The Washington Post

High-school students are now trading Twitter RTs for points on final exams

Teenagers are forever gracing (cursing?) the Internet with their social media antics. But this time — welp! — their teachers are encouraging them.

Teachers at several high schools across the country have purportedly made pacts with their students, promising to cancel final exams or bump up exam grades if a tweet on the subject earned a certain number of shares. It’s sometimes unclear if teachers are actually willing participants in the pacts, or if unruly kids are just writing “agreements” on the chalkboard when they probably should be studying. In either case, such tweets have popped up all over: in an art class in Round Rock, Texas; during chem in Colorado; at an English class in Michigan.

The stunts have been thoroughly criticized by administrators at schools like Texas’ Round Rock High, who said exams would proceed as scheduled regardless of how viral they got. (That aligns with angry tweets from students at several schools, who complained their exams weren’t called off even after they hit the RT threshold.) That might not be the right attitude, though. I mean, in today’s economy, isn’t social media literacy a more marketable skill than, say … art?

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.