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Cultural Considerations in Standardized Testing

Conduct a literature search (through ProQuest, Ebsco Host, etc.) and review 5-7 articles on multicultural issues and standardized test use with a particular population (special population) of your choice. Popular magazines, news articles, and unpublished articles will not be allowed. The literature review should focus on the most current information (past five to ten years).
Your discussion should include the following:
1. Cultural, language, family, ethnic, etc. factors that the test user should take into consideration when selecting a particular test for this population.
2. Multicultural issues to consider when administering particular tests to this population.
3. Multicultural issues that can lead to incorrect interpretations, and evaluations and explanations of test performance.
4. Language proficiency, language comprehension, and writing related issues in the administration and interpretation of test scores for this population.
5. Examples of test adaptations used for this population or suggestions on how to make adaptations to the administration of test.
6. Suggestions on how to improve the reliability and validity of test interpretation with this population.
7. Multicultural guidelines to be considered when assessing populations of various cultural backgrounds.

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Focusing on Latinos (Hispanics) as a special population, there are several important issues to consider when you consider cultural factors in the context of high stakes, standardized testing.

Many studies show the bias of standardized tests against minority students. The SAT and other tests have been shown to produce results favoring white students (Gandara & Lopez, 1998; Holman, 1995).

Teachers who use culturally responsive teaching strategies have reported frustration with the outcomes of standardized exams, stating that students' test scores frequently contradict the teachers' personal classroom observations and assessments (Hood, 1998).

Cultural issues such as a great respect for authority in the Latino culture plays a part in students' performance in the classroom and on standardized tests. Other issues, such as a tendency to NOT make guesses on tests factors in as well, especially on a test such as the SAT which only counts the correct answers- students aren't penalized for wrong guesses. In the Latino culture, however, there is a bias against making a guess because of the risk that the answer is wrong.

Bandura's (1997) work on self efficacy shows us that Latino students tend to have a lower academic self efficacy than White students. Latinos do not believe themselves capable of performing a task well to achieve a desired outcome; this translates to poor confidence levels when attempting to take a standardized test, and therefore lower performance than White students.

Students who consistently perform poorly on standardized tests in the Latino community have parents who then begin over time to distrust the education system. Parental involvement is ...

Solution Summary

An examination of the cultural considerations inherent in standardized testing specific to the Latino population. Test bias is discussed, in the context of student learning, test development, test administration, and student performance. References are provided.