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December 3rd, 2008
09:35 PM ET

Testing Ads

For years, teachers across the U.S. have been dealing with budget cuts. When I was teaching back in the 1990s, I spent at least $250 of my own money every year on supplies for my students. But Tom Farber, a high school teacher in California, has an innovative approach for dealing with this old-school problem: He's selling ad space on his exams to raise money for his classroom. So what do you think of this practice? Would you mind having ads at the bottom of your tests? Would they be a distraction, or could you ignore them? Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Lisa Porterfield, Curriculum Development Manager


Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Rosalina

    Thats a pretty interesting idea but im not sure if it will help out a lot. But hopefully it will earn him a little help:)!!!Everyone can take a shot at something.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  2. Arturo

    I think it is a good idea for ads on the test for extra money but it might distarct them from there work

    December 4, 2008 at 12:47 am |
  3. Tonio

    Hi Lisa,

    250$, as mentioned in your example may not be a lot of money for a year, but it still is about 21$ each month. Money, the teacher won't get back EVER.

    If it is legal to put ads on the tests, I guess no student should have a problem with it.

    Best regards,

    Tonio :o)

    December 4, 2008 at 1:02 am |
  4. Natasha

    i could ignor them. Everyone sees them in stores, on T.V., the list could go on forever. Why would anyone realy care if they were on the bottom of a test paper

    December 4, 2008 at 5:54 am |
  5. Joyce

    I think that they would help me
    i agree that it is a very creative way
    it might help pay for the paper and other supplies

    December 4, 2008 at 6:32 am |
  6. Michael

    I think that having ads on my test would be okay. It might give the school enough money to make some improvements.

    December 4, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  7. Paul

    That is a good way to raise money. With the economy today, it was smart to sell ads. It will also help the companies because the students might read them and tell their parents. That would help the companies if people buy.

    December 4, 2008 at 8:08 am |
  8. Sarah

    I certainly would not mind these ads on my tests because I know this is for a good cause. More schools should start taking in this program, because its a great opportunity for students who just don't have enough money to pay an enormous money of tuition.

    December 4, 2008 at 9:24 am |
  9. Matthew

    I think it's a great idea, just as long as students don't get distracted by the add.

    December 4, 2008 at 9:27 am |
  10. cameron

    i think it is good because they might do better when they see there parentss name and ad.

    December 4, 2008 at 9:28 am |
  11. Brooks

    I think that it is a good idea because nobody really looks at the bottom of the tests and he will still get money for his students.

    December 4, 2008 at 9:34 am |
  12. Todd

    I think having ads in test would be nice because it would allow you something for your mind to rest and look at in the middle of a test making less stress and better grades.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:00 am |
  13. Emmett

    Well it's a good way to raise money and everything and how it is going with the way that he is raising money. I would like to see some ads on the bottom of my test.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:02 am |
  14. Nick

    I think that this space could really help people. An if he gets this money than I guess he is good to go for his year at school.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  15. Mitch

    I think the practice can get people off track on the test with ads i think he could give them a piece of paper that says the ads.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  16. Alexander

    I think that's a great idea. It would save some money and it's kind of cool.
    I LOVE YOU, MOMMY!

    December 4, 2008 at 10:04 am |
  17. Brittney

    I think that this is a good idea because its not a huge distraction. Its giving the school a way to get money. So they have more money to spend on students education.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  18. Josh

    Thats a great idea, putting ads in tests. But its sad that they are at the point to where they have to do that. Now most High Schools will probably look into that...

    December 4, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  19. Jesse

    I think that it is a good idea on Tom's part. That is a really neat and creative way to raise money. I think I could ignore them though. It would be easy. Just read what it says, and then you can move on. I really like that idea though.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  20. Jordan

    Yeah, I would mind having ads at the bottom of my tests. I think it would be distracting. I would be reading them instead of doing by test. But then it would give me something to do after I was done with a test. I don't know, it would be a good thing but then it would be a bad thing.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  21. Devon

    I think that it is a very good idea. I like the idea because I know how much teachers spend on students a year. So this is a very good idea to make money for school.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  22. brooke j

