Fairness Principles

The following fairness principles have been developed for all Michigan Language Assessment tests.

A. Demonstrate respect for people by:
  • Attending to people-group origins with sensitivity
  • Avoiding implying the superiority of gender, race, nation, or social group
  • Avoiding perpetuating or accepting stereotypes
  • Using gender-neutral labels
  • Referring to people as they would prefer
  • Balancing across a test form a diverse representation of individuals in authoritative positions
B. Demonstrate respect for personal convictions and beliefs, including:
  • Origins and creation beliefs
  • Religious beliefs and holidays
C. Demonstrate sensitivity to population differences and world knowledge:
  • Do not assume that there is only one perspective on/interpretation of facts
  • Do not assume familiarity with specific technology
  • Do not assume familiarity with North American customs
  • Do not assume that “America” refers only to the United States
  • Do not refer to nations or peoples as “obscure,” “backward,” etc.
  • Avoid elitist language and topics
D. Avoid undue negativity, such as:
  • Academic failure, achievement gaps, and difficult testing situations
  • Unnecessary meanness
  • Addictive or harmful behaviors
  • Domestic dysfunction
  • Crime and incarceration
E. Avoid unduly controversial or upsetting topics, such as:
  • Prompting test taker to criticize or praise national practices, specific politicians or controversial political debates
  • War, violence, suicide
  • Poverty, income disparity
  • Famine, disease, death, dying, terminal illness
  • Graphic or upsetting medical procedures
  • Preference to avoid intimate situations
F. Avoid testing construct-irrelevant knowledge