photo from StarrGazr

17 + x = 68 and oh by the way, “Brace Yourself for a Great Semester!'”

OK, I know everyone remembers taking big, ugly math tests in school. So imagine that you sit down to start your algebra test…you look over to the right side of the page and you see an almost Google like text ad from the local dentist. Shocked, you then scroll down the page and you see an inspirational quote from your ex-girlfriend’s mom. WHAT?

Interestingly, this is exactly the situation that many kids in the San Diego school district found themselves in recently. It sounds sick, but this schoolvertising was actually for a cause. Yes indeed, a teacher found himself without enough budget to make copies for his students…so, like any good marketing savvy teacher, he decided to get innovative and sell some ad space on his tests. This is how Commercial Alert describes the situation:

When administrators at Rancho Bernardo announced the district was cutting spending on supplies by nearly a third, (Tom) Farber had a problem. At 3 cents a page, his tests would cost more than $500 a year. His copying budget: $316. But he wanted to give students enough practice for the big tests they’ll face in the spring, such as the Advanced Placement exam.

“Tough times call for tough actions,” he says. So he started selling ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, $30 for a semester final.

Apparently school supply issues are nothing new…The National Education Association says teachers spend about $430 out of their pockets each year for school supplies. DonorsChoose is an organization that helps teachers out…on the site teachers are matched with donors & they can get help. They even have a blog

Those with kids may want to head on over to DonorsChoose and give the teachers a hand. I’m a marketer, and even I don’t want to hear about ads popping up on quizzes. There are already too many distractions out there for kids today…

Hat tip to Rob Walker for the schoolvertising link.