Beta
X

26Aug

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...

Related

Journey of Humanity by Oded Galor review – inequality explained?

An study of the factors behind economic growth attempts to reveal the ‘great cogs’ that drive deve...

Read More >

Freedom to Think by Susie Alegre review – the big tech threat to free thought

The modern online environment undermines our independence of opinion, argues a human rights lawyerIt...

Read More >

How Words Get Good by Rebecca Lee review – the secret life of books

An editorial manager at Penguin tells the inside story of how an idea gets from an author’s head on...

Read More >

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier review – high-concept thrills

In this playful French prizewinner, the mysterious duplication of a plane and its passengers kicksta...

Read More >

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig review – fifty shades of sad

Ever felt something but struggled to express it? A new book might help you put a name to your ‘prol...

Read More >

A brief history of ‘ping’, from gun fights to the NHS Covid-19 app

The word ‘pingdemic’ is spreading as fast as the pandemic. But the meanings of ping stretch from t...

Read More >