Re: Welcome to Dialogue on Equity in Educational Assessment

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

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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