We explore the uses and functions of ‘validity’ as a boundary marker between legal theory and psychometrics. Standardized testing regimes rely on experts to articulate the limits of validity. When challenged in courts, these limits become the subject of contestation, requiring practitioners to litigate the validity of validity. This process generates significant discontinuities, resulting from different conceptual relationships to the idea of validity. Through a qualitative textual analysis of specific case law and a quantitative examination of Lexis-Nexis database archives, we trace how legal reasoning elides new developments in psychometric research that would broaden and enrich judicial treatments while showing how current work in psychometrics can be translated into case law outcomes, to better expose bias and unfairness in testing.
Charles Olney and Brent Duckor. "The Validity of Validity in Debra P.: Judicial and Psychometric Perspectives on Test Consequences" American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting (2018). doi:10.302/1314234