A Technological and Historical Consideration of Equity Issues Associated with Proposals to Change the Nation's Testing Policy
George F. Madaus
In this article, George Madaus considers the current debate on national assessment from two perspectives: technological and historical. Highlighting educators' tendency to embrace new technologies such as alternative assessments without giving thorough consideration to the foundation on which they are based, Madaus cautions that testing as a technology has the potential to perpetuate current social and educational inequalities. In a brief historical overview, the author points out that several tests originally designed with well-intended goals have over time become a means for excluding minority groups from equal educational opportunities.