    I wouldn't mind having adds on the bottom of my tests they would actually be really motivational. The adds would relive pressure and if one was from one of my parents I would feel inspired.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:08 am |
  23. Brittany

    I like the idea of having quotes on my papers. They would be a good inspiration for teens. Then your money goes to helping your class room. So you will get to use the stuff your money goes to.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  24. Josh

    I think it's a good idea, but if a school has to limit the number of copies maybe they should find a new budget plan. For example, money going to extracurricular activities, should be lessened. Copies are used for all students, where extracurricular activities are just for a few.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  25. Kylie

    Well it would be pretty cool to have ads on the bottom of our test .Maybe it would make people would get better grades and in would make people try harder and work better.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  26. Crystal

    I don't think that putting ads on the test and quiz is not a good idea. Well if it is making money for the school then I guess it is okay but besides that I don't really lie that idea.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  27. Kailie

    As irritating as it would be to have to see ads every other page of my tests and other assignments. I think the cause is noble.
    It’s an effective way to get money for the class, so that they can afford the necessary things they need to keep the school going.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:40 am |
  28. Sara

    I think that they are a good idea because they do help people with with what they need to advertise. I would pay for one (probably not a real one because it is more fun that way) just to help out. it's funnnnnnnnn.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:42 am |
  29. Taylor

    I think its a good fundraising idea. But its sad that schools get that little support.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  30. Kyle

    I think it goes both ways, so much i dont like the idea it will distract students because I know I will get distracted by the quotes. On the positive side though people are helping out the economy by putting forth better and higher education. Good Job!

    December 4, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  31. Jon

    I think that it is sad that we are to the point were teachers are having to resort to things like this just to get by, however it is a rather unique idea and sure seems to be bringing the money in!

    December 4, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  32. kyle

    I think during this time of this economic breakdown, anything that teachers can do to help is a good idea. I don't think this would be a distraction at all. You might look at it once or twice and then move on with the test because you want to get it done.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:56 am |
  33. tyler

    I think it’s a good idea I would do the same thing but I would let kids pay more and I would let them buy some of the answer sheet for ten bucks buy the whole thing for twenty bucks and I would take 50 percent of everything and put it in a fund jar so you can pay for the paper

    December 4, 2008 at 10:57 am |
  34. Jenny

    It's getting a little ridiculous how common advertising is getting, but I don't think it would be too much of a distraction. And since the teacher sold the test space for money for the school, it is a good and resourceful way to do that.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:57 am |
  35. Alex

    I think his idea is great and a good idea to raise money. I don’t think it would distract me from taking the test at all. All teachers should be doing this.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  36. Alicia

    I think that it is a good idea because it saves this teacher a lot of his own money. No I would not mind ads at the bottom of my tests because some of them may be really encouraging. No I do not think they would be a distraction.

    December 4, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  37. Mike

    I think putting ads on tests is a great idea. Since many students strive to get good grades to keep their parents happy, the ads could serve as added motivation (or a reminder that your parents won't be happy if you don't do so well).

    December 4, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  38. Brittney

    If buying ads go to schools education then I think it’s a great idea. I don’t think that buying ads would be a distraction at all and if it is, why would a person be looking at the ad so long that they can’t even finish their test???? ☼

    December 4, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  39. Nick

    I think that this is a dumb thing to do personal for me. I don’t think that it would distract me at all and it wouldn’t affect me and I would probably just ignore them, but if that’s what it takes to help the school get more money then our school should do the same.

    December 4, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  40. John

    I don’t really think I would get inspired by reading the ads. I would read it but nothing else, but I think it’s a good idea because it’s saving the school some money, but still I wouldn’t care for it, but I think its cool, but……………..

    December 4, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  41. kayla

    I think it is a great idea because if you can’t get money then raise it.

    December 4, 2008 at 11:03 am |
  42. will

    I think it probably the most dumbest thing I’ve ever heard the school should quit being so cheep.

    December 4, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  43. KASH!NA

    I think that this is an ingenius idea that should have been thought up many tests ago. it makes complete since and is a great idea. My school is having budget cuts on paper and other materials so maybe then should do the same as well. Maybe ads on erasers one day? 🙂

    December 4, 2008 at 11:08 am |
  44. Alex

    i think it's a good idea. it would give teachers more money to help the class and finance things they do in the class.

