Eliminate the usage of Proctorio in online assessments at College Park High School

Eliminate the usage of Proctorio in online assessments at College Park High School

October 6, 2020
Petition to
Mark Murrell
Signatures: 462Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

credit to Isabel for the idea to write a petition

credit to Raamesh for research on the petition

This change will impact the students of The Woodlands College Park High School by protecting the privacy of students engaged in remote learning. Schools do not have the right to record students in their personal homes and it is more important that we value privacy over academic honesty because our privacy is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974 and the United States Constitution; therefore it is illegal to incriminate on this basic human right. Not only is proctorio highly invasive (i.e: it can manage your downloads and change all of your data on the websites you visit), it can even change your privacy related settings and unknowingly allow you to broadcast more information than you knowingly give consent to. 

Essentially, Proctorio has the ability to monitor eye movements, keystrokes, tabs, computer monitors connected to the desktop, and web traffic. If a student has "suspicious eye movements" or looks away even once during the exam, that time block will be marked "suspicious" and the teacher administering the test will have to go back over the video. Because it is very easy to be marked "suspicious", it is unnecessary to have Proctorio, as it only increases the workload that teachers have to go through and is an unreliable measure of academic honesty. 

A previous example of the exact same situation occurring within a public school is the Robbins v Lower Merion School District case. This was a federal lawsuit in 2010 that used illegal surveillance to take over 66,000 images using school chromebooks that had been brought home after the school day. When the case was settled, the school district lost over $610,000 dollars. The very same case could easily happen in Conroe ISD, which is why it is not worth using such a sketchy app.

The choices given are to either force students to come to school and take the test to ensure academic honesty, or force students to install a potentially harmful app, which is a violation of students' privacy. Neither choice is reasonable, as the current times are incredibly dire and many students are unwilling to take health risks by going to school and becoming exposed to hundreds of students who could potentially spread the COVID-19 disease. 

In addition, there are students who attend TWCP that have anxiety and other mental health issues who need to look around to calm down and focus during an exam. However, they are unable to do so because of the way Proctorio is designed. No one with these mental health issues should have to be punished for something that they cannot control, which is another reason why it is unnecessary to use this extension.

Furthermore, it has been proved that the software used in Proctorio perpetuates racial and gender inequalities. For example, a black woman who attended a university that used Proctorio states that because Proctorio was unable to validate her identity due to the color of her skin, she was often denied access to tests. On the contrary, her white peers never encountered this issue. Similar issues have happened with trans and nonbinary students vs cisgender students. 

Because of the reasons stated above, it is imperative that this invasive app be removed from all assessments administered by TWCP. Thank you.

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Signatures: 462Next Goal: 500
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Decision Makers

  • Mark Murrell