Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly D. Bradley


Over the past two decades, the emphasis on educational equity in early childhood education (ECE) and early childhood special education (ECSE) has highlighted the importance of assessment through policies and regulations. Ensuring accurate assessment scores is a fundamental aspect of this trend. The release of the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System for Infants and Children, Third Edition (AEPS-3) in December 2021 led to a shift from the Second Edition (AEPS-2) in child development scoring. In order to harmonize the previous and updated assessment versions for children aged 0-3 across six developmental domains, a common item non-equivalent design, featuring fixed parameter calibration equating (known as 'anchoring'), is utilized within the Rasch framework.

A total of 18,411 cases from the AEPS-2 Test Level I and 317 cases from the AEPS-3 Test were utilized to assess scale quality. The psychometric properties of both assessment versions were evaluated using the rating scale Rasch model, revealing a good model-data fit. Two sets of anchor items, selected based on either identical or functional matching methods, were determined using the cosine similarity coefficient and subsequently validated through expert content analysis. These anchor item sets demonstrated acceptable quality. The research then examined the impact of different anchor sets on person parameter estimation during the anchoring process. Ultimately, the study produced person measure and observed score conversion tables between AEPS-2 and AEPS-3. The resulting conversion tables provide valuable insights into the relationship between the old and updated assessment versions.

These findings contribute to equating methodology, ECE/ECSE, and education policy. As an early implementation of functional matching anchoring equating in the ECSE field, this study provides a practical model for score equating transformation that can be applied across both early childhood education and special education sectors. In the early childhood education area, it supports the ongoing refinement of assessment tools in early childhood education, helping practitioners make more informed decisions about child development. By leveraging the psychometric model, the research contributes to improving the quality of assessment tools for early childhood education practitioners, leading to better outcomes for children in these critical developmental stages. Another important contribution of this study is that it reflects the assessment requirements in special education and connects education policy with research goals. This ensures that assessments remain consistent, fair, and accurate, enabling educators and specialists to effectively track and support children's development over time, ultimately improving educational equity.

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