Explaining Rasch Measurement in Different Ways

Learning and teaching about Rasch measurement can be exciting and challenging as one needs to help students think about measurement in new ways. As a teacher of measurement to both graduate and undergraduates I try different techniques of presenting Rasch concepts. In the MESA program of the University of Chicago, Ben Wright would explain something and sometimes I would not quite get it. Then someone else would rephrase the issue with different words and I would understand.

In my classes I have found it to be quite helpful to ask students to review the basic technical testing manuals which many U.S. States have produced to document State testing procedures. These manuals discuss Rasch in different ways, using different words, and often the material is organized in a unique way by each State. Often the text is written at a level that is appropriate for an almost non-technical reader!

In the middle of the semester, when we are toward the end of our discussion concerning the Rasch analysis of testing data, I ask my students to review the web-sites of 5 States (Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois). Each of these States use Rasch measurement for their high stakes testing. I ask students to write down what they better understand as the result of these reports. What was it about report phrasing that helped them? I also ask students to tell me what they still do not understand. Finally I require them to write a short summer report of their own in which they explain Rasch and testing to a teacher exploring a State web site.

Here are the URLs of those 5 states. It takes some digging, for as one can imagine, each state has technical reports in different parts of their web-site.

William J. Boone
Miami University of Ohio

State of Ohio K-12 Testing. First go here for Ohio

Then select "Statistical Summaries and Item Analysis Reports". The URL for this part of the site is

Then select a technical report such as "March 2008 OGT Statistical Summary"


State of Texas K-12 Testing. First go here for Texas
www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3320&menu_id3=793 - t

Then select "Technical Digest" which is this URL

Then select a date, for instance, "Technical Digest 2007-2008". Then select a chapter such as 15.


State of Pennsylvania K-12 Testing. First go here for Pennsylvania

Then for a sample State of Pennsylvania technical report select "Technical Analysis"

Then select a technical report such as "2008 Reading and Mathematics PSSA Technical Report


State of California K-12 Testing. First go here for California

Then go here for a sample State of California technical report select a sample report such as California Standards Tests CSTs Technical Report, Spring 2008 Administration.


State of Illinois K-12 Testing. First go here in Illinois

Then you can select a State of Illinois technical report, such as Draft 2006 PSAE Technical Manual

Boone W.J. (2009) Explaining Rasch Measurement in Different Ways, Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2009, 23:1, 1198

Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

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