Name Brands in Common Core Tests Raising Questions About Product Placement
Some product and brand names references in the state's new standardized Common Core exams have some parents and education advocates questioning if the tests are being used to advertise to impressionable young students.
Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up on the tests for students in grades 3 through 8, leading to speculation that the brand references are product placement advertising.
New York state education officials and the test publisher say the brand references were not paid product placement but just happened to be contained in previously published passages selected for the tests.
Some critics aren’t so sure and questioned why specific brand names would be mentioned at all.
The test questions have not been made public, and teachers and principals are barred from discussing them. But teachers posting anonymously on education blogs have complained that students were confused by the brand names, which were accompanied by trademark symbols.