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Selling Ad Space on Tests

Annie Condron

width=266Welcome to the Verizon Wireless Western Civ Final


As a calculus teacher, Tom Farber solves problems.

When administrators at Farber’s high school cut his copy budget from $500 to $316, he came up with a way to pay for his copies: selling ad space on tests.

The going rate for quizzes is $10, while tests earn $20 a pop, and ads on the final exam run $30.

Most of the ads are encouraging notes from students’ families, but there are a few local businesses who bought ad space. One dentist tells students to “Brace Yourself for a Great Semester,” according to a USA Today article.

This unusual fundraising technique has gotten attention and criticism from groups who want to keep commercialization out of schools. From this perspective, advertisers are paying for access to these children/teens.

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On the other hand, Farber is doing what he can to ensure that his students’ education doesn’t suffer because of budget cuts. He also practices discretion and common sense in what ads he allows. Too often, teachers use their own money to cover the shortfalls in school supplies and that just isn’t fair to people whose paychecks are already too low.

I’ll put the question to you:
Should teachers subject students to advertising? Sound off in the comments section.