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Ads on Tests?I just read a bit of news which is really interesting. What do you all...

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 24, 2008 at 6:02 PM via web

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Ads on Tests?

I just read a bit of news which is really interesting. What do you all think of this?


Math Teacher In California Sells Ads On Class Exams To Cover Printing Costs.

The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune (11/24) reports that Rancho Bernardo High School math teacher Tom Farber "sells ads to local businesses" that he includes on the first page of students' exams. The money from the ads helps "cover printing costs." Farber pointed out that "the money he gets [from the school] for printing was cut this year to about $300 for two semesters. Printing the quizzes and tests costs more than $500, he said, and doesn't include handouts that students download and print on their own." Advertisers "pay $10 for an ad on a quiz, $20 to be on a chapter test and $30 for a spot on a semester final. Some of the quotes, either personal ones or by famous people, are paid for by parents." Although "Farber hasn't received sponsorships from any major retailers or store chains...he hasn't ruled them out. He said he would prefer to get ads from local mom-and-pop stores, such as a tuxedo shop around prom time."

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 24, 2008 at 6:34 PM (Answer #2)

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I cannot believe that this is actually happening. I'm actually speechless!

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:40 PM (Answer #3)

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I think Mr. Farber should re-think his strategy. These 'ads' will definitely distract the students, especially if the 'ad' is targeted to the student population. I understand 'the number of copies allowed' sometimes falls short of what a teacher might need however, I believe there are other solutions to the problem. For example, quizzes can be written up on the blackboard, review the hand-outs, perhaps the shorter ones can also be written on the board instead of copied. What is most unfortunate is that I cannot help but think that this individual is doing this to make a passive-aggressive statement to his administration, indirectly using the students as the 'fall guys'....

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:19 PM (Answer #4)

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Wow.  I do not think this is a good idea at all...

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aphoenix | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:35 PM (Answer #5)

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I can understand the initial reaction to ads on quizzes, but I also can't help but think that the message being sent is "You pay us so little, not enough to do the job well. If you object to the ads, then pony up the funds needed so I don't have to do this."

But as long as we are talking about fund raising, why not ask why proceeds of the bake sales, book fairs, or any of the other tons of sales schools have do not help defray the cost of daily needs?  We have students having to bring in large amounts of tissue, hand sanitzer, and other supplies. Which leads me to ask, What exactly is the school paying for when they are not even providing soap in the students' rest rooms? In my school in Alabama kids don't even have their own workbooks. Ironically, we are also #3 from the bottom in the national report card.

I don't necessarily agree with ads on the quizzes, but what can we do when we are faced with the choice between providing the best education we can and meeting our personal financial responsibilities on the pittance we are paid? We can see everything this teacher is doing wrong, but I don't see any constructive suggestions aimed at placing the blame where it belongs - the school boards.

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aphoenix | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:58 PM (Answer #6)

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Ads on Tests?

I just read a bit of news which is really interesting. What do you all think of this?


Math Teacher In California Sells Ads On Class Exams To Cover Printing Costs.

The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune (11/24) reports that Rancho Bernardo High School math teacher Tom Farber "sells ads to local businesses" that he includes on the first page of students' exams. The money from the ads helps "cover printing costs." Farber pointed out that "the money he gets [from the school] for printing was cut this year to about $300 for two semesters. Printing the quizzes and tests costs more than $500, he said, and doesn't include handouts that students download and print on their own." Advertisers "pay $10 for an ad on a quiz, $20 to be on a chapter test and $30 for a spot on a semester final. Some of the quotes, either personal ones or by famous people, are paid for by parents." Although "Farber hasn't received sponsorships from any major retailers or store chains...he hasn't ruled them out. He said he would prefer to get ads from local mom-and-pop stores, such as a tuxedo shop around prom time."

 

It is disturbing that a teacher has to go to such lengths to meet the needs of the students. But I really can't blame just the teacher. Where I am, the districts use "Partners in Education" where churches and other companies donate books, dictionaries and other items *with their logos on them*. How is that any different? Especially when we are looking at public schools handing out supplies with church information on them. I've seen "Christmas Trees" with ornaments which carry the name of the store that donates an item (like an ornament with reads 100 pencils from ABC - Your One Stop Shopping Center!" 

The only difference I see there is that the whole school seems to benefit rather than just one class. We have been driven to an Every Man for Himself and it's the students who lose out. 

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 25, 2008 at 5:29 AM (Answer #8)

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The article notes that his students have to download some worksheets. IF, and only if, the ads are on his web page, then maybe I can accept them. But, then again, he does sell ad space on quizzes and doesn't say whether those are online. I'm just appalled!

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted November 25, 2008 at 8:58 AM (Answer #9)

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I think this man is brilliant. Firstly, he has found an ingenious way to avoid paying for classroom supplies out of his own pocket. Secondly, he is spurring the local economy in tough economic times. Thirdly, he has brought attention to the gross underfunding of our schools. Well done math teacher in California!

