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    Griggs vs. Duke Powers Company

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    An analysis of the biases related to the assessments in the case
    The ethical implications for diverse populations in relationship to the case
    The role of norming in creating bias

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    (1) An analysis of the biases related to the assessments in the case

    The case referenced is "Griggs vs. Duke Powers Company" The Supreme Court issued a ruling that went against Duke Powers to emphasize the prohibition of discrimination in the workplace, Duke Powers had required that employers outside of its Labor Department have a high school education and a passing score on a standardized intelligence test (Rosenthal, 2013). In its ruling, referring to the "Disparate Impact", the court expanded the protection of African American and other minorities that had been granted earlier under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Under Title VII, racial discrimination was prohibited by, "policies, or tests, neutral on the face and even neutral in terms of intent that...operate as built in headwinds for minority groups [and] unrelated to job performance" (Rosenthal, 2013, pp. 2157-2158). The Supreme Court utilized this ruling focused on "disparate impact" that in effect changed the employment opportunities for African Americans and minorities in the workplace. The ruling was designed to break down" arbitrary and artificial barriers to employment for individuals due to race. The ruling held that Title VII protects individuals against overt discrimination and practices that seem fair, but are discriminatory. The court upheld testing as a requirement for employment when employees were evaluated (Case: Landmark).

    However, the court emphasized that the testing had to be appropriate for the population being tested, and that test must be aimed to test for job performance, and not directed at the person. In arriving at its decision, the court explained that Duke had failed to show that its testing practices fulfilled a genuine need for the company, and that the tests used was a valid measure of job performance. The tests were shown to be biased against African Americans, but the Court extended the ruling to other minority groups.

    (2) The ethical implications for diverse populations in relationship to the case

    The ethical implication relative to the case is that the ruling support both the American Psychological Association (APA, 2000), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA, 1999) standards for test users. The APA issues several guidelines regarding ethnic and diverse population for test users. The Council or Representatives devote a section to test users, "The Test User Qualifications Guidelines" are focused on two specific objectives: (a) addressing the core knowledge and skills essential to those who use tests to make decisions or formulate policies that affect the lives of test takers, and (b) emphasizing the expertise needed by test users when administering, and interpreting tests and test results.

    Section 4.0 Ethnic racial, cultural gender and linguistic variables (ERCGL) consider the following:

    (a) ERCGL requirements may restrict testing, scoring interpretation, analysis and use of test data for different groups depending on the purpose.
    (b) In some instances (e.g. employment testing) the use of gender, race and/or ethnicity in test interpretation is considered illegal.
    (c) Test uses should be advised of appropriate legal, regulatory requirements on test use, and follow the legal requirements.
    (d) They must adhere to issues associated with ERCGL, or other classification in the l999 version of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing guidelines.

    NOTE: Unlike, the APA (2000), the AERA (1999) does not address specific ethnic cultural, and gender issues. Guidelines for the test user is included in the "Fairness in Testing and Test Use" section (AERA, l999, pp. 73-84).

    (3) The role of norming in creating bias

    Based on APA standards set forth by the (2000) Council or Representatives, "Norms [the group that was tested] may not be applicable for ethnic minorities and persons of a low socioeconomic background. As an example when a tests normed on a Caucasian sample is administered to African Americans, or other minorities, it can create biases in several ways including: (a) test wording, (b) b language, and(c) culture. For instance bias still exist in many standardized tests that adversely impact African Americans and other minorities (Groth-Marnat, 2003). For this reason, the APA, took steps to address ethic, racial, cultural and gender issues to emphasize the disadvantage regarding test taking for some groups when tests have been normed on a different group; and administered to a minority group without regard to ethnicity and cultural background.

    References cited:

    APA Council of Representatives (2000). Report of the Task Force on Test User Qualifications. Section # 4 "Ethnic, Racial Cultural, Gender & Linguistic Variables". Retrieved from http://www.sylvanlive.ecollege.com.course information.

    American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Authors.

    Groth-Marnat, G. (2003). Handbook of psychological assessment (4th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Landmark: Griggs s. Duke Power Company. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.naacpldf.org/case/griggs-v-duke-power-co
    Rosenthal, L, (2013). Saving disparate impact. Cardozo Law Review, 34 (6), 2157-2209.

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