Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 5 No. 3 (Summer 1991)


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A Flawed Ideological Critique

Article Citation

Walstad, William B. 1991. "A Flawed Ideological Critique." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(3): 167-173.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.3.167


In their critique of the Test of Economic Literacy (TEL), Nelson and Sheffrin draw the conclusion that the TEL is an ideological test. In making their case, however, they neglect to cite the TEL Examiner's Manual by John Soper and myself (1987). In the 67 pages of that achievement test manual are the multiple choice questions, written rationales for the correct answers, explanations of the test development and structure, psychometric data, item analysis, and instructions on test administration and use. This information is necessary for anyone making a careful assessment of the test or using it with high school students. A brief description of the development and major features of the TEL is also necessary for analyzing the critics' complaints about TEL questions. The TEL is not perfect, but the charge that the TEL is an ideological test, however, is an extreme one and without foundation.

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Walstad, William B. (U NE)

JEL Classifications

A21: Economic Education and Teaching of Economics: Pre-college
A13: Relation of Economics to Social Values


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