Social Consequences of Testing for Language-minoritized Bilinguals in the United States

Author: Jamie L. Schissel

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Multilingual Matters
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This book constructs a historical narrative to examine the social consequences of testing faced by language-minoritized bilinguals in the United States. These consequences are understood with respect to what language-minoritized bilinguals faced when they have sought (1) access to civic participation (2) entry into the United States, (3) education in K-12 Schools, and (4) higher education opportunities. By centering the test-taker perspective with a use-oriented testing approach, the historical narrative describes the cumulative nature of these consequences for this community of individuals, which demonstrates how the mechanism of testing – often in conjunction with other structural and political forces – has contributed to the historic, systemic marginalization of language-minoritized bilinguals in the United States. By viewing these experiences with respect to consequential validity, the book poses questions to those involved in testing to not only acknowledge these histories, but to actively and explicitly incorporate efforts to dismantle these legacies of discrimination. The conclusions drawn from the historical analysis add an important perspective for educators and researchers concerned with inequities in the testing of language-minoritized bilinguals.

We have needed this book for years. It provides a critical perspective that does not focus on tests, but rather their uses, effects and consequences. Language minoritized children and their families are subjected to more tests than other groups as they encounter tests used in K-12 and higher education, as well as tests for civic participation and even entry into the US. This comprehensive view of testing and its effects is a must-read, not only for psychometricians but for all who advocate for social justice in education.

Kathy Escamilla, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Schissel's historical narrative provides a most original lens to uncover the immediate and long-term social consequences of how assessments have impacted the lives of language-minoritized bilinguals. In an innovative turn, Schissel brilliantly foregrounds the cumulative histories and experiences of language-minoritized bilinguals as test-takers, instead of the more conventional ones of test-developers.

Ofelia García, The Graduate Center, CUNY, USA

Jamie L. Schissel is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA. Her research centers on testing and teaching in multilingual communities.


Chapter 1. Conceptualizing a Historical Narrative of Social Consequences

Chapter 2. Seeking Access to Civic Participation

Chapter 3. Seeking Entry into the United States: A Focus on Ellis and Angel Island Ports of Entry

Chapter 4. Seeking Education in K-12 Schools

Chapter 5. Seeking Higher Education

Concluding Thoughts

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate
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