Facilitator - National Bias and Sensitivity Review Panels

Facilitator - National Bias and Sensitivity Review Panels


July 15, 2016


Activity is Ongoing
Scholarly Activity Role: 
Organization Name: 
Johnnie McKinley Associates, LLC
Role or Title within the Organization: 
Principal Consultant/Contracted Facilitator, Measured Progress, Inc.

As a Contracted Bias and Sensitivity Review Facilitator, Dr. Johnnie McKinley convened a 20-member National Panel to evaluate and make recommendations on bias-free and sensitive implementation of over 8000 third through eighth grade assessment products developed by content experts that will be used in 10 states by Measured Progress, Inc. McKinley hired an Outreach Coordinator and two Co-Facilitators, convened a six-member Outreach and Selection Team drawing professionals from WA State, Boston, MA, Atlanta, Ga, and San Antonio, TX to solicit potential Panelists, review applications and select 20 Panelists from national, community, business, civic, ethnic-focused, service, and K-20 education organizations to serve on Bias and Sensitivity Review Panels from 2017 - 2019. During the April 4 – 7, 2017 in-person Bias and Sensitivity Review, McKinley provided educational modules to build the 20-person Panel's capacity to effectively conduct valid and reliable Bias and Sensitivity Reviews with high fidelity. She facilitated team building and training activities on the goals of the process and factors Panelists were to look for related to bias and sensitivity issues.

The intent of the in-person Bias and Sensitivity Review in April 2017 and future quarterly Virtual Reviews through 2019 is to minimize impacts on students’ performance on Reading, Writing, Language Arts, and Mathematics assessments from factors unrelated to the content being assessed. Biasing factors may include physical requirements (e.g., interpretation of a visual stimulus, manipulation of a computer touch pad or mouse), language syntax, vocabulary, unfamiliar contexts, geographical region, gender, and so forth. Sensitivity refers to factors that may negatively affect individuals or groups of students due to the sensitive nature of the content (e.g., stereotyping, violence, or war).

After Panelists reviewed passages/stimuli and items/performance tasks and noted any perceived issues on Record Sheets, they discussed their perceptions as a facilitated group. Dr. McKinley and the Co-facilitators recorded their responses and Dr. McKinley developed a report to Measured Progress describing the descriptive statistics on outcomes of items accepted as written, recommended for revision, and rejected for violating established Bias and Sensitivity Considerations (first developed by the State of New York). At the end of the four-day event, McKinley led the Panelists to consider and report out in a Gallery Walk their Wishes, Plusses, Gives, and Gets for the event; and to complete a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of their learnings and capacity to conduct Bias and Sensitivity Reviews with reliability, validity and fidelity.