The superintendent of the Watchung Hills Regional High School District in New Jersey has confirmed that she sent an email to fellow superintendents Tuesday about her concern that education publishing giant Pearson is “monitoring” children’s social media accounts for possible leaks about the Common Core-aligned PARCC tests.
On Friday, Bob Braun, a former leading columnist for The Star Ledger in New Jersey, posted on his blog and Facebook page an email superintendent Elizabeth Jewett sent to colleagues regarding Pearson’s monitoring of social media posts by students in her district. The email reads:
Good morning all,
Last night at 10PM, my testing coordinator received a call from the NJDOE that Pearson had initiated a Priority 1 Alert for an item breach within our school. The information the NJDOE initially called with was that there was a security breach DURING the test session, and they suggested the student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. After further investigation on our part, it turned out that the student had posted a tweet (NO PICTURE) at 3:18PM (after school) that referenced a PARCC test question. The student deleted the tweet and we spoke with the parent – who was obviously highly concerned as to her child’s tweets being monitored by the DOE. 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). I thought this was worth sharing with the group.