After Bob Braun published a post breaking the news that Pearson was spying on students’ social media during PARCC testing, his blog was shut down. If you read his note below, it will not be clear to you, as it is not clear to me, whether his site was shut down by the attack or by him, “to stop the attack.” Frankly, I would have no idea how to shut down my site. If you clicked on the link, you got a screen that says, “This Account Has Been Suspended.”


Bob Braun posted this note on his Facebook page:


TO MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK FRIENDS: My site has been attacked and has been shut down to stop the attack. You might want to contact Pearson and let them know you don’t appreciate suppression of legitimate news.


Here is the text of the original post and here is the original link:


MARCH 13, 2015
BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests
 ” Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.

 This website discovered the unauthorized and hidden spying thanks to educators who informed it of the practice–a practice happening throughout the state and apparently throughout the country. The spying–or “monitoring,” to use Pearson’s word–was confirmed at one school district–the Watchung Hills Regional High School district in Warren by its superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett.
Jewett sent out an e-mail–posted here– to her colleagues expressing concern about the unauthorized spying on students. She said parents are upset and added that she thought Pearson’s behavior would contribute to the growing “opt out” movement.
In her email, Jewett said the district’s testing coordinator received a late night call from the state education department saying that Pearson had “initiated a Priority 1 Alert for an item breach within our school.”
The unnamed state education department employee contended a student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. But it turned out the student had posted–at 3:18 pm, after testing was over–a tweet about one of the items with no picture. Jewett does not say the student revealed a question. Jewett continues:


“The student deleted the tweet and we spoke with the parent–who was obviously highly concerned as to her child’s tweets being monitored by the DOE (state education department).
“The DOE informed us that Pearson is monitoring all social media during the PARCC testing.”