The UK thread

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ed
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Re: The UK thread

Post by ed »

KOK. brings back memories
About that stereo
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Witness
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Re: The UK thread

Post by Witness »

ceptimus wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:09 am You don't need year-to-year comparisons.
I think we do.

As a simple example, you'd have no way of evaluating new teaching programs or pedagogical methods (and the Pedagogical Church™ is very active!), the effects of pay raises or cuts, more or less strict recruitment of teachers, various "remediation" strategies, &c.

ceptimus wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:09 am People from one year are not, on average, smarter or dumber than people from other years.
Smarter or dumber, perhaps not. (Yet I remind you of the Flynn effect.)

Better prepared for succeeding at their jobs, and ultimately becoming reasonably happy citizens living a reasonably meaningful life seems, to me, the goal of (compulsory) education. But admittedly ascertaining progress in this needs way more than just grading. :mrgreen:

ceptimus wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:09 am The whole point of my idea of fixing the proportion of each grade awarded is to allow meaningful comparison of the exam results of two people of different ages.
I don't get your (whole!) point here.

If it's two different people of different ages, who would be interested in that apart from some researcher in education? Certainly not an employer.

If it's the same person we're back to year to year comparisons, which you rejected.

As I understood it, your (whole?) point was to get rid of grades, replacing them with a more objective measure by ranking an individual in his whole batch-of-the-year. No beef with that, I approve. Yet piloting tools are still needed (see supra).

ceptimus wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:09 am Part of the reason for exam grade inflation in the UK … when a GCSE pass actually meant something."
I'm well aware of that, modulo (<— that's for ed) the differences from country to country. And let's not forget that parents now tend to have a consumerist attitude, even suing when unhappy with the product (i. e. the grades of their spawn).

I refer you to the numerous examples of illusory solutions to these problems in our SJW thread. :mrgreen:
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Doctor X
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Re: The UK thread

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He was rejected at Faber.

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Re: The UK thread

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A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Witness
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Re: The UK thread

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8 U-turns in 8 months from Boris Johnson’s government

From A-level grades to the Rees-Mogg conga, the UK government keeps backpedaling.

When Boris Johnson won a huge 80-seat majority in the U.K.'s December election, it seemed likely to herald the end of the embarrassing defeats, U-turns and climbdowns that had characterized both the Theresa May years and the early part of Johnson's time at the top of British politics.

Wrong.

Eight months on and Johnson's leadership has proved more fragile than expected and on Monday afternoon the government made yet another U-turn by announcing that all English students will receive the A-level grades their teachers predicted for them and not have their futures decided by a controversial algorithm. The decision came just two days after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Times there would be "no U-turn" on the issue.

Here are the government's biggest about-faces since the election.

[I extracted just the titles. See the link for details.]
  • NHS staff visa charge — May 21
  • MP voting procedures — June 4
  • Reopening of all primary schools — June 9
  • Free school meals over summer — June 16
  • Centralized coronavirus app — June 18
  • Huawei — July 14
  • Quarantine and 'air bridges' — May/June
  • Exam results — August 17
https://www.politico.eu/article/8-u-tur ... overnment/
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Re: The UK thread

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Maybe a government that will U-turn is better than one that will stubbornly press forward with bad ideas?
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Re: The UK thread

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Anaxagoras wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:49 pm Maybe a government that will U-turn is better than one that will stubbornly press forward with bad ideas?
When ‘our side’ does it, it’s flexibly responding to new evidence. When ‘their side’ does it, they are unprincipled jerks.
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Re: The UK thread

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Population cartogram:

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Re: The UK thread

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Anaxagoras wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:49 pm Maybe a government that will U-turn is better than one that will stubbornly press forward with bad ideas?
Couldn't agree more. Too much fuss is made about U-turns and I do not really care.
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Re: The UK thread

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Scotland spaceport gets full approval, will be able to host up to 12 launches per year

Scotland’s first proposed spaceport has been fully approved to proceed with construction and operation (via The Northern Times). The facility will be built in northern Sutherland on a peninsula that extends into the North Atlantic. This will be the future launch site for Orbex, a startup looking to develop the U.K.’s first reusable orbital launch vehicle.

