Thesis Title

Reading Results: A Critical Look at Standarized Testing and the Linguistic Minority

Graduation Date

Summer 2005

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


A critical look into assessing the Standardized Test and Reporting (STAR) test data among English language learners gives educators a chance to examine the cultural biases present within the standardized test movement started by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In particular, The STAR test results seem to reflect that the test is geared toward students who not only speak the mainstream language but who grew up in the mainstream culture.

After examining past student’s STAR results, there seemed to be a discrepancy between the test score and the student’s ability. This also seemed to be integrated with the student’s cultural background, when they came to the United States and how long they have lived in the country. A student’s level of language acquisition is considered when their test results are gauged but there seems to be no consideration toward whether or not they are acculturated.

After reviewing literature on the topic, it seems as though a plan for intervention must be set in place if any changes are to be made. The literature shows that most standardized tests do have an underlying bias, and also reveals which cultures are the most susceptible to biases within tests.

The pilot study conducted in line with the research shows that students from the Latino culture in particular fall victim to test bias. A possible plan for intervention may be a small, localized step toward developing a plan for success for language learners.

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