PARCC updates; the justification for lurking

Some folks flipped out that companies working for PARCC were combing (what we call ‘lurking’ on Twitter) over social media for leaks of testing material. Once again, I’m confused.  Why wouldn’t they?  It’s protected material, and sharing it without permission is illegal.  The more obvious…. it’s called CHEATING!  Read the statement from PARCC below.

Test Fairness and Security 

The PARCC states are committed to secure testing because fair tests are essential to better preparing the next generation for success. How do the states protect the fairness and validity of the PARCC test?

The states contract with a test vendor to search social media and websites for images or words from live tests, which are copyright infringements and jeopardize the fairness of the test for all students.

 Sharing images of test items via Twitter, Instagram, or other public social media sites – or posting basic information about test items – is today’s equivalent of photocopying a test and passing it out on the schoolhouse steps.  Cell phones are not allowed in the testing session and test administrators are instructed to tell all students before the test that sharing any test question online is prohibited.

The PARCC states’ policy follows the best practices outlined by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which recommends that there should be “procedures to monitor the internet and social websites before, during and after test administration for any evidence the items and/or answers have been shared” online.  In order to maintain test security, each PARCC state contracted with its test vendor, Pearson, to search for any live PARCC test questions that are shared through public social media sites. This is standard practice for large-scale tests including ACT and SAT.

Student Data Privacy and Security 

Student data privacy and security are critically important to the PARCC states and its member states, which have adopted a Data Privacy and Security Policy and implemented a rigorous set of policies and guidelines to protect student privacy and the security of data.

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