Tag Archive: social media

PARCC Espionage – Let’s Do More!

In the Theater of the Absurd, what’s more absurd than the truth? Well, maybe the lawless chatter of 8-year-olds! Promoted by Rosi.

Tap Phones. Hack Emails. Bug The Little Bastards’ Bedrooms.

Earlier this week, veteran New Jersey education writer/editor Bob Braun broke the story that Pearson PLC, the developer of the new PARCC standardized test, has been monitoring students’ social media posts. As reported by NJ Spotlight:

In each case, Pearson confirmed that as part of standard security, it looks for students who may be divulging questions on Twitter or other public social media platforms.

Pearson and representatives of the PARCC consortium, as well as a spokesman for the state Department of Education, all defended the practice as necessary to maintain the integrity of the tests, and they said the monitoring is only of public sites and publicly available information.

A breach of PARCC, according to a statement from Pearson, includes any time someone shares information about a test outside of the classroom – from casual conversations to posts on social media.

Casual conversations? Sounds serious. But if loose lips on or offline have the potential to bring down a multibillion dollar test, why are they only monitoring public sites? Isn’t that like only watching for nuclear missiles lobbed at us from Mexico? Or only following Kim Kardashian on Snapchat?

Here are the Democratic Legislators’ Twitter Handles

Here’s a list of the Democratic NJ legislators on Twitter (on the jump page).

TwitterThere are a lot of reasons you might want to follow some of these folks. Follow your own reps. Follow people who are advocating (or working against) bills you care about. Follow committee chairs. Follow Wiz and Loretta, the co-chairs of the SCI investigating the GWB scandal. Follow Steve Sweeney. That guy wants to be your governor. And every Thursday, he answers a handful of questions people tweet him with hashtag #AskSenPres. Gun advocates and right-wingers have dominated those questions since he started that. You might have other things to engage him on. Some of these folks – Norcross, Watson Coleman, Greenstein, Chivukula – are running for Congress. That’s a reason to watch what they say.

Personally, I find it fun to speculate who’s maintaining their own Twitter feed and who might be passing that on to a staffer (tipoff might be more formal, distant language, staff-like language, but maybe not).

There’s a lot of variety in how robust these accounts are. You’ll see. Maybe if you tweet at some of these folks they’ll perk up and realize somebody’s reading them. I noticed some of these accounts need profiles, and some others could benefit with a website link.

Next up, soon as I can do it, will be the GOP legislators. Below – whose Twitter feeds do you think are the most interesting?

Here are the Democratic Legislators’ Twitter Handles

Steve Sweeney answers a few questions via Twitter every Thursday. Use hashtag #AskSenPres anytime during the week; he answers a handful of issues on Thursdays. Gun advocates and right wingers have dominated those questions since he started that; you might have other things to ask him.

Some of them are not kept very current, and some legislators really need to add profiles and website links to those profiles

Who doesn’t tweet, speculate whose social media staff is written & posted by staff (the tipoff might be more formal, distant language, but maybe not). You can follow your own legislators (yes, I’m working on a list of GOP legislators next). But you might also want to follow or tweet to somebody advocating (or working against) legislation you care about. And there are non-legislative reasons to follow some people. SSome of these folks are running for Congress – Don Norcross, Linda Greenstein, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Upendra Chivukula.

Big Block of Cheese Day

Today, as the State of the Union still rings in people’s ears and the I’ve got a teeny penis so I’m gonna throw a reporter off this balcony video threat of Rep. Michael Grimm is defining Staten Island and GOP class, the White House is doing The West Wing.

Today, all day, Obama West Wing staffers are using social media to connect up with people and hear what they have to say. It’s a nod to Andrew Jackson but really more a sassy, PR-savvy nod to two of the best-known episodes of The West Wing, the alternate reality White House that got most of us through the Bush years. The project even has a video with WH press secretary Jay Carney confabbing with Bradley Whitford and Josh Malina (below the fold).

tumblr_n0167ksKr21s9dnijo1_1280 Participate:

Schedule is here.

Tweet to @WhiteHouse.

Hashtags are kind of all over the place. But you can’t go wrong with a basic: #AsktheWH or #BigBlockOfCheeseDay.



Tumblr (shout out to Marshmallow Joey)

Google + Hangout.

Coming up at 1:30pm is a Google + Hangout with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Momotombo will be a particpant:

“I will be asking about public education – in particular the controversies over high stakes testing that were snuck it as part of the Common Core State Standards. But mostly I want the President to know that his public education policies need to be redirected away from the market model and back into a social contract that truly invests in the public part of education.”

Maybe somebody also wants to ask whether Arne Duncan supports what happens when state takeovers of poor districts penalize some kids, and then fail to listen to the community.

To be sure, like a lot of politicians who use social media, the White House is collecting contacts, and using the platform to let you know what’s on the president’s mind. But it’s an opportunity, and this is already a president who reads  10 letters a day from Americans, often using them as a jumping-off point for policy initiatives. So, high marks for creativity. Let us know if you jump in.  

