Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Teacher Sells Ads On Tests 532

Tom Farber, a calculus teacher at Rancho Bernardo high school in San Diego, has come up with a unique way of covering district cuts to his supplies budget. He sells ads on his tests. "Tough times call for tough actions," Tom says. The price of an ad on a Mr. Farber Calc test is as follows: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, and $30 for a semester final. Most of the ads are messages from parents but about a third of them come from local businesses. Principal Paul Robinson says reaction has been "mixed," but adds, "It's not like, 'This test is brought to you by McDonald's or Nike.'" I see his point. Being a local business whore is much better than being a multinational conglomerate whore.


This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Teacher Sells Ads On Tests

Comments Filter:
  • by grassy_knoll ( 412409 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:40PM (#25963163) Homepage

    Perfect place for Cliffs notes [cliffsnotes.com] ads, eh?

    "Next test, use our notes and suck less!"


  • Works For Me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VoxMagis ( 1036530 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:41PM (#25963177)

    I mean - if we can get businesses to supplement education funds in any way that is not a rise in taxes, why not?

    I think we could put ads on School Buses and more of this type of stuff - sure, have some oversite, but lets get some money where it belongs without forcing businesses and citizens to raise taxes.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:02PM (#25963583) Homepage Journal
      Hell, just sell the ANSWERS to the test questions...more straightforward and popular I would guess.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tanktalus ( 794810 )

        I thought the teacher already did that - he was telling the students the answers for the previous few weeks, all for the cost of tuition (even if that's covered by property taxes). :-P

    • Re:Works For Me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by unlametheweak ( 1102159 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:27PM (#25963997)

      If Americans want public education with any degree of quality then they should be willing to fund it appropriately. Otherwise this whole Cable in the Classroom and No Child Left Behind lameness is just a sneaky way of encouraging privatization and school vouchers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by m0rph3us0 ( 549631 )
        I always thought that privatization and school vouchers were the way to quality education. Not throwing good money after bad. It's not the amount of money spent on education, it's the way the public education system wastes it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Then they should make their choice instead of just letting the public system waste away through neglect. It's only in America (of the wealthy democracies) where the public schools are so bad. It seems to be more of an attitude problem than anything else. Put some good money in their and you don't need bad money following it (i.e. get rid of the politics of education like the No Child Left Behind hypocrisy). Do this or just privatize everything and stop complaining.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tweek ( 18111 )

            First off, we're not a democracy so that doesn't really matter.

            Secondly, any government school system will always pale in comparison to a private one because the government is terrible at managing anything.

            We've thrown how much money over the years at schools and what difference has it made? Not a whit. Government shouldn't be in the business of education anyway.

            • The reason for the introduction of the public school system was that private enterprise manifestly could not provide universal education (which, for better or worse, was and is deemed a public good). I don't think that things have changed so much that you could guarantee that universal education could be maintained without government interference of some kind (at least a law stating that all citizens must have some level of education).

              So which is it, Mr. Libertarian nutjob? Should government do away with

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by tweek ( 18111 )

                I'm glad you resorted to personal attacks against my political persuasion.

                Why should a private company be required to provide universal education? If you want to argue that education has some sort of intrinsic public good, then that's a whole other discussion. I might even agree with you.

                But your second paragraph has nothing to do with the first.

                I'd be glad to address that but my wife just got home with my son and he's more important than slasdhot. I'll be back, though.

          • Re:Works For Me (Score:4, Interesting)

            by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @01:02AM (#25971701) Journal

            Programs like the No child left behind was designed to address the failures of the politics. The schools just aren't answerable or accountable to anyone. The NCLBA is designed to measure the knowledge of the teachers, the progress of the students and to offer alternatives when they fail. The biggest problem with the NCLBA is the attitudes of the teachers who are being made accountable for once. They are dead set against it because it actually points a finger at them.

            There are many misconceptions about the NCLBA. Because I have said something you will probably see a lot of them posted here. I'll point most of them out when it happens.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 )

          While I went to a great public school in my younger years (which became great by being very bad decades earlier), I hate the argument that schools can fix themselves.