    December 4, 2008 at 11:11 am |
  45. *TRENIQUE*

    I think that its a cool idea and the ads wouldnt distract me they would just give me something to look at when im bored. Its also better for him because no teacher should have to pay for supplies because the school cant afford it, its not fair.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  46. Megan

    I think it’s a great idea, but I think some students would get distracted. If it was my kids taking the test, I would support the ad idea because it might make my kids excited to see if my ad made it onto the test.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  47. Emerson

    i think its a great idea for ads on the math tests for kids. i dont see any problem in doing this. I think it would be sweet to see my mom or dad wishing me luck on a math test, they both know i need it!

    December 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  48. Kira

    I think that is a great idea because now the schools dont have to worry about paying for their supplies.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  49. Jessica

    I would love to have ads on the bottom of my tests, especially if they were inspirational quotes from parents. I would more than likely ignore the other ads.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  50. Emerald

    I think that selling ads on test, quizzes, and exams, is a creative way to fund school activities, although I think that it is unfortunate.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:17 pm |
  51. Anthony

    i think its a good idea and it could be very helpful depending on the person. it would help me because motivation is a good key for success and its helpful

    December 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  52. Sammie

    I think it's a pretty good idea to raise money by having people pay to put a comment or ad on a student's test. it helps motivate the student to pass if they have a nice friendly comment on the bottom of their test.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  53. Alex

    I think its a good idea if it pays for education.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  54. Courtney

    I think that it's sad that teachers have to resort to these kid of measures just to provide there students with there supplies. But I also think it is a good idea to raise some money.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  55. Joe

    I think it is a great idea and words of inspiration would help me a lot.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  56. Shelby

    I think that it is a good idea. i guess they should do whatever they can to get more money. This is a good way to do tha

    December 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  57. Casey

    I think that it is a great idea that he came up with and I’m glad parents and companies support it. As long as there isn’t a big colorful ad on the bottom I’d be fine=)

    December 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm |
  58. Ryan

    I think it is a good idea. There is nothing wrong with what he is doing, it is just another way to make money.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  59. kylie

    I think that the testing ads is a good idea if it helps pay for education, its not like he is using it for his own benefit. I think that is a creative and interesting way to raise money for education.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  60. NICOLE

    I don’t think that the quotes are going to help the students, maybe there hopes but not there scores. It really only helps the teach, and waists your money.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  61. Blake

    I like the idea only because its a appropriate way to raise money for helping out the class. I think that the ads should be out of the way to keep the kids undistracted and focused on the test not the ads.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  62. Nicole

    I think it is sad that the budget cuts have gone this far that we have to sell space on the bottom of tests. I believe that the government needs to look at this and give schools some bail out money because education is the foundation of everything and if we keeping cutting budgets we won’t have much of an education to be worry about the loss of high tech jobs that need education.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  63. andy

    I think it’s a good idea. That the little ad can tell the kids anything. It’s a good way for the parents to tell there kid something

    December 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  64. April

    I think this is a really good idea. I think that others should be chipping in for teachers because they shouldn't have to pay for their students tests.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  65. Katelyn

    I could not think with that on my test if I was freaking out . On the other hand that is a good thing that is a good way for test to be better. I love the idea.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  66. Gwen

    I think putting the ads on a test is a good idea but i don't understand why they are selling them.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  67. Maddie

    I think it is a great idea, although the ads may distract kids from the test and it may not be easy for them to focus, but on the other hand it is a way to encourage kids by using the quotes!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    December 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  68. Ben

    I think its realy. cool also it probaly will bust students comfidence

    December 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  69. Bradley

    I think it is pretty cool to get coments about your work but only if you do it.

    December 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  70. Brandy

    I think it would be incredibly distracting to have ads at the bottom of the test. But, it seems like he has good intentions for the students. But personaly I wouldn't put an ad for my company on a test.

