The UK’s ethics-hole

Maybe if the “AI ethics” crowd (including @CDEIUK, based in… yes, @DCMS, the UK govt dept responsible for data protection law; and its chair Roger Taylor) had paid more attention to those pesky legal “ethics” already in the #GDPR, @Ofqual (chair: Roger Taylor) would be in less deep 💩 over the #ALevelFiasco.

Neither @CDEIUK nor @ofqual have easy-to-find web pages about their board members (unlike @hfea). Perhaps if they did, these people would feel a little more personal responsibility for their organisations’ actions? (To be honest, the main fault in all this lies with the former DCMS secretary of state, now Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, who appointed Taylor and several more board members like him.)

Taylor told the Times Educational Supplement he had ‘messed up his A levels.’ How ironic! Now, he’s messed up thousands of other people’s, too! His naivety about “measuring” people and public services really shines through. And, pricelessly, he says: “The performance regime itself is something that should be subject to a performance assessment.” Someone should ask him what grade he’d give @Ofqual. (I’m imagining this interviewer hasn’t spent much time with actual philosophy professors >> ”Like a philosophy professor, he builds his argument from first principles.”)

Mr. Measurement doesn’t seem too interested in psychological evidence about the stress of high-stakes exams:

One of the most serious accusations that has been levelled against our current assessment system is that higher-stakes exams have damaged pupils’ mental health. Taylor thinks that the causality is the other way round, with “rising levels” of underlying anxiety causing students to find it “more difficult” to deal with stressful episodes like exams.

Is he really basing all this (highly damaging to the country’s young people) spouting on his own and his children’s personal experiences? 🙄

Not that you can tell from the @ofqual board web page or his gov.uk profile, but it seems Taylor was reappointed as Ofqual chair until 2023.

I’m guessing Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Taylor, and the Information Commissioner will be the principal govt scapegoats for the #ALevelFiasco (once the #GCSEfiasco is out of the way.) @UKLabour, and Parliament’s select committees, must already be scenario-planning… especially since Taylor has attacked Labour’s plans for standardised testing reform, and said exam stress was down to mentally fragile young people 😳

Shadow Education Secretary @KateGreenSU said Williamson has “a few days to demonstrate that he’s now going to do it right”. Lib Dem leader @EdwardJDavey added: resign! Education Select Committee chairman @halfon4harlowMP said: “We’ve got to make sure that this is an exam system for the many, not the few”. 👏🏻