          Parents are the first problem. When parents don't encourage their children to excel in school, work hard, and help them learn, they are destine to fail. Unfortunately, it only takes a few bad parents to create a bad class and a few bad classes to make a bad school.

          The next problem is apathy. If kids don't think any of their actions can impro

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        I don't know about funding in your state, but her in California, the single largest line item in our state budget is education. The results we get are crap. The system is broken from the parent to the president and every level between. This teacher selling ad space on test is simply despicable, and is one more example of a system that is horribly broken. Funding is not the problem. Greed and apathy on every level is the problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) *

        If Americans want public education with any degree of quality then they should be willing to fund it appropriately. Otherwise this whole Cable in the Classroom and No Child Left Behind lameness is just a sneaky way of encouraging privatization and school vouchers.

        Saying that we need to throw more good money after bad is neither insightful nor helpful. Nor is privatization inherently evil: at least the private schools don't have to deal with teacher's unions, tenure, and eternal government meddling. The quality of education from a good private school is something that all parents want for their children, and is something that the public school system used to offer. It's also something that the aforementioned parents are already paying through the nose for.

        Look at

    • Re:Works For Me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:33PM (#25964129) Journal
      I think we could put ads on School Buses and more of this type of stuff

      Right. Because if there's one thing we don't have enough of, it's advertisements.~*

      *Testing out the new sarcasm tag
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macraig ( 621737 )

      If you were really able to follow the logic behind your suggestion to its socio-psychological end, you'd realize that's a marvelously horrible idea for everyone but the wealthy manipulators. It's already been tried in some schools, BTW, with corporate ads and product "ties-ins" right on campus.

      The end result is that it completely destroys the ability of those children to learn critical thinking, in particular where consumerism and economics are concerned. Academia is supposed to be an impartial place of l

  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:42PM (#25963213)

    I put my copyright notice next to every answer.

    Doesn't work so well on the scantron forms though.

  • These carry more value than just the money they bring in. They are encouragement that a kid's efforts in calculus (and education in general) are valued by the parents and local businesses.

    Face it, the general message a well behaved student without academic problems gets is that they are the last people to spend money on.

  • by Drake42 ( 4074 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:43PM (#25963237) Homepage

    If people weren't so hell bent on not paying taxes we wouldn't have this problem. I hear people say "I don't have kids, why should I pay for school tax"

    Guess what? You went to a school? You PAY for a school! Otherwise, go live in a third world country.

    Did you know that in California it takes a 2/3rds majority to raise taxes but only a 51/49 vote to spend more money??? Now we're having massive teacher and police layoffs because republican assholes and cheating democrats aren't willing to man up and pay their dues.

    I love paying taxes.
    I use them to buy civilization.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:54PM (#25963423)

      Schools get a fuckton of money as it is. I have been to many public schools and a common theme is mismanagement of money to buy unnecessary perks for the admin staff or show-off stuff for the district bureaucrats.

      Alot of money could be freed from other government programs that are totally wasteful and unnecessary as well.

      The biggest problem with your post is the idea that culture and civilization are things to be "bought". That is demonstrative of the materialist mentality that exists in society.

      • by rengav ( 456846 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:25PM (#25963955)

        While I agree that there is tremendous waste in Public School Administration, I strongly disagree with your statement, "Schools get a fuckton of money as it is."

        If you take a look at:
        http://www.epodunk.com/top10/per_pupil/index.html [epodunk.com]

        You will see that most states spend less than $10000 per year per student, before the current economic downturn and budget cuts. One thing that is not accounted for in this information is that it assumes perfect attendance. For every day that a student is not on campus in class, the school loses money. A parent who pulls their kid from school to make a long weekend or to make Thanksgiving a week long vacation instead of the 4-5 day weekend that most schools take is taking money out of the hands of the school.

