Common Core Privacy and Privacy Rights Students Teachers Testing

Bob Braun: The Brave Néw World of Testing and Spying

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Bob Braun says that Pearson closely monitors students during and after testing, to protect test security. They expect educators to collaborate with the state contract with Pearson.

“Another New Jersey school district–Hanover Park Regional in East Hanover–was notified by state officials that “monitoring”–spying?– by the British test publisher Pearson revealed at least one student had used a social media account to post a forbidden message regarding the PARCC tests. No surprise, really–it’s happening everywhere, including Maryland where a state official said he gets daily reports from Pearson on what students are saying about testing on their social media accounts.

“PARCC has a very sophisticated system that closely monitors social media for pretty much everything (comments like the one you shared, test item questions that students use cell phones cameras and take),” said Henry Johnson, the state assistant education commissioner in Maryland. The state, like New Jersey, has a contract with Pearson.

“We get those reports daily.”

Let’s run that one by you again:

“PARCC has a very sophisticated system that closely monitors social media for pretty much everything….”

The phrase “pretty much everything” aptly describes the broad reach of how this brave new world of testing and cooperation with government works. Pearson will say–as it told the Washington Post–that it is doing it for “security” reasons.

But security is itself a broad term. Here is what the State of New Jersey and Pearson agreed encompassed the idea of security and its possible breach–it’s codified in the testing manual developed by the state and sent out to all the districts:

“Revealing or discussing passages or test items with anyone, including students and school staff, through verbal exchange, email, social media, or any other form of communication.”

Another opportunity for repetition for emphasis here–discussing? Any other form of communication?

So, if children come home from school and their parents ask–”How was your day, sweetheart?” and the children talk about a really dumb question on the PARCC, they will be violating the rules and be subject to whatever punishment is meted out for cheating–as a blogger did who learned from a child who hadn’t taken the test that there was a passage on it about The Wizard of Oz.”

New Jersey is paying Pearson $108 million to run its PARCC testing program

Meanwhile Breitbart reports that a Superintendent in New Jersey confirmed Bob Braun’s initial story about spying on students.

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