Across the state of New York, this year’s Common Core English tests have reportedly featured a slew of brand-name products including iPod, Barbie, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers. For Nike, the tests even conveniently included the shoe company’s ubiquitous slogan:“Just Do It.”<quoted text>
The brands – and apparently even some of their familiar trademark symbols – appeared in tests questions for students ranging from third to eighth grades, reports The Post-Standard of Syracuse.
Over one million students were required to take the tests.
Parents, teachers and school administrators have speculated that the kid-friendly brand names are a new form of product placement.
Education materials behemoth Pearson, which has a $32 million five-year contract to develop New York’s Common Core-related tests, has barred teachers and school officials from disclosing the contents of the tests.
Students and parents are not so barred, though, and many have complained.
“‘Why are they trying to sell me something during the test?’” Long Island mother Deborah Poppe quoted her son as saying, according to Fox News.“He’s bright enough to realize that it was almost like a commercial.”