Should Pearson monitor PARCC related social media? – Poll
As if PARCC wasn't controversial enough, Pearson, the vendor providing the test, is now under fire for monitoring social media related to its product.
Through their surveillance, Pearson found that students may have tweeted messages revealing the contents of the PARCC test. The company "informed the state Department of Education, which then informed the districts through a scripted process of 'security alerts' and 'corrective actions,'” according to NJ Spotlight. At least two school districts in New Jersey were alerted of Pearson's finds.
"The security of a test is critical to ensure fairness for all students and teachers and to ensure that the results of any assessment are trustworthy and valid," wrote Pearson spokeswoman Stacy Skelly in an email defending the social media monitoring.
The company's watchfulness is perceived by some as a breach of student privacy, an extension of Big Brother, or "spying" by the Christie administration.
Yet "most large companies constantly track what people are saying about their products and what is trending on social media," said Superintendent of Pascack Valley Regional High School District Erik Gundersen in an interview with NJ Spotlight. In this light, Pearson's actions can be seen as protecting their product and financial success.
Both sides point out that students have cheated on past paper tests, and that Pearson's approach isn't a "unique" way of making sure test information stays secure.
Do you think it's okay for Pearson to monitor PARCC related social media? Let us know in our poll below.