« Vintage Photos: 1916 | Main | Vintage Photos: circa 1920 »

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Good post. I do have a question, though. Why did the firefighter's union want the 60-40 weighting? That's a can of worms that merits closer scrutiny.

You forgot to add the fact that the person who said the alternate test was a better judge of capability was a salesman for the firm selling the alternate test, and he never even looked at the original test in question.


I didn't 'forget' to mention anything, Harkin. Since we're reviewing my omissions, I also deliberately left out claims that the original exam included problematic questions from the NYC firefighter's exam.

I didn't mention claims about content problems on the original battery for the same reason that I didn't get into evaluating available alternate batteries: I have no way to evaluate those claims. I also don't have any info on the validity data for for the original battery or for any alternate batteries, so it's pointless to argue about these details. (In my field, we don't use court testimony to make judgments about test validity one way or another.)

What I do know about are the theoretical bases of the dispute. My aim was to write a brief post on that and on the claim behind the decision to toss the original exam. I was not writing a review of court testimony, the credibility of witnesses in the subsequent lawsuit or an opinion about the legal questions in the lawsuit subsequent to the decision by New Haven to toss the exam.

As I said in my original post, I don't know if the original battery was that bad or if an alternate battery would have been been a more valid predictor of job performance. But my opinion is tempered by years of formal graduate study of assessment and psychometrics and by over 20 years experience conducting and interpreting batteries. Perhaps if I knew less about the subject, I could offer an opinion more to your liking.

The comments to this entry are closed.