3
Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests and Testing Professionals

Ruth B. Ekstrom, Patricia B. Elmore, and William D. Schafer


INTRODUCTION

Test standards have several purposes. They guide the actions of test developers by helping to ensure the quality of the test instruments. They also guide the actions of those who administer, score, and interpret tests and make decisions based on test results and help ensure appropriate treatment of test takers. And they have implications for the training of measurement professionals and other test users. In this chapter, we discuss test standards from three perspectives: (1) standards related to the characteristics of the test instrument itself; (2) standards intended to guide test users; and (3) standards related to the professional qualificafions and training of test users.

The chapter focuses on standards for educational and psychological tests. It omits any extensive discussion of test standards as they relate to employment testing. Neither does it discuss standards for tests that are primarily of a physiological nature, such as those employed in neurological examinations or tests of vision, hearing, and so on. Finally, this chapter focuses on test standards as they exist in the United States; other countries also have test standards. These omissions are not intended as indications that test standards are less important in these areas. They simply reflect the authors' area of expertise.

Test standards are not a static thing, as is evident from the following brief history of such standards in the United States. New standards are being created and revisions are taking place. For example, the 1985 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, which are the fourth in a series, were being revised while this chapter was being written. The authors of this chapter used test stan-

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