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Update: Via news updates, this is what the student did:
Apparently, the student had just commented on the question after taking the test, and deleted his tweet after being contacted by the district.
So commenting on a test score via social media will get your child on Pearson's naughty list. What a bunch of bullies. (You should read the whole article but here's a bit of it.)
In addition, Pearson/PARCC has access to if a student is using testing modifications, along with their names, unique identifier numbers, etc. Beyond sensitive student information, Pearson also collects everything a student types into the keyboard during the test including words or sentences that were typed and then deleted. Pearson knows whether or not the student views a test item, how long it takes him/her to answer a specific question, and it tracks the student's clicks as he/she navigates the test. This seemingly harmless data, when paired with sensitive information about an individual student, creates a very complex learning and behavioral profile of the child.
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Big Brotherism on the part of the Pearson educational company has led to charges that they are "spying" on the social media postings from students particularly in New Jersey. Those students are taking the PARCC test that Pearson produces.
From the Washington Post:
Pearson, the world’s largest education company, is monitoring social media during the administration of the new PARCC Common Core test to detect any security breaches, and a spokeswoman said that it was “obligated” to alert authorities when any problems were discovered.
To note, California DOE has done this for several years.
From NJ blogger, Bob Braun:
The state education department is cooperating with this "spying"and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.
Superintendent Elizabeth C. Jewett of the Watchung Hills district in Warren, New Jersey sent a message to her staff saying that her "testing coordinator had received a call from the NJDOE that Pearson had initiated a 'Priority 1 Alert' for an item breach within our school."
At issue was a tweet from a student about a test item but it was ascertained that the student didn't photograph the item and only tweeted AFTER the testing was over. The student was told/asked/forced to delect the tweet and their parent notified. Apparently the parent was very worried that Pearson was monitoring student tweets from students in New Jersey schools.
The superintendent went on to say:
The DOE informed us that Pearson is monitoring all social media during PARCC testing.
I have to say that I find that a bit disturbing - and if our parents were concerned before about a conspiracy with all of the student data, I am sure I will be receiving more letters of refusal once this gets out (not to mention the fact that the DOE wanted us to also issue discipline to the student).
- why would Pearson have names of students, not de-identified numbers? (see this - apparent they get the student ID and the name, not to mention a number of other data points)
- isn't commenting on a test - especially after you took the test - free speech?
- is it spying or is a company just protecting its product?
From Ed Week:
Given the confluence of worries in K-12 over testing, privacy, and the common-core, it seems likely that more parents will be asking questions about the monitoring of social media for assessment purposes in the time ahead—and that school officials will, in turn, be asked to explain those policies.
Want to talk to Pearson on Twitter? @pearson
Facebook? https://www.facebook.com/pearsonplc (unfortunately they don't take messages)
Their blog? http://blog.pearson.com/making-assessments-count/