Assessing Basic Academic Skills in Higher Education: The Texas Approach

By Richard T. Alpert; William Phillip Gorth et al. | Go to book overview
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While it is common practice to have a bias review at one or possibly two points in the development of a test, we decided to highlight the prevention of bias throughout the project at the following times:
when it is decided what skills to measure;
before and after a validation survey of these skills;
when item specifications are developed;
when items are developed;
when field test results are available; and
when the standards are set for the test.

There is still another way that we are working to prevent bias. Because some minority groups have received lower scores on tests nationally, we have sought good minority membership on all our committees in the groups of survey respondents and field test participants. Of the higher education faculty in the state, 12.5 percent are minorities. On the TASP committees, 35 percent of the serving members are minorities. These educators have been tireless in their determination that the test will be fair to all students. Their dedication serves all Texas students well.


Summary

Thus, through our contractor's procedures in Massachusetts, the large number of reviews in Texas by educators, the scrutiny by Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board staff, and statistical analyses, we have deliberately made bias prevention the ongoing responsibility of all persons involved in the development of the test.

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