RE: Technical tests and lawsuits

Subject: RE: Technical tests and lawsuits
From: "Wally Glassett" <wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 16:08:49 -0800

The purpose of a test, any test, is to discriminate: discriminate those who
can pass the test from those who cannot. Doesn't really matter whether it's
a driving test or a writing test. The purpose is to separate out, on the
basis of the test's results, those who can drive (write) from those who
cannot. However, in order to use a test as an employment screening device,
the organization giving the test must be able to prove that the test
actually does what the organization claims it does. In other words, it has
to be validated against representative groups. The way tests are validated
is well known and has been for many decades, but validation is a lengthy and
expensive process and one I am pretty sure Mr. Plato's company has not
undertaken. So, if he lets any candidate know they did not pass his test,
and are being eliminated from further consideration because of the test
results then he must be ready to prove the test he's using is a valid test
if someone files a claim against him. There are many, many ways an employer
or agency can reject a candidate without referring to the results of some
test, but if an employer does use the test results as THE basis for
rejection, then that organization or agency is, in theory, open to a lawsuit
where they MIGHT have to prove the test was valid. Test construction and
validation is generally taught in graduate level statistics and psychology
classes - or used to be when I was there back in the dark ages.

That's all theory. Practically, almost anything goes these days, including
stupid tests and lunatic lawsuits.

Hope you all have a good weekend,

Wally Glassett
Tech Doc-It, Inc.
wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net <mailto:wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net>


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