This approval follows submission of all the necessary documents, including a full environmental assessment, to local regulators and the Scottish government. Full approval means that construction can proceed, paving the way for launches to begin taking off from the site sometime over the course of the next few years.

Domestic launch capabilities in the U.K. would provide a significant opportunity for the area’s expansion of its bourgeoning private space industry. Aside from offering the U.K. government small satellite launch capabilities from local suppliers, including Orbex, once its rockets become operational, the U.K. and the U.S. recently signed an agreement that permits U.S. launch companies to fly missions from U.K. sites, meaning this Scottish site could potentially host international missions and secure more global business.

The Space Hub Sutherland facility, which will be paid for in part by funding from the U.K. Space Agency, will be a relatively small spaceport overall, playing host to a single launch pad and covering around 10 acres in total, including a control center and a stretch of road spanning around 1.5 miles. That should still provide plenty of space for the next generation of small orbital launch vehicles, which are designed specifically to fit the needs of small satellite operators and thus require much less infrastructure than launch facilities for existing private vehicles like SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
https://techcrunch.com/2020/08/19/scotl ... -per-year/

Weird. I thought launch sites were always near the equator to benefit from earth's rotation. :?
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Re: The UK thread

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

These days could be anywhere, though equatorial is cheaper.
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Re: The UK thread

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Witness wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:25 pm
Weird. I thought launch sites were always near the equator to benefit from earth's rotation. :?
Ideally. I think Russia's main one is actually in Kazakhstan at about 45 degrees North latitude. That's about as far south as the Soviet Union went.
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Re: The UK thread

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If you want to put the satellite into a polar orbit, then being near the equator is bad - because the rocket needs to accelerate westwards by up to a thousand mph extra to burn off the effect of the earth's rotation. USA launches to polar orbit mostly take place from Vandenberg - it's not very far north (Alaska would be better, but I suppose the remoteness from the rocket-building sites makes it less practical) but the rocket has to head in a westerly direction, which would mean flying over populated areas during the dangerous parts of the launch if it launched from Florida.

Israel sometimes launches its rockets westwards! This is again very inefficient, but allows the launch to mostly occur over the Mediterranean and avoid overflying populated areas. Israel also uses other launch facilities in other countries - but for their most secret spy satellites, they don't want to do that.
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Re: The UK thread

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I see, depends on the desired trajectory & orbit.

But who will launch from Scotland?
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Re: The UK thread

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UK government spending on virus measures pushes debt to £2 trillion

UK government debt has risen above £2 trillion for the first time amid heavy spending to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Spending on measures such as the furlough scheme means the debt figure now equals the value of everything the UK produces in a year.

Total debt hit £2.004tn in July, £227.6bn more than last year, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Economists warned the situation would worsen before improving.

It is the first time debt has been above 100% of gross domestic product (GDP) since the 1960-61 financial year, the ONS said.

The July borrowing figure - the difference between spending and tax income - was £26.7bn, down from a revised £29.5bn in June.

It was the fourth highest borrowing in any month since records began in 1993. The three higher figures were the previous three months.
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53859299
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Re: The UK thread

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Witness wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:04 pm I see, depends on the desired trajectory & orbit.

But who will launch from Scotland?
Traditionally, lots of scots
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Re: The UK thread

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They will sound the bagpipes till it's scared and flies away? :shock:
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Re: The UK thread

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Re: The UK thread

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Do the rich and entitled actually need A-Levels?

– J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

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Re: The UK thread

Post by Hotarubi »

Doctor X wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:14 pm Do the rich and entitled actually need A-Levels?

– J.D.
no:
Yep, you totally outsmarted me ~ Wildcat.

:ball2: