Question about standardized testing

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by slsh, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    If modifications are made to standardized testing, not according to a particular protocol but based on student's ability to answer/comply with- test questions, doesn't that in effect invalidate the test completely because modifying the questions and interpreting the results becomes a subjective function of the tester? And in the case of an "IQ test", wouldn't that render the final "number" meaningless because it is not based on any objective testing?

    If psychological/cognitive testing requires motor skills in an individual who has *no* volitional motor skills, would the results of that test be invalid? Ditto for visual skills and verbal skills?

    Thanks kindly.
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I know how to read test results but I don't know little about requirements of the examination. I'd think using the tests in a manner they weren't designed for would be problematic, but Marti will be in a much better position to answer your questions.
  3. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    You are correct about a lot of the validity of the results depending upon the skills level (and integrity) of the examiner.

    If "assistance" that is given is non-material, i.e., an answer is selected by eye gaze rather than pointing, then the results of the content are valid (assuming that the eye gaze is reliable.) Other tests that inherently incorporate speed or motor tasks cannot be modified and there are no meaningful results anyway. How "fast and accurate" can be a person with no volitional motor control be?

    Finally, there are motor and language free IQ tests used to estimate the receptive cognitive abilities of severely disabled individuals. When disabilities are very severe and ways of self-expression are limited, an ethical psychological examiner is always concerned that a person with more cognitive ability is "trapped within" than can be overtly demonstrated. This leads to giving the "benefit of the doubt" sometimes when it is not clear what the person who is being evaluated actually means.

    I hope this answers your question.


  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Martie - thanks, it was very helpful, mainly in that it really made me think about whether or not to request an IEE, and to what end. I've blown off previous evaluations because ... well, they were just apples and oranges and while staff far underestimate his cognitive abilities, they've never actually taught to the level of any prior psychiatric evaluation (thank *good*ness!!).

    You'd just love this evaluation, LOL. No scores other than a verbal IQ of 63 (WASI). Notation that visual subtests were eliminated from test administration. It's probably the briefest evaluation I've ever seen on him. To her credit, the psychiatric did note that "intellectual level is difficult to ascertain due to physical and visual deficits and the limitations of his communication device" but she still has him exhibiting "delayed intellectual functioning, which can be classified as a cognitive disorder".

    Co-op director did at my request add a statement to the effect that due to his limitations, an accurate measurement cannot be obtained and score is to be viewed as a low estimate.

    I was surprised (but not really - this is IL after all) to find out that if he had scored 70 or better, he would be ineligible for any adult services through the state. Physical ability and level of assistance means nothing - it's all based on cognitive impairment according to co-op staff. So I can't help but be a bit skeptical and think that perhaps there's a vested interest on someone's part to have scores less than 70 to insure services.

    I decided to skip IEE - *we* know what Boo can do and what level he's functioning on. A higher documented IQ score would be meaningless in any real terms other than validation of what we've been saying for years, and we far past needing that now. Going to focus on yet another aug com evaluation, this time through big rehab hospital. We shall see.

    Again, thanks!