Smith v Boston (2015)

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Reference Title: Smith v Boston (2015)
Author: U.S. District Court
Publication Type: Legal (Court Decision)
Publication Date: 2015
Course Level: Advanced
Credits: 3
Price: $30.00
About This Course: In this US District Court decision, the court discusses adverse impact, test validity, and test reliability in finding that a police promotional test violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  1. Overview of this CE Home-Study Program
  2. Information About the Course
    1. Educational Objectives
    2. Target Audience
    3. Schedule
    4. Cost and Refund/Cancellation Policy
    5. Author Credentials
    6. Number of CE Credits Offered
    7. Location and Format
    8. Detailed Description of Program Material
  3. Conflict of Interest Statement

1. Overview of this CE program (top)

This home study course entails the independent study of Smith v Boston (2015), followed by the completion of a multiple-choice test on-line. Participants who receive a passing grade of 75% or higher on the test will receive 2 CE credits. In accordance with guidance from the APA CE office, we are limiting the number of chances to take the test to 2 times. Participants who fail the test may retake the test once at no additional charge, and receive CE credit if they do pass.

A copy of the reading for this course is available for free download here Smith v City of Boston (2015).

More detailed information on the content of this article is given in section 2h below.

APR Testing Services is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APR Testing Services maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

2.a Educational Objectives (top)

Upon completion of this home study program, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe essential information about the case, including the alleged violation of law, what the test measured and did not measure, and how the test was used.
  2. Describe the evidence and arguments put forth by the parties.
  3. Explain how the court viewed evidence of validity and reliability combining to support the use of a test for ranking candidates.
  4. Describe the court's view of the shelf-life of test research.

2.b Target Audience (top)

This CE program is intended for psychologists who hold a doctoral degree. The course may be taken by other interested professionals (e.g.,senior human resource executives and consultants; upper-level managers).

2.c Schedule (top)

Access to program registration and post-test is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2.d Cost and Refund/Cancellation Policy (top)

The fee for this home-study program is $30, which is $10 per CE credit. The fee is fully refundable for 60 days or until the post-test is taken, whichever comes first.

A copy of the reading for this course is available for free download at the Smith v City of Boston (2015).

2.e Author Credentials (top)

This is a memorandum opinion and order released by the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts regarding Smith v. City of Boston (2015).

2.f Number of CE Credits Offered (top)

Participants who complete this course by taking and passing the multiple-choice test will receive 3 CE credits.

2.g Location and Format (top)

This activity requires independent home-based study of Smith v Boston (2015). Following completion of the reading material, participants complete an Internet-based multiple-choice post-test on the content of the material.

2.h Detailed Description of Program Material (top)

Publication citation:

Smith v Boston, 12-10291-WGY (2015).

From the reading:

... the fact that the 2008 exam measured only knowledge areas that differentiate among performers cannot compensate for the 2008 exam’s failure to test for critical non-knowledge skills and abilities.

If a test only examines knowledge (even if limited to knowledge areas that differentiate performance) while ignoring a broad swath of necessary skills and abilities, it hardly seems plausible that a higher score is likely to result in higher job performance, or even that the procedure measures aspects that differentiate among levels of job performance.

What the Court can conclude ... is that those who excelled at the exam would exhibit superior levels of knowledge on the job ... however, that this is insufficient for predicting who will be a good police lieutenant.

3. Conflict of Interest Statement (top)

APR Testing Services (APR) is owned by Joel Wiesen Ph.D., who was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in this case. APR has not received any commercial support for this CE program.