Achievement Tests

Date: April 18, 1994, pp.13 The Scientist did an excellent job reporting FairTest's recent study demonstrating that the lion's share of National Academy for Science, Space, and Technology (NASST) scholarships went to boys because of reliance on American College Testing (ACT) exam scores to choose winners (F. Hoke, Jan. 10, 1994, page 1). However, the reaction statements attributed to spokesmen for ACT contain such significant errors

Cinthia Schuman
Apr 17, 1994
Date: April 18, 1994, pp.13

The Scientist did an excellent job reporting FairTest's recent study demonstrating that the lion's share of National Academy for Science, Space, and Technology (NASST) scholarships went to boys because of reliance on American College Testing (ACT) exam scores to choose winners (F. Hoke, Jan. 10, 1994, page 1). However, the reaction statements attributed to spokesmen for ACT contain such significant errors of fact and logic that further clarification is necessary.

For example, the statement by ACT's Kelley Hayden that the test has a predictive validity of 95 percent for both males and females is not supported by a single piece of data. The test-maker's own research shows that ACT scores have a correlation of about 0.4 with first-year college grades, the only outcome the test claims to predict. That means the ACT explains less than 20 percent of the variance in grades. Moreover, ACT admits...