Is @Pearson the new KGB?
Pearson: Rolling over teachers who dare to speak out
It began with discreet data collection. For a while now Pearson has been quietly collecting information about our children, students and schools, and sharing it with third party vendors—many of which are funded with 'reformy' money—for a whole host of reasons.
Then last year, Bob Braun's blog site was mysteriously shut down for a brief period coincidentally right after he posted this piece about Pearson spying on students who were tweeting about the PARCC test. Valerie Strauss picked up the story in her columnat the Washington Post.
But wait, there's more...
Leonie Haimson and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy have been monitoring student data mining for quite some time. Just two months ago they reported that Lacey Twp parent, Heather Hicks, complained to her local board of ed about a blended learning software used in her son's biology class, the contract for which was later not renewed.
Heather was surprised to discover later that she was repeatedly criticized by Bruce Friend, the chief operating officer of iNACOL (the International Association of K-12 Online Learning) in a February 10, 2016 workshop he gave at Pearson’s CITE 2016 conference – in a presentation called “Gaining Stakeholder Buy-in for your Online/Blended Learning Program.” He later gave the same presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning, where the session was described this way:
This session will address the importance of gaining stakeholder support as you seek to build a blended (or online) learning program. Stakeholders include students, parents, teachers, school leaders. We will share effective strategies in gaining the support of these key contacts; discuss barriers to gaining support; and share examples of the consequences when stakeholder support is not achieved.
Heather made this video to tell the real story of what happened. It highlights the lengthMarie Corfield: Is @Pearson the new KGB?: