Market Research In Schools Essay Research Paper

Market Research In Schools Essay, Research Paper In the article "Schools Profit From Offering Pupils for Market Research", Mary Tabor explains the new relationship between schools and

Market Research In Schools Essay, Research Paper

In the article "Schools Profit From Offering Pupils for Market

Research", Mary Tabor explains the new relationship between schools and

businesses. During the school day, businesses use children as willing subjects

of market research. They do such things as taste tests and answer opinion polls.

This is a difficult subject to pick a definite side on, because both sides have

good arguments. This paper will explain both sides and come up with a solution.

Almost anyone will agree that exploiting children is bad. Students are in school

to learn and taking polls and taste tests are in no way an education. Through

this market research, the companies are merely trying to find an easier way to

target children. This situation is similar to the calls that people get at home.

It is dinnertime and the phone rings. Mom jumps up from the dinner table and

answers the phone. It is a market research firm and they would like to ask Mom a

few questions. Mom is angered by the call and hangs up. This is a prime example

of market research and the inconvenience it causes. Advertisers realize that

schools are the perfect places to develop new markets. Kids can not hang up the

phone or change the channel. Schools used to be the only place where children

were not targeted. Children are entitled to have a place where they can feel no

one will be trying to sell them something. If children are constantly exposed to

this kind of market research they will begin to think that their education is

not important. They will not be able to focus in class, because they will be

waiting for the next poll or taste test. This is detrimental to do during class

time. It is commendable that the school asked the parents for permission before

letting the companies come in to do their research. Unfortunately, this market

research has opened the doors to other marketing. Direct marketing to kids has

already begun in some schools. Kids in elementary school and high school walk

around with Nestle and Calvin Klein book covers. Soon students will be sitting

in Pepsi owned chairs, at Pizza Hut desks, with Oreo school bags, looking at a

Campbell’s chalkboard. As funny as this may sound, it is a definite possibility.

According to a recent Time magazine article, the district administrators in

Plymouth, Mich. are considering auctioning school names to the highest bidding

corporation. Imagine sending kids off to McDonald’s Elementary or Coca-Cola

High. It may not end there. The situation may snowball into something terribly

worse. What if they begin to recruit our children as actual workers? Even if the

work was fun or educational, that is unacceptable. Childhood should be the least

stressful time in life and work will make the children hardened with the real

world. These market research companies should be taken out of the schools and

kept away from the children. On the other hand, there is some truth to what

Secretary of Education, Richard Bailey is says, "Better education is

everybody’s business"(Labi 45). The government spends more money on the

military services than on a good education for our children. It is reasonable to

say that military service does not need all the funds it receives. However, the

funds are still used for unnecessary technology and nuclear weapons we will not

ever use or need to use. Meanwhile, the children responsible for our future sit

in rotting desks with faded, outdated textbooks, in classrooms filled to maximum

capacity, listening to an underpaid and overworked teacher. It is no wonder so

many children do not even bother going to college and beyond. So it is up to the

school officials to find a means of paying for important educational equipment,

such as books, computers, and video equipment. It is no surprise, that schools

turn to the people who have money and are willing to spend it on the future. For

many years now, schools have had agreements with companies that supply schools

with learning tools in exchange product sales. Students in most schools collect

box tops, soup labels, and store receipts. The school can redeem them for

athletic or educational equipment. Schools, especially in the inner cities are

burdened by financial debts trying to provide for their students. In a way,

these corporations are providing children with a good future. The Noggin

television show is also doing it for a good reason. It is an educational

television show with no commercials for the children. Obviously, it is a great

idea that they go straight to the source to find out what kids think about life

these days. The researchers are letting the kids voice their opinions, and that

is important. Kids today are a lot more knowledgeable about the world than

generations before. Yet, we still ignore them when it comes to major decisions.

All of these companies are not merely out for cash or they would be getting it

some other way. These companies care about the children, they are doing what

they can to help and they are letting these kids speak their minds. In order to

appease both sides of this argument, a line must be drawn. First and foremost,

we must protect the children. We must not allow the kids to be abused by these

companies. If a company was to come in and do research, they should only be

allowed to do it after school. This way, children will not have an interrupted

learning day. The parents must be informed of what will take place, and

permission must be granted before the children can participate. School policy

should also have strict guidelines as to what may be allowed. They should draw

the line after taste tests, polls, a few journal assignments, and contests.

Putting our children to work would be detrimental to their health and future.

Direct marketing may not be as bad as it sounds. In colleges around the country,

soda companies take over campuses. LaSalle is a great example of that. Here, the

only soda brand sold is Coca-Cola. This is not a bad idea. Letting soda

companies or other food companies sponsor schools is not detrimental. As long as

there are not sales people roaming the hallways trying to sell to kids as they

go to class. It is a good way for a school to make money. As for selling company

names to schools, that is up to the school district and the residents of the

community. If they really want a McDonald’s High, that is their decision. There

are good and bad options to both sides. If the government can make guidelines

for schools to follow, there should not be any problems.

Labi, Nadya. Classrooms for Sale: Schools need money. Big business has it.

The twain now meet, but are our kids paying the price? TIME. April 19, 1999.