Datafication and surveillance capitalism : The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS)

Book chapter


Holloway, Jessica and Lewis, Steven. (2021). Datafication and surveillance capitalism : The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). In In Wyatt-Smith, Claire, Lingard, Bob and Heck, Elizabeth (Ed.). Digital disruption in teaching and testing : Assessments, big data, and the transformation of schooling pp. 181-194 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
AuthorsHolloway, Jessica and Lewis, Steven
EditorsWyatt-Smith, Claire, Lingard, Bob and Heck, Elizabeth
Abstract

[Extract] The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States (US) in November 2016 will likely be remembered as one of the greatest upsets in modern political history. What was thought to be a sure win for candidate Hillary Clinton quickly turned into a shocking defeat, leaving political experts rattled and searching for new analytical tools to help explain their miscalculations. More recently, details have emerged about the (previously) little-known data analytics company Cambridge Analytica and its role – and that of data more generally – in securing the Trump Presidency, reflecting the increasing power that big data and technical analytics exert over the daily lives of citizens. What the public learned was that their seemingly private participation on various websites (such as Facebook) was being tracked and collected, often without their knowledge or express consent. These data were then “mined,”1 sold, and analyzed for profiling potential demographic and political factions within the US electorate, meaning people were targeted for political grooming via specific advertising and content.

Although polling techniques and political targeting are constant and consistent features of modern politics, what made Cambridge Analytica so unique was its purposeful disregard for the human candidate. While traditional campaign techniques might start with a candidate’s policy position and then use polling data to craft a targeted message for a particular constituency, Cambridge Analytica started with the data and instead worked backwards. The company first used data mined from social media sites to identify the “mood” of constituents, before testing various emotive messages to craft a policy position. Relying on years of harvested data and message testing, Cambridge Analytica helped manufacture the perfect primed candidate for any given electorate. The candidate needed not be ideologically sound, socially pure, or experientially prepared, but merely “programmable”; that is, capable of being encoded with tried and tested scripts, be they “Make America Great Again,” “Build the Wall,” or “Lock Her Up.”

Page range181-194
Year2021
Book titleDigital disruption in teaching and testing : Assessments, big data, and the transformation of schooling
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publication New York
SeriesCritical Social Thought
ISBN9781003045793
1003045790
9780367493356
Web address (URL)https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/acu/detail.action?docID=6549763
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Jul 2021
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