        I also noticed that some of your are under the misconception that teachers are paid enough as it is. Yes, teachers are paid a living wage. However compared to their peers with similar education, job experience, and job responsibility, teachers of all levels are grossly underpaid. This remains true even when you factor in all of the "vacation" time that teachers get. Most teachers I know (and I am one too, former High School, now Adjunct Professor), work in one way or another during these so-called vacation times. During Thanksgiving and Xmas break, most catch up on grading, plan for the coming term, etc. Many during summer break, take classes to keep their certifications, or teach summer school to make ends meet.

        Do not ever think that all teachers have it soft. Most teachers are very dedicated caring involved individuals, it's the few that make the news that give the rest a bad name.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by halivar ( 535827 )

      I don't pay taxes for the school I already went to. My parents paid that. Hell, I don't even live in the same state, anymore. And yeah, we pay too much for too little. Public school sucks.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:09PM (#25963695) Homepage Journal

        All people benefit from an educated society. Like all things, the cost for education goes up. If the money they get doesn't match, education gets worse.

        The fact that you moved is irrelevant to the posters point.

        "nd yeah, we pay too much for too little."
        DO you have any clue how much education costs? IS it even within your simple mind to comprehend the fact that the job you have depends on other people being educated? That you pay less from crime when the populace is educated?

        Some public schools suck, but many of them do not suck. In fact, there are multitudes of private schools that are worse then public schools.

        I suggest you look into the budget and results.

        Coincidentally, ANOTHER report came out recently showing how public workers get more work done, are more efficient, and effective the the private sector contractors.

    • Worse than that. How much would those people want to live with "the masses", if "the masses" were completely uneducated? I just don't get people who think everyone else's problems don't have any bearing on their own lives.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_skywise ( 189793 )

      I see... so civilization is something money can buy now? (Other than the game, of course)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I disagree.

      It is not a question of people not paying their taxes, it is a question of how the politicians are spending our money. It amazes me how tax increases are always for noble things, but all the money doesn't quite get there. Funny how government spending works. isn't it? If the politicians stopped using tax money to help their buddies and buy votes, maybe there would be enough money for education, police, and fire. Until the politicians stop their free spending ways and folks stop falling for the vo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wwahammy ( 765566 )
        That may be true at certain levels (federal, and some state) at the local level, government spending cannot get much lower without reducing the quality of services. We have this debate every year where I live and every year some area is marked for budget cuts because taxes don't keep up with increased costs (particularly health care).

        We've gotten to the point where one city is not plowing the roads until a snow storm is completely done with. In Wisconsin, where storms can last a few days and we almost ne
    • Agreed and most definitely NOT off-topic. More money needs to be funneled into the school system. I'm surprised we're not seeing things along the lines of IBM or Google paying to sponsor school districts' computer programs, from elementary through high school. If "while" loops and simple boolean mathematics were taught alongside algebra, there'd be a lot more people who were capable programmers and engineers. Even if it were as simple as some information in the welcome packet letting students and parents kn
    • Yes the governator was placed in one of the hardest states of the nation and hes actually done a semi-decent job. But everyone around him is corrupt, and the referendum system for EVERYTHING is insanely hard to deal with. People will always vote to have monkey butlers, free ferrarris and 3 day weekends but will never vote to raise taxes. People cannot CANNOT govern themselves, thats why we vote for reps. Even if most government officials suck more than the average person on the street who knows nothing to d

  • Boohoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:46PM (#25963271)
    If you can't be bothered to support your schools well enough that the teachers can print out tests, then you shouldn't be pissed the instructor is having to subject your child to ads to be able to afford to print the tests. This isn't even the teachers getting a (well deserved) raise, this is about not having the supplies that directly contribute to your child's education.
    Ads on tests. Bad prescedant? Yes.
    Can't be bothered to do anything for your child's education outside taxes? Worse prescedant? Yes.
    • Re:Boohoo (Score:5, Funny)

      by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:56PM (#25963463)

      Bad prescedant?

      So... how bad were the budget cuts in *your* school?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by internerdj ( 1319281 )
        I know in high school the teachers paid for many supplies out of pocket and my teacher friends now that I am "grown up" still do. My Master's degree graduation was almost put off at least a year because of budget cuts, but luckily we narrowly scrounged up enough students to make it worth the university's resources. All teachers in my state faced a 25% cut in last month's salary because of budget shortfalls.
        My son just turned one; I intend with every school year to start it by asking his teachers what the
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      They should do this for every federal/state/city agency that's getting hammered by cuts now. What's wrong with a prisoner being held at the "OfficeMax Federal Penitentiary"? And do you really care if the state trooper that pulls you over has a few logos on his car or not?
      • What's wrong with a prisoner being held at the "OfficeMax Federal Penitentiary"? And do you really care if the state trooper that pulls you over has a few logos on his car or not?

        It's too likely to lead to preferential treatment for the executives of the companies doing the sponsoring.

    • Re:Boohoo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by merreborn ( 853723 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:36PM (#25964195) Journal

      this is about not having the supplies that directly contribute to your child's education

      We have one of the highest per-student education spending rates in the world, and yet so little of that money ends up going where it's actually needed -- to competent teachers and classroom supplies.

      D.C., specifically, is an amazing example of waste [news8.net]:

      D.C. spent about $13,400 per student in 2006, which was only exceeded by New York and New Jersey.

      Despite the city's high per-student spending, scores on math and reading were the lowest in the country last year, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests.

      To make matters worse, less than half of that money is actually going to instruction; most of it goes to administration, with 14 administrators raking in at least $150,000 per year [parapundit.com].

      We've doubled education spending but test scores haven't improved at all [go.com]:

      And while many people say, "We need to spend more money on our schools," there actually isn't a link between spending and student achievement.

      Jay Greene, author of "Education Myths," points out that "If money were the solution, the problem would already be solved ... We've doubled per pupil spending, adjusting for inflation, over the last 30 years, and yet schools aren't better."

      He's absolutely right. National graduation rates and achievement scores are flat, while spending on education has increased more than 100 percent since 1971. More money hasn't helped American kids.

      Much of the money never makes it to our children; instead it goes to tenured incompetents [fastcompany.com] who only bother to show up to work for the paycheck, useless bureaucrats, and other waste.

      World's highest per-student spending rates, and yet our teachers can't afford to make photocopies. How the hell did we get here?

  • Oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nazlfrag ( 1035012 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:46PM (#25963285) Journal

    If you have three Pepsis and drink one, how much more refreshed are you?

  • Awesome!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:47PM (#25963293)

    This is a great idea! Young people LOVE taking tests and the next time they go past Bennys Burger(TM) they are guaranteed to think that is THE place to go! Soon methods like trying to associate your brand with cool music or a sports star will be history.

    Sponsored by Bennys Burger Inc(TM).

    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )

      This is a great idea! Young people LOVE taking tests and the next time they go past Bennys Burger(TM) they are guaranteed to think that is THE place to go! Soon methods like trying to associate your brand with cool music or a sports star will be history.

      Just wait until the ad on the test is actually a tear-off coupon.

  • RB? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:48PM (#25963305)

    This is Rancho Bernardo? That's not exactly the inner city. Maybe charge $2 more per seat at the football games and have a properly funded Calc class.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Maybe charge $2 more per seat at the football games and have an overly-funded football team.

      There, fixed that for you. Money made from extra-curricular activities generally go into an extra-curricular pool that all the activities draw from. Calc is not an activity. Haven't you been a bureaucrat before? :)

  • Hmmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:48PM (#25963307)

    I wonder if you could take out an "ad" with certain calculus notes buried within it...like having the Ideal Gas Equation or Hooke's Law as a tiny part of a graphic... ^_^

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rayeth ( 1335201 )
      How would those physics equations help on a calculus test? Maybe if it had the formula for finding a derivative or part of an integration table maybe.
  • by get quad ( 917331 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:50PM (#25963349)
    This test brought to you by CDABCCDACDBBACCADBC and the bonus question is 42.
  • The Next Test... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HarvardAce ( 771954 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @02:51PM (#25963359) Homepage
    While not a bad idea, the implementation could be much better...Picture this test:

    1) McDonald's $2 Big Mac contains two all-beef patties that are cylinders of height 0.5cm and diameter 5cm. Burger King's $3 whopper contains two beef-like substances that are cylinders of height 0.3cm and diameter 4.5cm. How many more times valuable is the Big Mac versus the Whopper, assuming a sandwich's value is directly proportional to the amount of beef (or beef-like substance) in it?