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pward55 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 25, 2008 at 5:27 PM (Answer #10)

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In this day and time, we as teachers have to do whatever is necessary and "legal" to help our students.  In our school, we are fortunate to have partners. We make sure that our community gets involved with the students and their needs.  We have a great PTSO and the president ensures that the fundraisers take care of paper, and the like.  Our principal is great for looking for 'freebies' for us. We have never had to worry about paper. We do take care not to abuse. For example, I rarely use the copier. I have 1000 sheets per 9 weeks. Leftovers, I lend to my coworkers. I will print up a test for 30 and students must use their own paper. Or, we'll go to the media center and assess on the computer. There are ways. You just have to be inventive and creative.  Churches, businesses and other leaders of the community always provide help to the schools.  We have 'free' shopping every year, and there are monies available in several funds for every teacher to order the things they need.  And finally, we spend our own money. It's natural. I don't know many teachers who don't spend some of their own funds to get the things they want in their classroom.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 29, 2008 at 4:33 PM (Answer #11)

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In this age of marketing, practically on anything and everything I don't see the problem with the teacher's ingenuity.  He solved a problem by harmlessly putting an ad on a test paper. What shocks me is why would  a business pay to put their ads on test papers?   Unless the ads are related to something that is relevant to the student.  It doesn't sound like real advertising. 

The purpose of advertising is to target your audience and to maximize the exposure of the ad utilizing the advertising resources, budget allowance, in the best way possible.

I know that my students usually throw away their test papers after they get them back graded, I constantly find them on the floor or in the garbage.  

Good for him if he is such a talented salesman that he can help his school with this small effort.   

 

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sgilmore8 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2008 at 8:06 AM (Answer #12)

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I would love to talk to that teacher from California.  That was an awesome idea.  We as teachers have to be creative and not complain about every little thing.  I know personally that there are many people willing to help if you just ask.  Awesome Idea Mr. Farber!!!

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted December 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM (Answer #13)

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This thought poses a genuine ethical dilemma: Is "test sponsorship" considered a violation of professional ethics or not? What's next? "This test brought to you by Victoria's Secret." I don't know about elementary schoolers, but I can assure you that any adolescent male student would completely zone out. So, maybe the above example is a bit of an exaggeration, but really now, who's going to focus on a test's content when they've just been bombarded by the $9.99 sale going on at Aeropostale? The mind reels... 

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 8, 2008 at 6:32 PM (Answer #14)

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As a teacher in NYC who understands how hard it is to get copies, I say BRAVO!!! Why didn't I think of this before spending tons of my own money on copies!

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jennyrocks | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 8, 2008 at 7:25 PM (Answer #15)

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Honestly, I am torn. Anything to help relieve the monetary stress that school budgets feel is great. However, I agree with some of the other posts about it being an ethical issue. I do like the fact that he is taking local business sponsorship, but that could show favoritism over one company in the area for another. My biggest concern is also the kids may get distracted. I know that in my Basic English classroom, getting my kids to not pay attention to anything but what is right in front of them is a battle in itself. I couldn't imagine having a color add for something that they may want or think they need. I think it is an ingenious idea as a message to the community, administration, state and federal government about the underfunding issues facing schools today, but it isn't something I think I would personally implement in my classroom.

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sgilmore8 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 11, 2008 at 7:17 AM (Answer #16)

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Now honestly I am confused.  Jenny how could you be torn and at the same time say "Anything to help relieve the monetary stress that school budgets feel is great." 

If it's unethical, then why was the teacher doing it.  I mean we live in a world where you've got to do what you've got do and if it means selling ads, then sell ads.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion but, that teacher did not ask anyone of you all to go sell any ads. Did he?  He was just simply making a suggestion or simply giving an idea on something that worked for him.  Teachers don't make 6 figures, hell we're barely making do with our current salaries.  Everyone is always so quick to give the idea the boot before they even try it. WOW!  Well let's hear your ideas.................what are you doing to help ease the monetary stress of the school budget.

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sgilmore8 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 11, 2008 at 7:19 AM (Answer #17)

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As a teacher in NYC who understands how hard it is to get copies, I say BRAVO!!! Why didn't I think of this before spending tons of my own money on copies!

Wasn't that a wonderful idea?  Do you think that doing this will deter the students from focusing on a test?

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 11, 2008 at 6:13 PM (Answer #18)

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Hey, #17 I think that at first they will be interested in what it is and why it is there. Will that be a slight distraction? Sure. Then, once you have discussed it they will move on.  I have some students who are distracted by the wind blowing, they will be distracted with or without the ads. I also have some very hard working students who are very focused.  They will be satisfied with the answer I provide them and move on. 

You know with all the budget cuts that Bloomberg is proposing we will be lucky to have our jobs.  Copies are going to be even harder to come by. I can't afford, although I do, to make all of the necessary copies myself.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2010 at 1:42 PM (Answer #19)

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Definitely have severe misgivings about this - although I can see the attractions about being able to fund printing costs. I think we need to question what the purpose of an exam is - it is an assessment method to test the knowledge of students. It is not a pleasurable magazine to read and to see adverts in. Advertisement does not have a place in educational exams.

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