Home Education Handbook of Test Development
According to Standard 8.7 (AERA et al., 2014, p. 136), use accurate labels for reported scores. Do not use overly general labels that are not fully supported by test content. If you are categorizing test takers, use the least stigmatizing labels that are consistent with accuracy.
If you report group scores, warn score users how to interpret the scores correctly. Accompany the scores with “relevant contextual information, where possible, to enable meaningful interpretations of the differences” (AERA et al., 2014, p. 200, Standard 12.17). For example, a mathematics test in English may underrepresent the mathematical ability of English-language learners. (For more information on scoring and score reporting, see Cohen & Wollack, 2006; Hambleton & Zenisky, 2013; Lane, this volume; Lane & Stone, 2006; Shermis, Burstein, Brew, Higgins & Zechner, this volume; Zenisky & Hambleton, this volume.)
Allegations of Misuse
An unfair test use is an application of the scores that is out of compliance with the Standards and has harmful consequences for some group(s). According to Standard 6.10 (AERA et al., 2014, p. 119), you should state clearly how your test scores should be used. You may warn users to avoid likely misuses of the scores.
If you discover a clear case of misuse, you should educate the test user in how to use the score appropriately. Consult legal counsel to help you make decisions about how to handle continued misuse following your attempt to educate the test user. Some uses of tests are highly controversial, and opinions differ about whether the test uses are fair or unfair (e.g., use of students’ scores to evaluate teachers). Keep in mind that controversial uses are not necessarily misuses, before you take any action in such cases.
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