical question about equity in
    assessment - is the problem with the measurement or what is being measured?

    As we all know, there can be significant differences in measured
    achievement among different sub-groups participating in an evaluation.
    These differences can also change depending on the type of assessment used.
    The question is then how do you determine if these measured differences
    reflect an actual difference in learning or comprehension, or are in fact
    an artifact of the assessment process?

    Since we are dealing with gender equity, an obvious example of this is the
    difference between standardized test results and teacher assigned grades.
    Males, in general, have higher scores on standardized tests, and females in
    general receive higher class grades. Are standardized tests biased against
    girls and grades a more accurate measure of achievement? Are class grades
    biased against boys and standardized tests a more accurate measure of
    achievement? Or do any - or both - of these results point to differences
    in actual learning?

    Stephanie Barlow

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