Dr. Linda Cook

Dr. Linda CookTitle

2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing: Chapter 3, Fairness in Testing


Chapter 3 of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, developed jointly by AERA, APA and NCME, addresses the importance of fairness as a fundamental issue in protecting test takers and test users in all aspects of testing. A key emphasis of the chapter is that fairness is a fundamental validity issue that requires attention throughout all stages of test development and use.

The “Fairness in Testing” chapter, as it appears in the 2014 revision of Standards, represents the most extensive change to any of the chapters that appeared in the 1999 version of Standards. The chapter was created by combining three separate chapters that appeared in the 1999 version of Standards and provides a unified perspective on fairness that includes a discussion of accessibility and universal design. This presentation will cover all major concepts presented in the “Fairness in Testing” chapter and will discuss each of the 20 standards presented in the chapter individually.


Linda Cook retired from Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey, in 2010 after 32 years of employment. Linda served in a number of roles at ETS, including principal measurement statistician, principal research scientist, executive director of the Admissions and Guidance area, vice president of assessment and director of the Center for Validity Research.

Cook currently serves on a number of advisory panels, including the Technical Advisory Committee of the Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) Consortia and the ETS Visiting Panel for Research. In addition, Linda is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), and American Psychological Association (APA), Division 5. She formerly served on the NCME Executive Board and as president of NCME. She has also served as vice president of AERA Division D, Measurement and Research Methodology and was a member of the Joint Committee for the Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

Linda earned a bachelor of science in chemistry at Ursinus College, a masters in education of the deaf from Smith College, and a doctorate in educational measurement and statistics from the Univeristy of Massachusetts. Her primary research interests are the fairness and accessibility of assessments for examinees with disabilities and linking academic assessments. Cook has published numerous articles and several edited volumes on these topics.

  1. Become familiar with general views of fairness.
  2. Develop some understanding of threats to fair and valid interpretations of test scores.
  3. Become familiar with issues related to appropriate use of accommodations and modifications.
  4. Become familiar with the standards that appear in the “Fairness in Testing” chapter.