of Nine Principles on Equity and Educational
Testing and Assessment
The following statement was developed by a group of educational
seeking to ensure that concerns for equity would be reflected in all
efforts at assessment reform. Since the statement was articulated,
been signed by educational policymakers, measurement scientists,
educational researchers, school administrators, and experts on equity
diversity who represent a variety of perspectives and expertise.
these leaders have not always agreed on the particulars of assessment
reform, they have unanimously supported the need to address equity
excellence in tandem as assessment reform moves forward.
As policymakers move forward to develop new standards and
they should consider including the following principles, which will
to ensure that both equity and quality are dominant themes:
- New assessments should be field tested with the nation's diverse
population in order to demonstrate that they are fair and valid and
they are suitable for policymakers to use as levers to improve
before they are promoted for widespread use by American society.
- New standards and tests should accurately reflect and represent
skills and knowledge that are needed for the purposes for which they
- New content standards and assessments in different fields should
involve a development process in which America's cultural and racial
minorities are participants.
- New policies for standards and assessments should reflect the
understanding that standards and assessments represent only two of
interventions required to achieve excellence and equity in American
education. Equity and excellence can only be achieved if all
dedicate themselves to their tasks and are given the resources they
- New standards and assessments should offer a variety of options
way students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge and skills,
providing a best possible opportunity for each student to perform.
- New standards and assessments should include guidelines for
and appropriate use of the results and a review mechanism to ensure
the guidelines are respected.
- New policies should list the existing standards and assessments
the new standards and assessments should replace (e.g., Chapter 1
standards and tests, state-mandated student standards and tests) in
to avoid unnecessary and costly duplication and to avoid
schools, teachers and students who already feel saturated by
- New policies need to reflect the understanding by policymakers of
tradeoff between the types of standards and assessments needed for
monitoring the progress of school systems and the nation versus the
of standards and assessments needed by teachers to improve teaching
learning. The attention and resources devoted to the former may
for the limited resources available for research and development for
- New policies to establish standards and assessments should
teachers prominently in the development process.
(National Research Council, 1993)
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