Tests do not measure creativity and individuality Tests are only used to label people Tests invade personal privacy Tests give inconsistent results Tests are often grossly misinterpreted Tests are unfair or biased
Testing and assessment are counselor activities thattypically stretch the boundaries of traditionally heldbeliefs on client rights. Due to the “weight” that test results often hold, thepractice of testing is closely regulated both ethicallyand legally.
Ethics refer to what one should or should not do,according to principles and norms of conduct.◦ Mandatory ethics◦ Aspirational ethics Laws are what one must do according to federal orstate legal mandates.
Negative public perceptions require that professionalsuse best practices. The ethical guidelines form the basis for determiningwhat is (and what is not) considered best practice. Many sources of ethical codes exist.
ACA Code of Ethics (2005) Rust Statement (2003) Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education (2003) Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers: Guidelinesand Expectations (1998) CACREP accrediting standards (2009)
Maintain professional competence Promote integrity within the discipline Uphold professional standards Ensure respect for human rights Contribute to society Identify counselors’ civic responsibility
ACA Code of Ethics standard E.1.b◦ “Counselors are responsible for the appropriate application,scoring, interpretation, and use of assessment instruments,whether they score and interpret such tests themselves or usecomputerized or other services.”(ACA, 2005)
Validity of assessment procedures Counselors must ensure that:◦ Tests are valid for the specific purpose they intend to use them◦ Tests must have adequate psychometric properties◦ Out-dated instruments should be avoided◦ Administrators are properly trained to give the test
ACA Code of Ethics standard E.2.a◦ “Counselors recognize the limits of their competence andperform only those testing and assessment services for whichthey have been trained…Counselors take reasonable measuresto ensure the proper use of psychological assessmenttechniques by persons they supervise.”(ACA, 2005)
Purpose of testing Characteristics of tests Settings and conditions of tests Roles of test selectors and administrators
Know their responsibilities Take tests of high professional standards Ask questions for clarification Listen to and read directions carefully Know the test location and administration schedule Follow all test instructions Report perceived unfair test conditions Ask about confidentiality
Select appropriate tests to use Safeguard client welfare◦ Protect against invasion of privacy◦ Disclose test results◦ Right to confidentiality◦ Right to least stigmatizing label Maintaining test integrity throughout Educating all clients
Purpose of the test (and process) Criteria used for choosing the test Testing conditions made available Skills to be measured Administrative procedures Types of questions client might see Scoring methods to be implemented
Note any unusual testing conditions that might haveimpacted the results. Behavioral observations Note client response style Testing details (time, place, day, etc.)
FERPA act of 1974◦ Gave parents the right to inspect their child’s academicrecords◦ Parents determine who has access rights to the child’sacademic records◦ Parents have rights to view child’s test scores and amendrecords if relevant◦ Established guidelines for what is and is not considered a partof a student’s educational record.
Part of the Record Excluded from Record Written documents Student advising folders Computer media Video or audio tapes/files Film Photographs Private notes of staff orfaculty members Campus police records Medical records Aggregate statistical datacollected as part of schoolassessment efforts
No student shall be required, without parental permission, tosubmit to psychological examination, testing, or treatment thatmay reveal information concerning mental and psychologicalproblems potentially embarrassing to the student or thestudent’s family.
HIPAA act of 1996 Client rights include:◦ Right to request certain restrictions on certain disclosures◦ Right to receive confidential communication◦ Right to inspect and copy information◦ Right to amend health information◦ Right to accounting of all disclosures Demands counselors develop and maintain an accounting ofdisclosures of private client information that clients can accessfor a period of 6 years.
Civil Rights Act of 1991◦ Codified testing principles (validity)◦ Abolished use of separate norming groups Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990◦ Provide reasonable and appropriate testing accommodations◦ Extended time, alternative locales, etc.
Public Law 94-142 (1975)◦ Fair and equitable access to education for everyone◦ Educators are responsible for identifying and providingspecial education in the least restrictive method to individualswith exceptionalities. PL 99-457 extended the above to all children above anage of three (3) years old.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990(revised in 1997)◦ Stipulated that multiple testing methods must be employedwhen attempting to diagnose disabilities◦ Must include the influence of cognitive and behavioralfactors in assessment
14th amendment guarantees all citizens due processand equal protection under the law. 1964 - the Civil Rights Act was passed. 1970 - guidelines were released by the EEOCregarding fair employee selection procedures. 1978 - guidelines were revised and published,affecting most public employment and institutionsreceiving government funding.
Griggs v. Duke Power Company (1971) Larry P. v. Riles (1974) Debra P. v. Turlington (1979-1984) Sharif v. NY State Dept of Ed. (1989) Soroka v. Dayton-Hudson Co. (1991)
Class action lawsuit filed on behalf of severalAfrican-American employees. Duke Power Co. required HS diploma and passingscore on two aptitude tests for higher levelemployment positions. Courts ruled neither requirement could be used (didnot measure skills needed for job).
California Dept. of Ed. was using IQ scores as thesole criteria for admission into special educationprograms. Minorities (who score lower on these tests) were over-represented in special education programs (California1969 – 9% and 27%). Courts ruled that additional criteria needed for thesespecial education placements AND the need forappropriate norm grouping.
Florida was requiring a passing score on a end-of-year competency test if a HS diploma was to beawarded. Many African-American students were not passing(80% pass rate; 98% for Whites). Statewide competency exams had to test a commoncurriculum and be publicized well in advance(curricular validity).
New York awarded scholarships and tuition breaks forthose students who score above a set cutoff on the SAT. This practice was ruled unconstitutional because it didnot use multiple sources of data in making scholarshipdecisions. Gender bias issues, what is SAT meant for?
Target department stores required security guards totake a personality screening exam (PsychScreen) as partof the hiring process. Exam asked several personal questions that were wellbeyond the boundaries of the position described.
Content bias – test material being more familiar toone group than another. Internal structure bias – scores may be reliable forone group but not for another. Predictive bias – occurs when an instrumentsystematically over-predicts or under-predicts a group’sperformance.
Remember that our primary goal is to promote thewelfare of the client. Engage in professional development opportunities. Continually monitor and challenge personal beliefsystems and attitudes regarding aspects of diversity. Demonstrate competence and employ practices thatare culturally-sensitive in your counseling work.