Legal and ethical issues in assessment
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Legal and Ethical Issues in Assessment. Ignorance is no defense. Ethics. Sources for Ethical Decisions. ACA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education Standards for School Counselor Competence in Assessment and Evaluation Other Resources.

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Legal and Ethical Issues in Assessment

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Legal and ethical issues in assessment

Legal and Ethical Issues in Assessment

Ignorance is no defense



Sources for ethical decisions

Sources for Ethical Decisions

  • ACA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

  • Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education

  • Standards for School Counselor Competence in Assessment and Evaluation

  • Other Resources

Invasion of privacy

Invasion of Privacy

  • Informed consent

  • Relevance

Right to results

Right to Results

  • Regardless of scoring mechanism, counselors are responsible to provide appropriate explanations

  • Must interpret in terms that client can understand

Least stigmatizing label

Least Stigmatizing Label

  • If categories are used, must be described precisely

  • Sometimes diagnosis is related to treatment and even if counselor is trying to be helpful, it is both illegal and unethical to change a diagnosis

Computerized assessment

Computerized Assessment

  • Ethical issues in the use of computerized assessment

Legal issues in assessment

Legal Issues in Assessment

Civil rights act of 1991

Civil Rights Act of 1991

  • Griggs v. Duke Power Company

    • If instrument has an adverse or disparate impact, employer must show that hiring procedures are job related

    • Brought about stronger focus on validity of employment tests

Legal and ethical issues in assessment

  • Ban on separate norms

    • U. S. Employment Services used separate norms for African Americans and Hispanics on GATB

    • Act said this is illegal

Policies and procedures for processing complaints of ethical violations

Policies and Procedures for Processing Complaints of Ethical Violations

  • ACA

  • Consult with colleagues

  • Clients can charge

  • Must indicate specific ethics violated

  • Due process

Disabilities acts

Disabilities Acts

  • American with Disabilities Act of 1990

    • Focus on employment and unemployment testing

    • Fair measures and assessment procedures needed

Legal and ethical issues in assessment

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997

    • PL 94-142

    • Use variety of tools and strategies, no single procedure, technically sound instruments

    • Attend to multicultural issues

Family rights and privacy act of 1974

Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

  • Student right to privacy

  • No release of records without permission

  • Counseling records kept in separate locked cabinet and accessible only to the counselor are not considered part of educational record

Legal and ethical issues in assessment

  • Without parental permission kids cannot be given psychological testing or treatment that may reveal information concerning mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to student or student’s family

Health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 hippa

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)

  • Very complicated

  • Concerns security and privacy of health information

  • State laws take precedence

  • If involved with third party payment, HIPPA is involved

  • Must develop, maintain, and account for disclosures of private client information for 6 years

Truth in testing

Truth in Testing

  • New York state

  • Nadar and SAT

  • Mandated that if student asked, copy of questions and correct answers must be provided

  • Only CA passed similar legislation



Test bias and placement

Test Bias and Placement

  • Issue is use of intelligence tests with African American students because of discrimination

  • Larry P. v. Riles (1979)- Judge Peckham bans use of intelligence testing in CA because discriminatory

  • PASE v. Hannon (1980)– judge ruled opposite way

  • 1992, Judge Peckham lifts ban

Minimum competency

Minimum Competency

  • Minimum competency – kids graduating from high school and can’t balance check book

  • Controversy centers on discrimination

  • Debra P. v. Turlington (1981) in FL

Legal and ethical issues in assessment

  • Ruling set precedent about need for relationship between curriculum and minimum competency testing

  • If students not taught material covered on test, students’ Constitutional rights (equal protection and due process) are violated

Right to privacy

Right to Privacy

  • Soroka et al. v. Dayton-Hudson Company (1991)

    • Target used personality inventory for employment screening

    • Court ruled that constitutional right to privacy and statutory prohibition against improper inquiries and discriminatory conduct was violated by asking about religious beliefs and sexual orientation

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