    December 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  71. Rene

    it would be sweet,but unless if it was from your parent saying some cheesy line,then it would be embarassing

    December 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  72. Carlos

    That is a excellent idea putting ads on the test. If I did that myself it will be too easy for me! It will be hard at first but soon you know it. The ads can tell you guys anything. You will be smarter. It is a good way for the parents. That is amazing!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  73. Jack

    I think it's a good idea. The prices are a little high.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  74. Megan

    I like the odea of the ads in tests. It would give you a source of encouragemet and make you feel like people want you to do well and that they care

    December 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  75. Maria

    What a great idea, but it's sad to have to come to this. I am just worries someone like a little brother or sister could come along and buy an ad saying something like "Joe peed in his underpants when he was a baby" or "Buy Tide to Go!"

    December 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  76. Michael

    I think it's cool that students and parents get put a add on a test. I'd pay good money for that. I wish my teachers would do that. It helps by puting notes on a test.

    December 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  77. Michael

    It really is a good idea.Just think, you help raise money for the teacher, you get to say something to the class, and you get to say good luck or hope y'all do well.The only bad thing is that the school isn't giving mony to the teachers need it.

    December 4, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  78. Mason

    I think that the ads are an excellent way to create revenue for an important honors class lacking funding. A majority of the ads are motivational and wouldn't be distracting. If anything, it could *POSSIBLY* boost test scores with boosting moral for students on tests.

    December 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  79. CarlAzuz#1FAN

    yo carl, I beleive that tis a good idea!!! YEAHHHHHH MANNNNNN!

    December 4, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  80. Boosta

    I don't like the adds guys, okay. It just ain't right, okay. it just ain't right! And all my years of teaching says no good idea is good idea because of adds. okay

    December 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  81. Harrypotter

    way cool! I love the adds on the tests!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  82. samatha

    I love the idea!!!!though it might help if it was from friends instead of family, because it is a little embarrassing to have your mom tell you to get and A and then your under pressure to get an A. Sometimes contant remiders from mom is horrible!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  83. Austin

    i think it is lame that teachers have to supply their own pencils and stuff for their own class, and some kids just take advantage of that. i think its good that a teacher thought of a way to solve this issue.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:40 am |
  84. Mickaela and Madison

    I think it's a good idea but it also could be a waste of money because if I was taking the test I would ignore the ads.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  85. Preston

    i believe that its a good idea!!! And no i would not bother me to ads at the bottom of the page... I could ignore the ads at the bottom of my page...

    December 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  86. maye

    I think that having inspiring messages on test scores is a very nice idea

    December 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  87. amber

    i dont think it would bother me.whatever has to be done.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  88. gee:)

    i think it would be a good idea for the extra money because extra money is always good of coarse.The ad on the test may bother a few students.i dont understand why but thats just some people.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  89. colin

    I belive this is a good idea, because I do not think that the teachers should provide school supplies for the students, for example: pensils,pens,paper ect. Also I think it would not be a distaction, besides then the teachers would get more money.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  90. Merkin

    The coments like "Do great on the test" would be okay. I think as long as they aren't selling any items it is fine. I would din't like it if it singled a person out like, "Do great Bob" because then it isn't fair. I like the idea. It isn't hurting anyone and people are giving their money to a good cause. Education

    December 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  91. Lizz

    I don't know about anyone else, but the ads would distract me greatly. i don't concentrate on tests very well so the ads probably wouldn't help my grades at all. However i think its a good way to raise money!

    December 5, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  92. Moriah

    I think the ads would be fun. It'd be a highlight to taking the test, something to look forward to.

    December 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  93. hi

    i like the adds

    December 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  94. Stephanie

    I think it is a great idea for raising money. It wouldn't be a discration for me at all, and sometimes when the ads of inspirational quotes, it can help you keep going on the test. I give props to the teacher who thought of it! Keep it up!

    December 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  95. McDonalds

    adds are cool

    December 7, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  96. Paola

    I think its a great Idea to sell ads because it brings students self esteem up and it helps them not to get nervous on test and quizzes. Also its great for raising money.

    December 7, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  97. zach

    I think it is a good idea, although I think it is a little commercial and weird at the same time.

