Fairness in Educational and Psychological Tests: Critical Issues and Solutions (2017)


The meeting was supported by the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Research Conference grant fund, as well as the Buros Center for Testing, to examine fairness in testing issues from multiple professional perspectives of nationally recognized scholars including professionals from educational policy, educational measurement, school psychology, clinical/counseling psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology. Topics included fairness issues and methodologies for individuals of different cultural backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and English Language Learners. Each speaker was selected based on a record of scholarship focusing on these areas.

Conference Goals

The goal of the day and a half meeting was to allow featured speakers to present and engage in an interactive discussion to identify gaps in research and practice and to develop action plans. In addition, the participants worked in advance to produce a presentation and written summary of key ideas reflecting their expertise. A key meeting outcome will be to bring more attention to fairness in testing by engaging and disseminating ideas from the meeting to key constituents and our broader professional communities through collective published scholarship and future professional conference presentations.

Meeting Outcomes

The book Fairness in Educational and Psychological Testing: Examining Theoretical, Research, Practice, and Policy Implications of the 2014 Standards edited by Jessica L. Jonson and Kurt F. Geisinger includes chapters from each of the conference presenters. To learn more and access the resource visit, https://www.aera.net/Publications/-Online-Store/Books-Publications/BKctl/ViewDetails/SKU/AERWFEPT.

For more information about the meeting contact Dr. Jessica L. Jonson at jjonson@buros.org

Meeting Rationale

A substantive change to the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME) was the elevation of fairness in testing as a foundational element of professional practice in addition to validity and reliability. The Standards endorse the view that all steps in the testing process--including test design, validation, development, administration, and scoring procedures--should be addressed in a manner as to minimize construct-irrelevant variance and to promote valid score interpretations for the intended use for all examinees in the intended population. Therefore, this meeting attempted to advance current scholarship on critical issues and best practice methodologies for investigating fairness in educational and psychological tests. Although the Standards provide general guidelines for testing practice, the Standards do not cite key empirical or methodological scholarship related to recommendations or include examples or recommendations for practice. Therefore, goals for this meeting were to: identify critical fairness issues addressed by the Standards and important to testing in different professional fields; share empirical or methodological scholarship for investigating fairness across different types of educational and psychological tests; and identify gaps in research or practice to encourage advancements in how fairness evidence is gathered, used, and documented for tests.

Topics and Featured Speakers


PresenterTitleVideo links
Dr. Kurt Geisinger, Buros Center for Testing An Historical Overview of Fairness in Testing Click to View Recording

Panel Presentations I:
Fairness in Testing: Big Picture Issues and Solutions

PresenterTitleVideo links
Dr. Linda Cook, ETS Increasing the Impact of the 2014 Joint Standards Click to View Recording
Dr. Diana C. Pullin, Boston College Fair's Fair. Or is it? Testing Quality and Quality Testing in the World We Live In Click to View Recording
Dr. Greg Camilli, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Four Key Issues When Considering Test Fairness according to the 2014 Standards Click to View Recording
Dr. Martha L. Thurlow, National Center for Educational Outcomes Fairness in Testing: Back to the Basics in a New Educational Context Click to View Recording
Dr. Wayne L. Camara, ACT Emerging Fairness Concerns as a Result of Current Policy, Practice, Technology, and Methodology

Click to View Recording

Dr. Catherine Welch, University of Iowa Key Concerns about Fairness in Testing: Practical Applications in Achievement Testing Click to View Recording

Panel Presentations II:
Fairness in Testing: Subgroup Considerations--Race/Culture, English Learners, Individuals with Disabilities

PresenterTitleVideo links
Dr. Samuel O. Ortiz, St. John's University Theoretical, Empirical, and Practical Issues in Testing English Learners Click to View Recording
Dr. Azara L. Santiago-Rivera, Merrimack University Depression and Latino Adults: Measurement Issues Click to View Recording
Dr. Lisa A. Suzuki, NYU Steinhardt Fairness Issues in Psychological Testing and Assessment: Addressing Cultural Equivalence Click to View Recording
Dr. Cara C. Laitusis, ETS Fairness and Accessibility: Challenges and Solutions in Scoring Click to View Recording
Dr. Ryan J. Kettler, The State University of New Jersey Key Concerns About Accessibility of Tests for Students with Disabilities Click to View Recording

Panel Presentations III:
Fairness in Testing: Testing in Context and Measurement Issues

PresenterTitleVideo links
Dr. Frank C. Worrell, University of California, Berkeley Gifted Identification, College Admissions, and Implications of the "Flynn Effect" and Re-normed Cognitive Tests for Special Education Identification Click to View Recording
Dr. Harold W. Goldstein, Baruch University Strategies for Reducing Subgroups Differences on High Stakes Intelligence Tests Click to View Recording
Dr. Guillermo Solano-Flores, Standford University Key Concerns about Fairness in Testing of English Language Learners and Proposed Solutions: Research Contributions Click to View Recording
Dr. Neil J. Dorans, ETS Tests as Contests, Overview of NCME Fairness Volume, and a Welcome Challenge Click to View Recording