    2) A Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki 6" sub contains 250 kcal of lean, healthy energy. A Wendy's Baconator contains 975 kcal of thigh-hugging and gut-enlarging fat. If all the energy of these sandwiches were put into a 100kg person climbing a ladder, how much higher would the 100kg person have to climb in order to use up all the energy (assuming all energy spent is put into the potential energy from climbing)?

    The possibilities are endless! We'd never have to worry about education funding again!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Before you get angry at this, think about the present state of public schools. When I was still going to school about 3 years ago, I was in a public school district that had to cut basically everything that wasn't absolutely essential due to a budget crisis. The schools were in shambles, and teachers had no supplies to do anything. One of my science teachers wanted to send a team to do Science Olympiad, a competition that involved performing experiments, taking tests, and building contraptions. The thin

  • but I totally support this. It's funny.

    I wish my math tests had ads for lesbianwhores.com.

    Of course when I had math tests, the Apple II was state of the art, and the intertoobs were still APRAnet.

    Fuck, I'm old. :-(

  • Where advertising goes follows influence.
    Once the schools depend on this, they will be preyed upon by anyone that advertises.

    Personally, I am outraged.
    Instead of putting ads on tests, quietly cutting days from the year, and making shorter hours. They should loudly cut the days by 1/3, or cut off the days they can't pay for the end of the year. Let the parents know the effects of shooting down' taxes for education. Don't hide the effects from them.

    When they ahve to pay a 500 bucks a week for day care, sudden

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      Cutting out school days would only worsen the problem. Then you'd have fewer qualified teachers willing to work for the money. Parents would get angry, non-parents wouldn't take any more notice than normal, and politicians would continue to promise to do something about it and then claim there just isn't enough budget to kill people in Iraq and support the school system, too.

    • NY State pays about $15,000 per student per year on average. The results suck. I could* put my children into a good private school for that. I could put my children into a good private school for half of that. You better believe I want to shoot down taxes for education. Especially when the superintendent of my 35,000 student district makes a quarter million per year.

      * My children are not yet of school age, but when they are, they will NOT attend the lousy public schools that my taxes are supporting.

  • by Gre7g ( 801284 ) <gre7g,luterman&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:08PM (#25963683) Homepage

    I know I should really hate that he's doing this, but I don't. It's kind'a nice.

    Sure beats what my EE lab prof did... he stapled McDonald's applications to a final and shouted "None of you will ever be electrical engineers! Yer' gonn'a need that last page..."

    Man, what a bastard.

    • I'm hoping you took it up with the department chair or other appropriate university office...

      If he actually did that, the man deserves to be fired.

  • So wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:34PM (#25964157) Journal

    This is so utterly wrong that I honestly feel sick. If this is happening, then it means that society as a whole has failed at one of its three primary purposes. Capitalism has gone from a financial model to a political one, and now a societal one.

  • If I were on the school board, I would vote to have the teacher fired.

    Certainly he is clever, but there are times and places for everything, and ads on school tests do not make the cut.
  • Given the state of education today, I have a sponsor [wikia.com] suggestion...
  • "$10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, and $30 for a semester final"

    Sounds like a pretty cheap price to stick a cheat-sheet on your test under the guise of "advertisement".

  • by Tetsujin ( 103070 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:35PM (#25967351) Homepage Journal

    A water tank on West Street has shutoff valves produced by Wilson Valve Company, which leak water at a rate given by the formula:

    r = w * .0001/sec

    where w is the volume of water currently in the tank. If the tank is filled to its full capacity of 8000000 liters at the beginning of the week and left alone for a full month, how much water would be saved by using shutoff valves from Morrison Valve Company, which have a leak rate of only (r = w * .000025/sec)?

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire