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Over the past few days, the leadership of the PARCC Common Core consortium moved forcefully to threaten bloggers with legal action who dared to describe the contents of its fourth grade tests. Even tweets were taken down, based on PARCC’s complaints to Twitter. One of my own posts was hacked late Friday night.
One of the board members of the Network For Public Education, Bertis Downs, is an attorney who represents the rock group REM and deals often with issues of copyright and intellectual property. He wrote to Laura Slover of PARCC to tell her that the testing company’s position had little merit. Most of what she objected to was descriptions of the test questions, which is not copyrighted. There is an issue as to whether the copyrighted material is subject to the fair use doctrine, which permits the reprinting of a limited amount of copyrighted material (up to 300 words) without violating the copright.
As the hacking and bullying and removal of innocuous tweets continued, we realized that we are not powerless. Leonie Haimson, another board member of NPE, posted the original post that PARCC objected to on her blog. That post was sent to NPE’s Education Bloggers Network, which consists of more than 300 bloggers. (Jonathan Pelto administers the Education Bloggers Network; contact him if you blog and want to join. He can be reached at [email protected])
Instead of being suppressed or redacted, the post on Celia Oyler’s blog is getting wide distribution.
They have the money. We have the numbers. There is power in our numbers.