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International Journal of Testing Call for Proposals: Special Issue on Equity and Fairness in Testing and Assessment in School Admissions

24 August 2020

International Journal of Testing Call for Proposals: Special Issue on Equity and Fairness in Testing and Assessment in School Admissions

Guest Editors: Sang Eun Woo, Bart Wille, & Stephen G. Sireci

Over the recent years, there have been active debates over the use of standardized tests in college and graduate admissions around the world, due to concerns about score disparities resulting in disparate admissions outcomes. Due to such fairness concerns, in the U.S., several colleges and universities have decided to suspend the SAT and ACT requirements for their applicants, which generated a number of heated discussions both within and outside the academia. The use of the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs) in graduate admissions is also being hotly debated for similar reasons, and a number of graduate programs in the U.S. have opted to remove the GRE requirement from their admission processes, at least for the upcoming admission cycle. In Chile, the country’s University Selection Test (PSU) has been strongly protested against, on the ground of social justice and educational equality.

The issue of test fairness and equity in school admissions warrants rigorous and systematic investigations from multiple perspectives (e.g., legal, economic, psychometric). Therefore, we are announcing a special issue of the International Journal of Testing on this topic. We invite proposals for empirical and/or methodological papers that identify, clarify, and address issues related to equity and fairness in admissions testing and assessment. Empirical and methodological contributions will be preferred, some non-empirical works (e.g., theoretical reviews, commentaries) will be also considered.

Of particular interest are studies that empirically examine issues related to validity and bias in testing and assessment practices commonly adopted by educational institutions around the world (at all levels – e.g., K-12, college, higher education). In addition, we welcome methodological papers that introduce new and improved ways of evaluating validity and bias issues within the context of school admissions. Below we highlight some of the existing concerns about testing and assessment methods in this domain, which need to be systematically investigated:

 Standardized testing in school admissions (ACT, GMAT, GRE, PET, PSU, PCAT, SAT, etc.)
o Disparities in test scores themselves
o Subgroup differences in measurement error
o Subgroup differences in predictions (e.g., does the test score predict outcomes consistently across groups?)
o Additional criteria of academic success
o Cultural biases in test content
o Culturally-responsive assessment
o Unequal access to test taking and practice (due to economic disparities)
 Other testing and assessment methods commonly used in school admissions (e.g., resume, rec letters, interviews, personal statements)
o Psychometric issues with respect to non-standardized testing and assessment protocols
o Efforts toward enhancing the psychometric quality of assessments via standardization, frame of reference training, and other techniques

To be considered for publication in this special issue of the International Journal of Testing (IJT), authors should submit a 1000-word proposal (excluding references, tables, figures, and appendices), which will be reviewed by the guest editorial team. Proposals are due by October 15, 2020. Authors of selected proposals will be invited to submit a full manuscript (maximum 30 double-spaced pages, all inclusive).

Full manuscripts will be due by February 15, 2021. Manuscripts will be reviewed following the regular IJT double-blind review process and must comply with IJT editorial policies.

Queries about the special issue may be directed to special issue Guest Editor, Dr. Sang Eun Woo (sewoo@purdue.edu).