Pearson Is Everywhere: Defending Spying On Students Edition

Pearson: Always Earning

Pearson: Always Earning

Welcome back to another installment of Pearson Is Everywhere!

Last time we looked at Pearson spying on students via social media to ‘protect’ the Common Core PARCC tests.

Today, we have an update on that story. According to the Denver Post, Pearson is defending it’s monitoring of students, but promising to ‘let the states do it’ from now on.


Denver Post reports that Pearson has agree to stop the practice of monitoring students using test rosters and leave it up to the states, however there is a tidbit in their article that needs highlighting.

Here’s the relevant excerpt of the article, with emphasis added:

Pearson agreed this week at the states’ request to stop matching social media posts to a list of students on test rosters — instead leaving the matching to states, Skelly said.

“All students deserve fair tests,” said Dana Smith, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Education. “If they get advance warning about what is on the test, they have an unfair advantage.”

Skelly said a Pearson subcontractor monitors public social media posts, and in most cases, students list their locations in their social media profiles.

In Colorado, cellphones are not allowed in testing sessions. Smith said the social media monitoring involves searching keywords or images from PARCC, which tests students in grades 3-11 in math and English.

Pearson uses a subcontractor to monitor our kids. How nice.

(Update 3/21/15: 
Apparently the ‘who’ is a company called Caveon according to Politico.)

What is this subcontrator’s privacy policy? How do they handle the data?  Could this subcontractor be using Tracx?


I want to give a shout out to fellow warrior, Cheri Kiesecker, who was included in the Denver Post article!

Cheri Kiesecker, a Fort Collins parent and student data privacy advocate, said parent concerns are heightened because public information is lacking over what exactly Pearson is monitoring.

“Without transparency, you won’t have trust, and without trust, you won’t have parent buy-in and you won’t have technology move forward in the classroom,” she said.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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2 Responses to Pearson Is Everywhere: Defending Spying On Students Edition

  1. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 3-22-15 | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. Reblogged this on Femininican and commented:
    Spying on your children, it’s the Common Core way! Pearson gets busted spying on kids, but don’t worry, the children will still be monitored, there will just be some different entity doing the snooping. Privacy schmivacy, your children MUST be data mined for somebody else’s profit and power – it’s for the kids’ own good!

    Liked by 1 person

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