March 16, 2015 Last Updated 8:47 am

Pearson admits to monitoring social media for security of tests

The Washington Post reported this weekend that the publisher Pearson is monitoring social media as part of its security efforts involving the administration of the new PARCC Common Core test. Pearson then is informing school officials though the superintendent of a New Jersey school district called the practice “a bit disturbing.”

“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,” Pearson spokeswoman Stacy Skelly said in an e-mail to the Post.

“We welcome debate and a variety of opinions. But when test questions or elements are posted publicly to the Internet, we are obligated to alert PARCC states. Any contact with students or decisions about student discipline are handled at the local level.”

But Elizabeth C. Jewett, Superintendent of Watchung Hills Regional High School District in New Jersey said in a memo that she has concerns. “Our main concern is, and will always remain, supporting the educational, social and emotional needs of our students. The privacy and security of student information remains the utmost priority for our district.”

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