At long last, Jason Kamras has let the equation out of the bag, providing Sarah Bax with a two-page description of the secret algorithm by which teachers are judged:
As far as I can tell, looking at this piece of obfuscation, the only variable that is at all spelled out is the one dealing with the proportion of days that the student attended school during the prior year. Everything else appears to be deliberately vague. The only thing I like is that they were honest enough to include an “error term” – but how big is it? Is it also a ‘vector’ composed of a number of other values, or just a simple number? How is it calculated? Is it larger in some schools, grades and subjects than in others, or does one error fit all?
In case you were wondering, a mathematical vector is a variable or constant that is composed of other variables. The simplest example I can think of would be the coordinates of a point, which you probably learned to say as a pair of numbers written in this format: (x, y). However, you could also add other terms for such things as the temperature (t), color (c), mass (m), and so on, as well as vertical elevation from the page (z)- and get a vector with at least 6 parts: (x, y, t, c, m, z). How one would deal with this sextuplet, one would have to decide – there are different rules for different situations. And clearly, the authors of this two-page exercise in unreadability aren’t saying how one deals with those vectors or variables.
As far as I can tell, the entire algorithm is all still sealed safely away in a black box so that no-one outside of Mathematica can possibly understand it or challenge it.