AERA-APA-NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing tells us: The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing was developed to "promote the sound and ethical use of tests and to provide a basis for evaluating the quality of testing practices" (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999, p. 1). The Standards provides criteria for the "evaluation of tests, testing practices, and the effects of test use" (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999, p. 2).

Comments on the current revision of the Standards are requested by Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

Let me share my thoughts with you ...

There's a fundamentally qualitative difference between measurement standards as they are defined by the AERA-APA-NCME and as they are defined in sciences that prioritize measurement as quantification involving the equal-ratio divisibility of magnitude differences. The Standards, to date, try to control the process with operational recommendations. Standards in the natural sciences, in contrast, focus on the metrics.

The psychosocial sciences focus on process because of the near-universal assumption that quantitative standards like those of the natural sciences are not feasible, notwithstanding 80+ years of theory, data, and calibrated instruments to the contrary. In contrast, the natural sciences do not need to bother with processual recommendations as standards because traceability to reference-standard metrics mediates the way natural laws and theories structure the relation of observations to expectations. Of course, a tape measure or an ammeter must be used correctly, but no one worries about whether the tape measure or the ammeter is itself "fair".

What we need to do is to establish the viability of an alternative form of standards, ones dominated by rigorously articulated and predictive construct theories, instruments calibrated to universally uniform metrics, and data fit to models specifying the requirements for objective inference. Georg Rasch was well aware that his models are, in fact, statements of psychosocial laws (Rasch, 1960, p. 10-11). When data fit a Rasch model, the investigator has effectively discovered a new law, or failed to falsify an existing one.

In summary:

AERA-APA-NCME: Mandated Fairness → Consequence: (Hoped for) Good Measures

Rasch: Constructed Good Measures → Consequence: (Verifiable) Fairness

With the widespread awareness of the dominant paradigm's role in maintaining the status quo in various disciplines, it has become commonplace to observe that the adherents of a paradigm are almost never persuaded to abandon it in favor of another. New paradigms replace old ones as the proponents and adherents of the old one retire and are replaced by people who grew up familiar with the new one (Kuhn, 1962).

My personal body of work is aimed at building up documentation, language, theory, evidence, and instruments that would constitute the beginnings of a history and tradition of measurement research and practice capable of offering an alternative to the status quo of the dominant psychosocial Standards paradigm.

The August 2011 International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) meeting in Jena, Germany is an opportunity for Rasch measurement theoreticians and practitioners to interact with natural scientists and engineers who are especially attuned to, informed about, and interested in the possibilities for unifying the language, concepts, and practice of measurement across the sciences. The call for papers is available at ... . The submission deadline is Thursday, March 31st, 2011. I hope to see many of you there.

William P. Fisher, Jr.

T. Kuhn (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

AERA-APA-NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, W.P. Fisher, Jr. ... Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2011, 24:4, 1310

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

To be emailed about new material on
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from welcomes your comments:

Your email address (if you want us to reply):


ForumRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement

Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website,

Coming Rasch-related Events
Oct. 6 - Nov. 3, 2023, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Facets),
Oct. 12, 2023, Thursday 5 to 7 pm Colombian timeOn-line workshop: Deconstruyendo el concepto de validez y Discusiones sobre estimaciones de confiabilidad SICAPSI (J. Escobar, C.Pardo)
June 12 - 14, 2024, Wed.-Fri. 1st Scandinavian Applied Measurement Conference, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden
Aug. 9 - Sept. 6, 2024, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets),


The URL of this page is