Saturday, July 17, 2010

Testing Race


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via maia medicine on 7/16/10

Testing Race:





A new study supports research from 2003 showing just how culturally biased the SAT is against African American students, for whom the Reading score was 99 points behind the average for white students. The research shows just how that might be as well: The African American students performed worse on the questions the test deems easy, perhaps because they are common usage words students absorb rather than learn. They are the kinds of words that might take on different meanings in different communities. African American test takers actually performed slightly better than the average white test taker on harder questions — those words that are more likely to be learned — and would benefit by as much as a 100 points if the SAT scores were weighted toward giving more points for harder questions.

Yet another example of how white people's inability to think outside their own communities fucks everybody else.

i remember….i guess hearing something about this years ago, about how there are all these latent cultural and class assumptions in the test. like how one of the questions was, if a hour has four bedrooms, how many people live in that house? …………. i mean. i dont think i need to explain that one just in case, if you've grown up, as many people of color do regardless of class, with extended family living with you, or friends or whatever, you know how many people live in that house = how many people CAN live in the house. but the SAT isn't going to take things like that into account.

not just the SAT either - tests for elementary schoolers on reading comprehensionwill have things like (to recall an example i think i read in an article or book once), "the kids have tents, fishing poles, matches, what are they doing?" and the answer is camping, which is messed up because… okay this one i really think i don't need to answer.


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