Test Validity

Test Validity

Test Validity

Test Validity


Technological and theoretical changes over the past decade have altered the way we think about test validity. This book addresses the present and future concerns raised by these developments. Topics discussed include:

• the validity of computerized testing

• the validity of testing for specialized populations (e.g., minorities, the handicapped) and

• new analytic tools to study and measure validity


On May 28-29, 1986, a conference entitled "Test Validity for the 1990s and Beyond" was held at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. The purpose of this conference was to provide an assessment of the current state of research and practice in test validity and to indicate future directions. With testing expected to undergo significant changes in the years ahead, driven in part by demands of users and in part by advances in technology, we felt it would be useful to bring together some eminent scientists closely involved with test validity and ask them to contribute their views on the subject.

In our opinion, the conference was very successful with a broad range of interests and opinions expressed. This volume is intended to make the conference presentations available to a wider audience.

The chapters contained herein were prepared especially for this volume. The talks given at the conference were based upon the papers but were not necessarily identical to them. At the conference we were fortunate to have Professor Donald B. Rubin to discuss the presentations. An edited transcription of his remarks is appended to Section IV. We decided to include his comments because his wide- ranging remarks often provided both context and generality for the invited contributions.

The volume contains all the proceedings of the conference with one notable exception. One afternoon was devoted to an abbreviated mock trial based on an actual court case that focused on the validity of pre-employment tests used in screening applicants for places in a firefighter academy. Although tests have been increasingly involved in litigation, few of those attending the conference had actually participated in or viewed legal proceedings of this kind. Presenting this trial allowed a close-up view of the nature of the legal argument, as well as . . .

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