[IPAC-List] IPAC-List Digest, Vol 5, Issue 110

Mitch Stein Mitch.Stein at tn.gov
Tue Dec 6 16:26:38 EST 2011

Mark, I would have to say that where I am, we would rely on generalization in a general sense...perhaps not exactly what is typically meant by validity generalization...a lot given that everything is lumped together into job classes. Say we have a lot of jobs that involve arcane manipulations of financial transactions, keeping financial records according to certain accepted principles which I will never understand, and for which our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs, not to be confused with Capt. Hook's assistant) think are closely related enough to lump all those jobs into one basket called "accountant". After looking at all the essential job functions and identifying the KSAs needed to successfully perform those job functions, they decide a degree in accounting provides a reasonable chance of job success and not having a degree that involves X amount of training in accounting yields a poor likelihood of job success. The SMEs would also look at the issue if there is experience that could substitute for having a piece of paper that says you have a degree. So, we come up with an MQ that fits into a family of positions that we generalize are related enough that we choose to call them all "accountants" and for which we have content validity showing some degree is needed.

But if I interpret that letter correctly, all the validity data in the world is still not a substitute for doing an individualized assessment as to whether a specific applicant with a specific disability (in this case it was a learning disability that prevented the applicant from getting a degree) can perform the essential job functions with reasonable accommodation. I'll leave it to the smart folks to decide what is a reasonable accommodation to, in my case, knowing nothing about accounting. :-D

>From reading that letter, I'm guessing there was a previous letter having to do with the fact that my state gives special ed students some sort of certificate of attendance in lieu of a high school diploma, but that having a certificate of attendance is not judged to have the same likelihood of literacy, math skills, or whatever the essential job function is compared to people who actually have a diploma or GED. Of course, as Ken Pritchard was suggesting even having the degree no longer means one is necessarily literate. Having taught grad students at both a traditional brick and mortar university as well as one of these online schools, I learned the hard way that nowadays even having a college degree does not necessarily make one functionally literate, especially in the online school.


Message: 2
Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2011 13:30:54 -0500
From: "Mark Hammer" <Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca>
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] EEOC "Discussion" Letter
To: "'ipac-list at ipacweb.org'" <ipac-list at ipacweb.org>
Message-ID: <4EDE190E020000F10006C2FE at gwsmtp.psc-cfp.gc.ca>
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A completely naive question on my part: Is there anything functionally
equivalent to validity generalization that would allow one to assert the
need for a given academic credential because of the similarity between
job X and some other job where that credential has been demonstrated to
be a valid predictor of performance?

Mark Hammer

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