Massachusetts education authorities have their eyes trained on Twitter this week, searching for signs of students who are cheating on the state-wide MCAS exams.
According to the Boston Globe Friday: staffers “scour” for MCAS hashtags during the tests. The practice kicked off last June during the science tests. Out of 76,000 students, 10 were caught tweeting and their tests were spiked.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests are the bane of existence for students from elementary through high school. All students in public schools — or private schools that take state aid — must take the standardized tests on english, math and science.
A spokesman for the state department of elementary and secondary education told the Globe: “Twitter … is something we need to be aware of.”
You might think that if you or your friends are breaking the rules, you might not want to take to social media and blab about it. But you would be wrong. In the Steubenville, Ohio rape case, the perpetrators were caught (and later convicted) in part based on information that was shared by their buddies on Twitter, Facebook and other social outlets.
For what it’s worth, a quick scan of #MCAS on Twitter mostly turned up students talking about the Globe story or complaining about the tests. So this lesson may have been learned.