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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 2 Issue 4 (1973) Silk Purses Into Sow's Ears: The Decl...
Volume 2, Issue 4 (1973)

Silk Purses Into Sow's Ears: The Decline of Psychological Testing and a Suggestion for Its Redemption

pp. 18—23

For forty years, beginning with World War I, psychological testing was perceived as the vehicle by which major decisions about people’s lives were made in industry, the military, hospitals, mental health clinics, and the schools. Scores derived from psychometric instruments were used to classify, segregate, track, advance, employ, institutionalize, and educate people. Now, IQ testing is outlawed in San Francisco, personnel selection tests are declared illegal unless directly relevant to employment, group intelligence measures are banned in the New York City schools, a whole profession which distinguished itself from psychiatry primarily because its practitioners can test has been declared moribund, and school psychologists in Boston have been declared incompetent. In the last 10 years, what was once a silk purse has been transformed into a sow’s ear.

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