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Outdated testing kits and protocols?

The latest version of a testing kit has just been ordered by your district to replace the version you currently have, which begs the question, what should you do with outdated testing kits and protocols?  There is certainly an ethical component to this question because it is our ethical standard to maintain the validity and test security of these assessments.  Therefore, shredding the protocols is the appropriate action rather than simply throwing them in the garbage or recycling bin untouched. This is because most revised versions of the test are similar to older versions, giving those who have access to old versions an unfair advantage. For example, the WISC-V has Similarities to the WISC-IV (gotta love nerdy school psychology jokes).  As for the materials, best practice would be to return them to the publisher.  However, you may want to keep some of the materials such as the blocks on Block Design for spare parts.  Certain publishers will provide you postage stamps and labels to return the kits to them, so it is best to contact them during these situations for a more specific answer to your question.  That being said, a general guideline is to permanently destroy the protocols and sheild the materials from being potentially accessed by the public.. I don’t mean an actual sheild. Destroying protocols can be as simple as shredding the protocols or you can get creative and organize a giant bonfire.. sarcasm, please do not make that the next NASP annual convention tradition!  And while we’re on the topic of funny do-nots, please do not strap the protocols to your leftover Fourth of July fireworks.  The fireworks might explode them or might land them perfectly in the hands of someone who’s avidly searching for these on! If you don’t know, check it out for yourself and be appalled by what appears to be the least ethical business related to our field.  Happy shredding and leave a comment below to say what you or your district does in these situations.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Beth Cooke

    Can the outdated Educational testing kits be donated to a local college to train potential special ed teachers?


      Absolutely! That’s a great idea to reach out to your local college/university about that.

  2. Ariel

    Completely hypothetically, if a new test is virtually the same as the old test, can you use the old protocols to record student responses, and then use the updated scoring program to score them? Or is this illegal?

    A couple years back a completely hypothetical 1st year school psychologist did not realize that an updated version of a test was about to be released. The school psychologist had his district order a bunch of protocols and feels very guilty about them going to waste…all hypothetical of course.


      These are the gray areas that district attorneys are hired for. The problem with these gray areas is that you’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask! I agree that it would be sad for those protocols to go to waste though, especially if they perfectly reflect the new test. For that reason, it’s worth looking into and there’s a fair chance your district attorney will be okay with it. Best of luck!

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