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Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL)

Privacy Policy

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, a business of NCS Pearson, Inc. ("Pearson") provides the Privacy Policy that applies to personal information that Pearson may collect or process in providing testing registration and testing services as a service provider to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ("Client"). By accessing this website (hereinafter "Site") and the Pearson ePortfolio system (hereinafter "Services") contained on this Site, you agree you have read and understood this Privacy Policy. You acknowledge your use of this Site and its Services are subject to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy, and agree your use shall conform to these Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use this Site and its Services, you acknowledge that you understand, accept and agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use for this Site.

Purpose of this Site and Collecting Personal Information. This Site is an online registration and web based platform designed for use by Massachusetts Performance Leader Assessment ("PAL") candidates to register for the PAL and submit materials for scoring and reporting to designated education agencies. Pearson may use the personal information and content candidates provide while accessing this site to: a) perform registration and collect payment for the PAL; b) communicate with the candidate about the assessment registration, assessment process, and assessment results; c) perform services, including scoring and data analysis; d) prepare and communicate test results to the Client, candidate, and the candidate's designated reporting educator preparation programs(s) or entity; e) improve products and services; f) notify candidates about updates, products, and services related to PAL; g) contact candidates regarding opportunities for participation in test-related studies or activities. If a candidate does not wish to be contacted regarding these opportunities, please contact us at

Personal Information Collection and Disclosure. The personal data that Pearson collects or receives from Candidates who participate in the PAL may include the following: name, e-mail address, address, phone number, partial social security number (last four digits), date of birth, gender, assessment field, a MEPID (Massachusetts Education Personnel ID), educational program/institution affiliation, primary language (optional), district in which you work, licensure level (optional), expected program completion date (optional), race/ethnicity, credit card or payment information.

Upon request by the candidate, we will (i) deactivate the candidate's account, thereby canceling the candidate's ability to use the Site, or (ii) correct a candidate's personal information that is erroneous.

This site is not directed to children or anyone under the age of thirteen (13). Pearson will not, through this site knowingly collect, maintain, or use any personally identifiable information about anyone under the age of thirteen (13).

Content Collection and Disclosure. Candidate users of this site may submit personal portfolio materials or artifacts through this site for purposes of the PAL scoring at Pearson. All portfolio materials submitted by candidate users may be viewed by the following individuals: employees, contractors, or subcontractors of Pearson scoring the assessment or providing technical support or related systems or services. Submitted assessment materials, or a portion thereof, may be reviewed by authorized individuals at the Client as part of an investigation associated with compliance with the Rules of Assessment Participation or an originality detection investigation, as needed. Pearson will provide the scores assigned to candidate portfolio materials or artifacts to the educational program/institution/entity designated by the candidate during the registration process and to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. With candidate consent (obtained from response to the associated registration question), the PAL assessment materials, without student or other identifying information may be used for development activities conducted by Pearson and the Client to support continued assessment development processes. These development activities may include, but are not limited to, conducting ongoing studies of the PAL. In the event content submitted by users violates state or federal law, or indicates the existence of a threat of harm to any person as determined in Pearson's sole discretion, Pearson may also provide the user's personal information and portfolio materials to local, state or federal law enforcement officials.

Other Use or Disclosure of Information. Except for the limited exceptions set forth below, Pearson will not share with or disclose to, third parties a candidate's personally identifiable information collected through or in connection with this Site. Pearson may, however, use or disclose personally identifiable information:

  • As requested or required by the Client or to another educational program/institution/entity that candidate designates.
  • in response to a subpoena, court order, or legal process, to the extent permitted and required by law;
  • to protect candidate security or the security of other persons, consistent with applicable law;
  • in connection with a sale, joint venture, or other transfer of some or all of the assets of Pearson;
  • to affiliated companies and, organizations who are working as contractors or agents of Pearson who are obligated to protect candidates privacy in a manner consistent with this Privacy Policy.

By using this Site and the Pearson ePortfolio system, a candidate gives their consent for their personal information to be transmitted in the situations outlined above.

Pearson may statistically aggregate in non-person-specific form assessment responses and other information collected in the assessment registration and delivery process. Such aggregated non-person-specific information may be used for quality control, operations management, and security and to enhance, develop, or improve assessment processes, assessment services, and assessments.

Protection of Personal Information. Pearson uses reasonable precautions to protect personal information from unauthorized use, access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. These precautions include industry standard physical, electronic, and managerial procedures. For example, this Site currently uses industry-standard TLS encryption to protect user account and password information and uses a secure connection to Pearson servers, which are protected by firewalls to prevent unauthorized access. The administrative system and authentication mechanisms are protected through the use of TLS encryption of data transmitted via HTTP. As other security methodologies become commercially available, Pearson may change its current security systems processes or substitute these systems with other security systems or processes.

IP Addresses. An IP address is a number automatically assigned to a computer by the Internet Service Provider ("ISP"). This site may collect IP addresses; the associated URLs; domain types; the browser type used to access our site; the country, state, and telephone area code; the location of the ISP's servers; the pages of our site that the user views during the visit; any search terms entered on this site; and the user's Web site address and e-mail address. This information may be collected for system administration purposes, to gather broad demographic information, and to monitor the level of activity on the site. Pearson does not link IP addresses to personally identifiable information; however, we reserve the right to link IP addresses and other information supplied by the ISP to personally identifiable information in order to protect the integrity of our system and for security purposes.

Cookies and Do Not Track. Cookies are small text files that a Web site transfers to a computer's browser. We use cookies to measure traffic patterns, personalize content, and control security. The cookies we use supply non-personally-identifiable information, but they may identify your computer, browser, and Internet specifications.

This site does not respond to web browser "do not track" signals or comparable signals or mechanisms.

Precautions to be Taken by Users. User Information and access to this Site is password protected for candidate privacy. Candidates are urged to keep confidential all user information and passwords. If storage of this information is required, it is recommended that it be kept in a secure location. To protect data, candidates should always logoff when exiting this Site and not divulge or share user identification or passwords with anyone.

Links to Other Sites. This site may contain links to other Web sites on the Internet that are owned and operated by third parties, or by Pearson or its affiliates. The information practices of those Web sites are not covered by this Privacy Policy, but by their own terms and policies, which should be read carefully. These other sites may send their cookies to users, collect data, or solicit personal information. This Privacy Policy applies only to information collected or received in connection with assessment registration and services for the PAL. This Privacy Policy is not intended to apply to other Pearson Web sites, or other types of information which may be subject to different privacy policies.

Changes to This Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use for this Site from time to time by posting an updated Privacy Policy. Authorized users will be notified of any material changes to this Privacy Policy at login, via email or through another form of notification. We encourage candidates to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes or updates. Unless otherwise specified, continued use of this Site following the posting and notification of such revisions or the designated effective date will indicate your acceptance of such revisions. This Privacy Policy is effective as of September 30, 2016.

Information Questions, Access and Corrections. To correct the personal information that we collect at the time of registration, or if you have questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy, please contact us by e-mail at

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