Improving Postsecondary Entrance Exams

1913 WordsJun 22, 20188 Pages
Introduction A shocking and disturbing trend that the public has always noted in standardized tests is that minority examinees tend to score lower on standardized tests than their White, male counterparts. This has caused academic scholars to research this topic more to figure out what is preventing minority examinees from doing as well as their White, wealthy and/or, male counterparts and, thus, not having access to some of the same opportunities. These standardized tests consistently put these students at a clear disadvantage and this is counter to the nation’s overall goal to improve diversity in all aspects of life. This essay will discuss specific factors that put minorities at a disadvantage when it comes to standardized tests and…show more content…
As I mentioned earlier, techniques such as these are pretty sophisticated so they are good at detecting biases but they are not so good at explaining the source of these biases. When test developers cannot explain why a particular bias is present that item stays on the test since DIFs are unbiased, in theory, and anything else would require the test developers to use their judgment regarding the item in question. Unfortunately, Arbuthnot’s analysis of DIFs concluded by stating, “Their basis for the argument is that DIF items can favor both Black and White test takers. Ultimately, they claim that the differences equal out or negate the other.” If this claim were true, we should not see certain groups of people consistently scoring lower than other groups. Jay Rosner, the executive director of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) did an analysis of questionnaires and found that the majority of questions were biased especially in favor of whites, males, and wealthier students. He compared males to females and Whites to Latinos, as well as White to Black. What he found sheds light on the entrance test development process and could also explain why we do not see items biased in different groups favor actually cancel each other out and why we continue to see score gaps between some groups. Monica Rizzo analyzed
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