This module examines different sources of bias that are present in commonly used standardized language tests. Different types of bias are identified including linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic status bias. Cate explains the bias present in specific items from different language tests and intelligence tests. Cultural prejudices are also compared to demonstrate the cultural biases many examiners bring to the assessment process. Cate emphasizes the importance of considering culture and cultural expectations in testing bias. What one culture may consider essential to child development, another culture may consider irrelevant. In addition, Cate discusses the importance of dialect. Just because a child is not bilingual doesn’t mean standardized tests are valid or appropriate. English dialect speakers are also frequently misdiagnosed with language impairment because the tests penalize features that are part of typical development for those speakers.
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20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004).
New York City Department of Education, (2001). Standard Operating Procedures Manual for the Committes on Preschool Special Education. Retrieved from http://schoolsstg.nycenet.edu/NR/rdonlyres/E8BD811F-1607-465A-850E-F82C04B5A6A8/59495/CPSESOPM2001FINAL4.pdf