    December 7, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  98. lance

    i like this idea, very smart teacher

    December 8, 2008 at 10:57 am |
  99. Tony

    That's pretty interesting Carl.Ithink that that's pretty cool that a teacher has ads athe bottom of kid's tests and I woudn't mind if my teacher did that to us

    December 8, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  100. Elizabeth

    I think that it would be kind o fhard to take the test. They should have the ads on a seperate sheet of paper and then have them grab it after the test. It would probably be a little bit easier too.

    December 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  101. Jeremy

    Hey, the testing ads are a great idea! :0

    December 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm |
  102. Ford

    That's just plumb funny. It would probably only work on the kids who brought their tests home. If they were color ads, they would probably distract me from taking the test. It is undoubtably going to be contriversial.

    December 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  103. Bryan

    I THINK IT IS A GREAT IDEA IF THE TEACHER USED THE MONEY TO BUY THE CLASS MCDONALDS WITH THE MONEY HE GETS AND A IS FOR APPLE PIE, B IS FOR BIG MAC, AND C IS FOR COKE AND SO ON

    December 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm |
  104. Snowman

    I think testing ads are just plain stupid. It though might encourage students to work harder but kids need to be challenged. I didn't go to school but yet I am a millionaire. But I did take many challenging tests without ads.

    December 10, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  105. Brandy

    this is pretty dumb because a student could pay for him to put his notes and then they would get an A on the test!!!

    HELLO CARL

    December 11, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  106. Brittney

    I come from a way poor school in wyoming i would read adds on the bottom of my tests and buy that product if it would help my school with funds.

    December 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  107. Rebecca

    I do think it's a good idea to put ads up for money.One example I have is my old school.They put ads up all over town about a food drive for people who can't afford food for Christmas.It worked!But sadly,it didn't last for long :.(

    December 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  108. Chyanne

    I really dont know how this could help kids out on tests! I know it wouldnt motivate me one bit.

    December 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  109. Lillie

    It is a good inventive way to get funds for things. Testing is something that should the soul thing on a kids mind when testing, not whether your parent said good luck, that can be said in the morning.

    December 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  110. Blake

    I think that this is a good idea. It will help out our teachers in costs and make our classroom a better learning environment. The ads wouldn't be a distraction to me.

    December 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  111. Moli

    I think that it is a very creative and a interesting way to earn some cah. I think that if I were in his shoes I would do anything to make sure the students got enough money, and if i had to do it through tests than so be it. i think that overall he did a very creative and interesting thing. i mean i never would have thought of doing that. I think that if someone is willing to advertise on kids tests, quizzes, homework and other exams then they must be pretty serious and passionate about the students, the school and the classroom. To put all that effort into it is a great deed and very creative. Overall i think that advertising may not be the most common way to raise money but if it means a chance of getting it, then I say go for it!!

    December 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  112. Kaylee

    I think it would be cool to have adds on your test. It might be a little ditracting but it might help you not be as nervous on a test. You know take yuor mind off it for a little so you have a minute or two to relax and breathe.

    December 18, 2008 at 10:41 am |
  113. markida

    ya rule because the ads help

    December 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  114. danielle

    idon't think the people on snl should of made front of david
    patterson.

    December 18, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  115. Bob

    Dear Carl
    Your are very quirky!

    December 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  116. Pam

    I'm suppoesed to be blogging for something in class, but I don't know what to blog about. But I'm glad the put that guy in prison for life.

    December 19, 2008 at 11:57 am |
  117. mihael

    hi carl your the best

    December 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  118. Stefanie

    Ads would be a distraction. You'de be spending time reading ads that you wouldn't have much time for the actual test.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  119. Alex

    It's not that hard to ignore something you don't want to buy. But if it's something worth while then it could be a distraction.

    December 19, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  120. scottie

    HI CARL HOPE YA HAVE A GOOD HOILDAY

    December 20, 2008 at 9:20 am |
  121. kailey

    i think those ads would be a cool thing to have on a test but some of my friends said they thought that testing ads would be way to distracting. we all agreed that they would't do much to build confedence or help us. But you never know i guess it could help.

    December 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  122. Halle

    It is kind of sad, considering we now have to have ads on our tests because schools can barely afford the tests, now. But, for now, I believe it is a good idea, if the schools are getting money and encouraging us (the students) by doing it, then it's perfectly fine!

    December 21, 2008 at 12:56 am |