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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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



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 Violations

  • American with Disabilities Act of 1990

    • Focus on employment and unemployment testing

    • Fair measures and assessment procedures needed


Legal and ethical issues in assessment


Family rights and privacy act of 1974
Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Violations

  • 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


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


Right to privacy
Right to Privacy curriculum and minimum competency testing

  • 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