Accountability Pearson Privacy and Privacy Rights Testing

Has Pearson Gone Too Far? Write Michael Barber!

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We learned in the past few days that Pearson is monitoring the Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts and other social media used by America’s children. Some call it spying. Pearson expects America’s teachers and principals to help them police the children to make sure that they don’t write about or even discuss the PARCC test. (The corporation administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments is trying to exercise the same control to protect its tests.)


Mercedes Schneider here describes Pearson’s intrusive policy for non-native speakers of English who take the “Pearson Test of English Academic.”


Part of the agreement signed by the test-taker states:


I confirm that I have carefully reviewed the PTE Academic Test Taker Handbook, including, but not limited to, those provisions relating to testing, score cancellations, privacy policies, and the collection, processing, use and transmission to the United States of the PTE Academic test taker’s personally identifiable data (including the digital photograph, fingerprint, signature, palm-vein scan, and audio/video recording collected at the test centre) and disclosure of such data to Pearson Language Tests, its service providers, any score recipients the PTE Academic test taker selects, and others as necessary to prevent unlawful activity or as required by law.


Excuse me, but what is a “palm-vein scan?” Does everyone know this except me?


Now, there is no point just baying at the moon. If you don’t like Pearson’s policies, why not write to the man in charge, Michael Barber? In Great Britain, he is called “Sir Michael,” but in the United States we don’t recognize titles, so you may address him in the democratic style as Michael Barber, or Mr. Barber, or Mike. He is best known for his ardent faith in targets, goals, or what he calls “deliverology.”


Write him here:

[email protected]



Be candid. Tell him what you think.



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