The White House Social Media Open House

On Wednesday, January 29th the White House is opening their social media doors to answer our questions in real time.

As described on the White House Blog

“On Wednesday, January 29th, with a nod to history (and maybe the TV show the West Wing), the Obama Administration is hosting the first-ever virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day”, during which dozens of White House officials will take to social media for a day long open house to answers questions from everyday Americans in real-time on TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagram, and via Google+Hangout.  You can start asking questions now using#AsktheWH.

This is an opportunity for all of us. I am sure the BJ community has plenty of ideas. Share what you will ask here and if you get an answer.

I will be asking about public education – in particular the controversies over high stakes testing that were snuck it as part of the Common Core State Standards. But mostly I want the President to know that his public education policies need to be redirected away from the market model and back into a social contract that truly invests in the public part of education.

Cory Booker, Waywire and CNN Conflict of Interest

Everyone knows that Cory Booker loves social media – heck, at times he seems more interested in Twitter than in Newark! But it seems Booker’s love blinded him to an obvious conflict of interest over at Waywire, the Silicon Valley startup in which he holds a stake worth millions.

As reported by the NY Daily News, Waywire gave a paid consulting gig – including stock options – to the 15-year-old son of CNN boss Jeff Zucker. That kid must be a genius! Why else would Booker and his team have brought him on board?

Of course, once this news went public, the deal was off. Gee, why could that be?

Follow Buono Campaign via Social Media

Barbara Buono buttonHeads-up on a change in Barbara Buono social media. She’s deactivating her personal Facebook page to accommodate the social media traffic of her campaign and keep in contact with supporters. Here’s the best way to track the campaign:

Twitter: Follow @BuonoForNJGov

Link will take you to her Twitter feed. Click the Follow button to add her tweets to your feed.

Facebook: Like Buono For New Jersey


Whaaaat? You’re not following Blue Jersey yet? Dude. Fix you right up: @BlueJersey for Twitter, and Blue Jersey on Facebook. And thanks in advance.

Buono’s statement today, posted on Facebook:

I am honored by the tremendous outpouring of support for my candidacy. So that you can more easily hear about updates from our campaign, I have made the decision to deactivate my personal Facebook page. Please be sure to follow @BuonoForNJGov on twitter and like us on Facebook Buono For New Jersey to stay updated on my race for governor and ways you can help. Thank you, I can’t do this without your support.

9/27 Middlesex Dems Social Media Seminar

Come out and see the blogbrothers. Promoted by Rosi

Fresh off last week’s Democratic National Convention, the Middlesex Democrats are ready for the final push to Election Day.

I know I don’t have to tell everyone at Blue Jersey how – now more than ever – social media is playing an important role in politics.  You’ve all been at the cutting-edge of things for several years now.

That’s why, for my first diary here, I wanted to let everyone know something the Middlesex Dems are putting together later this month to help our local candidates, activists and elected officials learn a bit more about Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.  And I hope some of you can take part, too.

Please join us Thursday, September 27th, as we bring in some of New Jersey’s leading experts to talk about how to best use social media on the campaign trail, in elected office and in your day-to-day life.

Thursday, September 27th

6 PM

IBEW Local 456

1295 Livingston Avenue

North Brunswick, NJ 08902

In fact, the panel’s participants will be some names very familiar to those here at Blue Jersey.

You can RSVP to Dana Korbman at dkorbman@mcdonj.org or (732) 906-3680.

In today’s fast-paced political world, it’s critically important for us all to learn how to best utilize these tools –  to communicate with voters and constituents. The very fact that you’re reading this diary means you know exactly what I’m talking about.  

Fighting back against a bully governor

promoted by Rosi

Normally a story about a teenager in Kansas tweeting does not get my attention.  When 18-year-old high school senior Emma Sullivan was at an event with her governor at the statehouse last week, she used her cell phone to send the following tweet to her then 65 followers “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”  (As of this writing, Emma has over 13,000 followers to her governor’s 3000)  In Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback has staffers who monitor the Internet for content mentioning their bosses name.  Emma’s tweet was reported to her principal and the school was set to take disciplinary actions and make her apologize to the Governor.  Governor Brownback was using his position of power to bully a high school student for saying something negative about him online to her 65 Twitter followers.

But Emma did not back down and refused to apologize to the governor.  Today, instead of Emma apologizing to the governor, he apologized to her and her freedom of speech being under attack.  

Now imagine if Emma were a high school student in New Jersey instead of Kansas.  Now I admit that I do not know much about Governor Brownback and if he has a reputation as a bully or not, but Governor Christie DOES have a reputation as a bully.  He’s used his position of power to bully teachers, Democratic state senators, and the media (into fawning all over him).  Are New Jersey taxpayers paying someone to monitor the web for tweets like Emma’s?  How would Chris Christie handle a courageous high school student who refuses to back down?  

Unless there’s a high school student who is willing to tweet @govchristie and tell him that #heblowsalot, we may never know how he would handle such a situation.  However hopefully Emma’s courageousness will teach the Garden State that they can fight back against a bully governor– and win!