The government called the exam algorithm 'robust'. How robust was that claim?
The government repeatedly called Ofqual’s method of determining grades robust - shortly before abandoning it. So what does the word really mean?
The British government repeatedly said that the algorithm designed to make up exam grades for pupils who weren’t able to take them was “robust”, shortly before abandoning it because it was apparently broken. So how robust is an official claim that something is robust?
To call things “robust” is arguably a kind of crypto-machismo, which is to be expected from the particular men currently misgoverning us. It originally referred to bodily sturdiness, as in William Caxton’s 1490 translation of the prologue to Virgil’s Aeneid, when the hero proves his “robuste puyssaunce” by yanking a tree out of the ground. It derives from the Latin robustus, literally “made of oak”, and thereafter strong or firm. Continue reading...