Members of the Newark school board Tuesday night demanded that Gov. Chris Christie and state Education Commissioner David Hespe force state-appointed school superintendent Cami Anderson to show up and publicly explain why she paid Tiffany Hardrick, a former top aide, as much as $25,000 after Hardrick left the city and began working in another state.
Cami Anderson, Gov. Chris Christie’s educational overseer in Newark, somehow managed to allow Tiffany Hardrick, an old associate, to be paid as a Newark employee even after Hardrick started working in an Arkansas school district last spring. A state audit revealed the irregularities–possibly costing New Jersey taxpayers some $25,000–but Anderson’s own friends in Trenton already have rushed to help her out.
A legal analyst for the New Jersey education department told a legislative committee the other day that Pearson, the multi-billion dollar British corporation that produces the PARCC tests, could protect its “intellectual property” rights in the test by searching out what students are posting about the test on social media sites. The only problem with what Patrician Morgan said was this: Pearson doesn’t own the tests or the test questions.
New Jersey’s education commissioner Thursday blew off a legislative committee hearing and a crowd of angry and frightened parents worried about spying on children–but his act of contempt led to a startling revelation: PARCC test publisher Pearson can pry out private information from children posting on Twitter and Facebook.
Bari Anhalt Erlichson, an assistant New Jersey education commissioner and chief testing officer who supervises PARCC testing throughout the state, has a personal connection of sorts to PARCC’s developer, the British publishing giant Pearson. Anhalt Erlichson is married to Andrew Erlichson, a vice president of a company named MongoDB. MongoDB (the name comes from humongous database) is a subcontractor to Pearson, that helped to develop its national student database that provided the larger company with access to student records. Pearson later sold the center to Hobsons which no longer deals with MongoDB.
The chief testing officer for the New Jersey education department is blaming others–particularly parents and educators–for the uproar about a private company’s monitoring of the social media accounts of children taking state, standardized tests known as PARCC.
New Jersey is paying nearly $100,000 to a Utah company to go through hundreds of thousands of social media postings to determine whether children are revealing anything about the PARCC tests. The company, Caveon Test Security, is a subcontractor to Pearson, the British-based publishing company.
Two other New Jersey school districts–Hanover Park Regional in East Hanover and South Orange-Maplewood–were notified by state officials that “monitoring”–spying?– Twitter traffic revealed students had used social media accounts to post a forbidden messages regarding the PARCC tests. No surprise, really–it’s happening everywhere, including Maryland where a state official said he gets daily reports from Pearson, the publisher of the standardized tests. on what students are saying about testing on their internet accounts.
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.
Despite 20 years of state control–and four years of a radical “reform” agenda imposed by state superintendent Cami Anderson–the Newark public schools continue to struggle, according to the latest New Jersey Report Card on the state’s public schools. But the report just doesn’t show chronic failure, it also demonstrates almost unbelievable ineptitude, perhaps nowhere more evident than in the report card’s reporting of attendance figures. The report card wants the residents of the state to believe Newark schools have an almost 100 percent student attendance rate.