Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

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Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 21 at 2:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but now parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.

Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up in questions on tests that more than a million students in grades 3 through 8 took this month.

New York state education officials and the test publisher say the references were not paid product placement but happened to be contained in published passages selected for the tests.

Some critics say brand mentions on standardized tests are unnecessary and inappropriate.

While general complaints about Common Core tests have arisen elsewhere, advocates say the prevalence of brand names appear to be specific to New York.

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