Lord’s (1980) equity theorem claims observed-score equating to be possible only when two test forms are perfectly reliable or strictly parallel. An analysis of its proof reveals use of an incorrect statistical assumption. The assumption does not invalidate the theorem itself though, which can be shown to follow directly from the discrete nature of the equating problem it addresses. But, surprisingly, an obvious relaxation of the problem is enough to obtain exactly the opposite result: As long as two test forms measure the same ability, they can always be equated, no matter their reliability, degree of parallelness, or even difference in length. Also, in spite of its lack of validity, the original proof of Lord’s theorem has an important interim result directly applicable to the problem of assembling a new test form pre-equated to an old form.
- local equating
- observed-score equating
- Q-Q transformation
- compound binomial distribution