Legislators, lobbyists, and Twitter feeds were aflame last week when news surfaced that Pearson, the company that produces PARCC assessments, had hired a company to monitor social media for security breaches and, specifically, had caught a high school student in Watchung Hills Regional High School who posted test information on his Twitter account.
Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted, "OMG–Breaking: Pearson, spying on social media of NJ students taking PARCC tests." Diane Ravitch mourned, "privacy is truly dead." More locally, Bob Braun bleated that "spying on children is a betrayal of the public trust" while Mark Weber intoned that "a private, foreign corporation decided their property rights trump [a student's] First Amendment rights." Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, always happy to jump on the anti-testing bandwagon, told The Record that "this type of event has a chilling effect on parents and kids."
Let's all take a deep breath, examine the facts, and plumb the motivations behind these fiery reactions to the news that a testing organization was trying to keep kids from cheating.Read the rest here.
Labels: AFT, DOE, NJEA, PARCC