There’s a growing outrage after reports today that Pearson Publishing have been spying on students. It is also reported that Pearson is working with some US education departments to censure students who have discussed tests on social media after taking them. Pearson apparently likes to call this ‘listening and monitoring‘.
Read more on Save Our Schools NZ.
Note that the original source – Bog Braun’s blog – was reportedly knocked offline by a DDoS attack.
But when the dust settles, is it really inappropriate for a testing firm to monitor social media as one part of monitoring test security? And is it really wrong for them to alert school districts if they find evidence of improper sharing of a test item – or to ask the district to take steps to discipline any student breaking test security?
In this case, it is not clear that any student actually tweeted a question and answer on the test before the completion of the test, but if parents support school districts monitoring social media to prevent one problem (cyberbullying), would they support the school district itself also monitoring social media to protect test security? Is the problem that Pearson – protecting its own product – did the monitoring?
There’s a discussion to be had, but I’m not sure that parents will prevail on this one.