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How Good is Good Enough? Educational Standard Setting and its Effect on African American Test Takers

Jade Caines and George Engelhard, Jr.
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 81, No. 3, Special Issue: Testing and Assessing African Americans: Past, Present, and Future Problems and Promises (Summer 2012), pp. 228-240
DOI: 10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.3.0228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.3.0228
Page Count: 13
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How Good is Good Enough? Educational Standard Setting and its Effect on African American Test Takers
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Abstract

Standard setting (the process of establishing minimum passing scores on high-stakes exams) is a highly evaluative and policy-driven process. It is a common belief that standard setting panels should be diverse and representative. There is concern, however, that panelists with varying characteristics may differentially influence the results of the standard-setting process. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine whether or not the judgments of standard-setting panelists are related to select personal characteristics (gender and race/ethnicity) and educational context (geographic region and socioeconomic status) for two high-stakes examinations in one southeastern state. Results suggest that personal characteristics are not systematically related to level of recommended cut scores. Educational context, however, is an influential factor.

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