School's Plan to Boost Test Scores: Feed Kids Placebos
Florida elementary school students given 'FCAT PowerBars'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2012 11:37 AM CST
Students will be give an 'FCAT PowerBar' before the test.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Florida elementary school wants its students to perform better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test … so it's feeding them "placebos." Hagen Road Elementary students will be given an "FCAT PowerBar"—aka an apple-flavored cereal bar with a label reading, "Warning: Improves Writing Power!"—before testing this week, and administrators reportedly hope scores really will be boosted in the same way placebo pills can have healing effects.

But not everyone is thrilled. It's a "dirty trick," a teacher and lead union representative tells the Miami Herald. "If you were given a choice between your salary and hoodwinking kids, which would you choose?" But the testing chief says the district is just offering a healthy breakfast because "it’s a lot easier to test on a full stomach."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
School's Plan to Boost Test Scores: Feed Kids Placebos is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 20 comments
Feb 29, 2012 12:20 AM CST
Why don't they give these kids a piece of fruit instead of that processed garbage? and stop patronizing them, they know better then to think you care about them already. by 5th grade we use to mark the same one letter on multiple choice questions because we knew standardized tests didn't count toward our grades.
Feb 28, 2012 6:20 PM CST
Teaching students to prepare for a big day with a good meal would be the better option, but a quick fix, could show negative results.
Feb 28, 2012 1:50 PM CST
If you try this past the third grade, the kids are going to laugh at you. They aren't stupid, you know. Just bored to tears with our 18th century education model. Children are little learning machines. You have to put them in really warped environments to squash that. And somehow, we have managed, turning them into sullen prisoners.