Dragging eleven-plus measurement practice into the fourth quadrant: The Trinidad and Tobago SEA as a gendered sieve

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Date

2006

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine

Abstract

This paper expands upon concerns expressed about the relationship between Eleven-Plus test design and patterns of gendered achievement in Trinidad and Tobago. It includes: 1) a critical analysis of gender fairness issues, 2) an empirical evaluation of gendered impact, and 3) a consideration of proposals for resolving gender fairness issues. Datasets used in the analysis were from the 2001-2003 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) and the 1998-2000 Common Entrance Examination (CEE). The results confirmed that the gender gap was significantly greater for the SEA compared with the CEE, and that both males and females were disadvantaged in different ways by the placement system. The results also confirmed the existence of medium-sized gender differentials across urban-rural educational districts, literacy constructs, and high-low ability groups. A proposal to change the way the composite score is calculated did little to reduce the overall female advantage. Moreover, misclassification rates for the current remediation cutscore set at 30 percent were relatively high. These fairness issues are not easily resolved, but suggest the need for evidence-based test designs, test validation studies, and a re-examination of the need for selection

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Keywords

Academic achievement, Primary school students, Secondary Entrance Assessment examination, Common Entrance examination, Test construction, Gender differences, Trinidad and Tobago

Citation

De Lisle, J. (2006). Dragging eleven-plus measurement practice into the fourth quadrant: The Trinidad and Tobago SEA as a gendered sieve