Ability Testing: Report of the Committee

Ability Testing: Report of the Committee

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This document describes the theory and practice of testing; illuminates competing interests in a balanced fashion; and helps those who make decisions with tests or about testing to reach better-informed judgments. Part 1, the report of the Committee, presents a wide-ranging discussion of testing issues. The text has been kept largely free of the critical apparatus of scholarly literature. Chapters 1 through 3 provide an overview of the controversies surrounding testing, an introduction to the concepts, methods, and terminology of ability testing, a brief history of testing in the United States, and a discussion of the proliferation of legal requirements that have come to surround the use of tests. Chapters 4 through 6 describe test use for employment selection and educational purposes, point out common types of misuse, and make recommendations about how tests might be better used to preserve the integrity of the technology while at the same time responding to legitimate social, institutional, and individual goals. Chapter 7 takes a look at the limitations of standardized tests and then attempts to establish a sense of proportion by placing the controversy over testing within the context of the larger social currents that influence the course of national life. (Author/GK)It was generally agreed that the traditional college preparatory courses did not suit most of the new students. ... This movement for administrative efficiency was similar, both in its nature and in the type of people who supported it, to the civil service reform movement in the 1880s. ... including competitive examinations, to Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, and New Jersey, as well as to several large cities.

Title:Ability Testing: Report of the Committee
Author:Alexandra K. Wigdor, Wendell R. Garner
Publisher:National Academies - 1982


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