May 24, 2022

Colorado Students Reprimanded for Sharing Test Information Via Social Media

UPDATE: Maryland: Students cheated by posting test questions on social media (via Baltimore Sun)

From The Gazette (Colorado Springs):

A handful of Colorado students have been reprimanded for sharing information about new
standardized test questions on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

And Pearson State Assessment Services, the company that’s contracted to administer the tests, is monitoring the Internet for further violations of its security policies – so students should beware, said Dana Smith, director of communications for the CDE.


Smith said Pearson representatives are looking for breaches by Googling key test words from questions on the new English and math tests developed by PARCC (the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which students in Colorado and 11 other states and the District of Columbia now are taking.

Read the Complete Article

Comment from Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder/Editor:

Just curious…

What happens if the infringing material is NOT indexed by Google? For example, what if the Twitter account is private? How can they access Facebook material if it’s shared ONLY between “friends” and not indexed? Does Pearson send friend requests to gain access? What if the content is placed on a webpage with a robots.txt file blocking indexing?

The article also points out that Pearson can contact the social media provider and ask that the material be taken offline. What procedures does Pearson follow to do this? Are they filing DMCA requests?

Finally, we see almost weekly that it’s easy to hack Twitter and other social media sites. How can the those involved be sure that the student account sharing the infringing material was in control of the actual student when posted? Is there an appeals process?

The issues I might have with this is trying to understand what procedures are in place to make sure that what Pearson is doing is not only understood by those involved (or possibly involved) but as transparent as possible.

Of course, it’s a struggle for many people at all age-levels to understand the possible repercussion of publicly sharing material with an active copyright. This situation might also illustrate something that we see a all of the time. a lack of understanding about how the Internet works especially as it relates to tracking a specific person.

See Also: New Jersey: For “Security Reasons” Pearson is Monitoring the Social Media of Students Taking PARCC Common Core Test

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.