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DeFunis Reconsidered: A Comparative Analysis of Alternative Admissions Strategies

Hunter M. Breland and Gail H. Ironson
Journal of Educational Measurement
Vol. 13, No. 1, On Bias in Selection (Spring, 1976), pp. 89-99
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1434495
Page Count: 11
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DeFunis Reconsidered: A Comparative Analysis of Alternative Admissions Strategies
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Abstract

Selection fairness is explored in the context of data from the Supreme Court case of DeFunis v. Odegaard, and societal demands for increased numbers of minority lawyers and other professionals. Data from the case are applied to psychometric models of selection fairness under a range of assumptions. Even with the most generous assumptions, none of the models considered would satisfy societal demands as represented by DeFunis. It is concluded that solutions to the selection dilemma may not be found in psychometric models. Several suggestions are made to lessen the burden on psychometric models, including mere recruitment of minority applicants, tutoring, the development of new measures for use in selection, and the adoption of new instructional techniques.

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