Read the Blog



Are Your School Tests Culturally Fair?

April 26, 2024

April 26, 2024

What Are Culturally Fair School Tests?

Culturally fair school tests are designed to be unbiased, ensuring that no student is disadvantaged during the testing process due to their cultural or ethnic background. These tests are essential for accurately assessing a student’s abilities without the influence of cultural differences.

Are your school's tests culturally fair? Is an article by successful black parenting magazine.

The Importance of Storytelling Skills in School Tests

Storytelling is not just about creating tales; it’s a core skill that reflects a child’s comprehension of language and their capability to articulate thoughts. Research shows that robust storytelling skills can predict a child’s success in school, especially in subjects like math and reading.


Key Findings from Recent Research

Dr. Monique T. Mills from The Ohio State University led a study focusing on how African American children perform on storytelling school tests. The findings indicate that traditional tests using visual cues might not capture the full linguistic abilities of these children. Key observations include:

  • No Visual Cues: Children who were told a story without any visual aid showed the most comprehensive use of language and complex sentence structures.
  • Picture Sequence: Using a sequence of pictures resulted in moderate storytelling performance.
  • Single Picture: Children presented with a single picture had the weakest performance, suggesting that reliance on a single visual cue can restrict their storytelling expression.

Practical Tips for Parents on School Tests

Advocate for Fair Testing Practices

Learn about the types of school tests your child takes. If these tests predominantly use visual cues, consider discussing with teachers or school administrators the possibility of integrating verbal storytelling elements into the testing framework.

Enhance Storytelling Skills at Home

  • Narrate Together: Engage in storytelling activities with your child, alternating in adding parts to the story. This can be a fun activity at home or on the go.
  • Read Regularly: Regular reading sessions expose your child to various storytelling techniques and vocabulary, which can enhance their narrative skills.
  • Encourage Detailed Descriptions: Prompt your child to describe their day or recount a memorable event, asking detailed questions to encourage elaborate responses.

Culturally fair school tests are crucial for accurately assessing the true capabilities of all students, especially in diverse educational settings. By understanding and advocating for fair testing practices, parents can ensure that their children are evaluated justly, paving the way for genuine academic success.



Getz, G.E. (2011). Culture Fair Test. In J.S. Kreutzer, J. DeLuca, & B. Caplan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology (pp. 755-756). New York, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London: Springer. Retrieved from

Lazar, I, Darlington, R., Murray, H., Royce, J., & Snipper, A. (1982). Lasting effects of early education: A report from the consortium for longitudinal studies. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 47 (Serial No. 19)

Mills, M. T. (2015). The effects of visual stimuli on the spoken narrative performance of school-age African American children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 46, pp. 337-351.

Mills, M.T. [Monique Mills, Ph.D.]. (n.d.). Monique Mills, Ph.D. [Video file]. Retrieved from

O’Neill, D.K., Pearce, M.J., & Pick, J.L. (2004). Preschool children’s narratives and performance on the Peabody Individualized Achievement Test-Revised: Evidence of a relation between early narrative and later mathematical ability. First Language, 24(2), pp. 149-183.

comments +

We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment.

Translate »