A number of writers in recent years have urged that other types of measures might prove fairer for groups with different backgrounds--in addition to or because of greater validity ( Frederiksen , 1984; Gordon, in prep.; M. C. Linn, 1992; Resnick & Resnick, 1992; Sternberg, Wagner, Williams, & Horvath 1995; Wiggins, 1993). These hopes turn especially on performance measures that are context-rich and more closely represent the cognitive complexity of real-life situations than is often the case with many current tests. These prospects give all appearance of raising the stakes on fairness in assessment, that is, the promise of gain through more interesting and more relevant tests, the hazard of loss through diminished generalizability and comparability of scores. As Messick ( 1995b) cautions, alternative measures must meet the same level of rigor regarding standards for validity--and for fairness--that are common to all tests. For fair testing, those standards require a clear understanding of the constructs being assessed and the consequences of their use for all examinees.
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