Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Do You Want Fries With That "A"?

ABC News Reports the following and my mouth is hanging open:

California Teacher Gets Creative

"The budget is so tight in the suburbs of San Diego that at Rancho Bernardo High School calculus teacher Tom Farber didn't have enough paper to give practice tests. Then a bus advertisement sparked an idea.

"I said, you know, in the face of tough times, maybe I could do something similar in my classroom and advertise on my test," Farber said.

The bottom of each of Farber's calculus quizzes features an inspirational message paid for by parents or local businesses. He's not happy about taking such desperate measures, but the average public school teacher already spends around $430 of their own money on supplies, according to the National Education Association."


Has it really come to this? I was appalled when technology would allow advertisers to flash messages in the night sky from satelites. Thank goodness no one has pursued this method, but advertising on the bottom of tests is just as invasive.

I choose to use gmail and view the advertisements down the right-side column. While on Facebook, I fight the urge everyday to type in "sex toy" just to see if they have ads on this subject. I know the price and attempt to find humor as I trudge along in cyberspace.

In these situations I've chosen to use a service for free with the understanding that I will be subjected to advertising. We're the t.v. generation so we know that we need to pay the price with advertising or subscribe. But students don't have a choice and I don't want my night sky blocked by advertising.

The sad part is that teachers are so poorly paid that they must resort to such measures. In our community, the last two affordable housing proposals have been met with resistance. Expenses are up and we've all lost more than 30% on our investments. Times are tough.

I applaud ingenuity by our teachers, but advertising on tests, even if the message motivates, seems out of place.

Lets not miss the big point here, our school budgets should include enough funding for paper so that teachers can give tests.

Our PTA reimburses teachers for some of their out-of-pocket expenses. At the last meeting, we asked the teachers to tell us what we could purchase to make their jobs easier, especially since they were voting to forgo their salary increases. Perhaps the parents in San Diego could start a fund instead of paying for advertising.

Sometimes it's all about morale.

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