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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99119 Find in a Library
Title: Recipe for Research - Intelligent Blacks Plus Inappropriate Tests Equals Genetic Inferiority
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:36  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:110-115
Author(s): F Besag; J B Greene
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The issue of racial bias in testing is considered within the context of a study comparing the performance of black and white incarcerated juvenile offenders on the California Achievement Test (CAT), the Peabody Individualized Achievement Test (PIAT), and the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery (W-J).
Abstract: A comparison of placement categories assigned to the 143 white and 243 black youths indicate that not only were the blacks overrepresented in 'exceptional education needs' categories, but blacks were more frequently deemed to be in need of special-needs evaluation than were whites and were more likely to be categorized on the basis of test evaluations. A comparison of CAT scores for black and white youths, some of whom were administered the PIAT and some the W-J, showed no significant differences between the groups for either black or white youths. However, a comparison of PIAT and W-J scores indicates that, while there is no difference in PIAT and W-J scores for whites, there are significant differences between the scores for black youth on both the reading and math tests, with the W-J scores being significantly lower. Further, while interracial differences in reading and math were significant with the W-J, they were not significant with the PIAT. On the basis of these findings, it is argued that standardized tests are inappropriate for placement decisions because they may contain socioeconomically biased items, are referenced to an inappropriate standardization sample, do not discriminate well at the nonnormal ranges, and produce abnormal distribution scores among incarcerated samples that are inconsistent with the parametric statistics used for norming tests.
Index Term(s): Black juvenile delinquents; Educationally disadvantaged persons; Juvenile correctional education; Juvenile Delinquent needs assessment methods; Racial discrimination; Remedial education; Testing and measurement
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