The chapters in the first part of this volume are based primarily on presentations made at the conference "Assessing Basic Skills in Higher Education," sponsored by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., and held in April 1988 in New Orleans. This conference brought together a number of outstanding educators to discuss issues related to basic academic skills assessment in higher education. Much of the conference focused on the development of the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP).
In the second part of this volume, we have reproduced several documents pre-dating or resulting from the Texas Academic Skills Program. The chapter "Bias Concerns in Test Development" is a reproduction of the manual used throughout the test development process for the TASP Test. This chapter benefited greatly from the comments of educators from various parts of the nation, including members of the staffs of both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency, and the committees of Texas educators involved in the development of the TASP.
Though this book focuses on the Texas approach to assessing basic academic skills in higher education, it also deals with general issues of national concern. It should be of interest to state higher education program administrators and policy-makers, deans and faculty members of colleges, state legislators, and educational professionals working directly in or with institutions of higher education.
This book presents a number of perspectives on a compelling and timely topic and provides insight into the construction of an important testing program. We hope it proves valuable to the reader.