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Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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3rd party pushes for increased graduation rates

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 837 times Debate No: 23028
Debate Rounds (3)
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This is my first debate in a while but it is a topic I feel strongly about.

Resolved "Initiatives by third parties such as governments and organizations promoting the increase of graduation rates and graduation rates only have an overall positive affect on the educational system, on the usefulness of a degree/diploma, on the education of students and these initiatives significantly improve a country's human capital."

I am on the con side of this resolution.

I don't care if you just accept in the first round or if you present your arguments in the first round.

Thanks for debating/reading this debate!


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


What's up whyt3nn3rdy, I like your name and welcome to DDO!

I'm just going to put up a few of my arguments briefly and let you start banging your head against the wall trying to find ways around my perfect logic.

Just kidding, I'm not really that narcissistic. Close though.

1.When the goal is only increased graduation numbers quality is sacrificed.

My father works at a community college, so I hear a lot about what the state uses as criteria for funding. One of the main things the state government wants is for more students to receive degrees. They want the school to increase retention rates, and give out more degrees. Well think about it, the main reasons people quit going to school is because of 1) not enough money or 2) the course work is too hard/time consuming or 3) the student experiences a sudden shift in circumstances such as a lost job.

The school can keep more students in school by giving out more financial aid, which they do.
The school cannot do anything about when a student has a sudden shift in circumstances.

Therefore, the school turns to the second reason a student drops out of college. When the school is faced with either getting less money from the government or making coursework easier, the choice is clear – make course work easier! Make it easier on the student!

2.When quality is sacrificed degrees mean less.

3.When degrees mean less, schooling means less.

This means people are increasingly paying more for school yet the degree itself means less. This is definitely not an improvement in the educational system.

4.When quality is sacrificed and A's are easier to get, there is less incentive to try hard.

Because of this, students are studying and learning less and getting high grades. This is easily proven by comparing the United States to other first-world countries. The United States does very poorly, because we try to get so many graduates we depreciate our learning system.

5.Human capital is not improved

Because of all the points I have presented thus far, increased graduation rates actually decrease human capital by lowering the average knowledge of each graduate over time.


Thank you for the kind welcome, zach12! I look forward to smashing my head against the wall a few times!

1. Goal Up, Quality Down

I concede to the point that colleges and universities get funding based off of how many of the students that attend receive degrees. All colleges hope to increase their retention rates, so setting this as a goal is nothing to object to. Giving out more degrees is also an excellent idea because it both gives the society new leaders or even just workers that are willing and able to do a job out in whatever field. Con claims that the main reasons people quit going to school are that they do not have enough money, the course work is too hard and that the student may experience a sudden shift in circumstances.

Con concedes that the school can give out more financial aid, so I do not need to pose a solution to this. However, I would like to mention that a sudden shift in circumstances is not the largest, or even close to the largest reason that people quit college. Maybe it is high on the list because there are actually very few reasons and this topic is so vague, but it does not account for the majority of the students. Because we are talking about increasing retention rates and degrees handed out to students, we can throw out this point that colleges cannot account for these sudden change of circumstances.

To increase means to make more of, meaning that if I can prove that the colleges can retain more students and give out more degrees without sacrificing the quality of the education, I win this debate. Therefore, I will not need to prove that all circumstances are accounted for, but that some of them are. Because even one more student getting a degree or staying in school can be defined as an increase.

Schools do not always have to make the course-work easier as Con claims.

Students who either identified themselves as at risk for dropping out or had recently left the university often cited academic difficulties as a reason for leaving. Among the most frequent reasons listed were difficulties in specific courses, academic advising, academic support services and the quality of
instruction. More personal academic reasons included a lack of access to coursework, a change in major, a poor grade point average, difficulties with the number of credits earned, frustrations with course availability and completing all degree requirements, and rigorous demands of specific programs. Delayed notification to students in academic distress and little attention to attendance and study habits by faculty and instructors were noted as well. Students and faculty both point out the need for degree audits and degree progression updates, two factors that may be tied to advising as well as student self-efficacy. []

In this point we can see that there are multiple ways to keep a student in college when the reason is that they are having academic difficulties. Instead of making course-work easier, colleges can easily take into account the plans of U of A and solve the problem without lessening the quality of the course-work.

2. Quality Sacrificed = Lesser Valued Degrees

Because I have already shown that quality will not be sacrificed this point is not valid in my debate and does not need a response. However, degrees themselves will not be valued less, degrees of certain colleges may, but not degrees of all kinds. When you see a degree from UT Austin and compare it to a degree from Yale naturally you'll want to hire the person from Yale first, just because of the prestigious name of the university. Degrees already vary when it comes to how they are valued. So even if quality was sacrificed (which it doesn't have to be), this will make such a subtle change that it will go ultimately unnoticed.

3. Lesser Valued Degrees = Lesser Valued Schooling

You can cross-apply my previous argument that schools degrees are already valued so differently that this is not a huge impact on the educational system. If people truly want to go to a good school, they will find a school with a high graduation rate yet one that will still guarantee them a spot on the work force. Ultimately, it is the student's job to pick the college they want to go to, and whether or not the 3rd party pushes for increased graduation rates, the student does not have to be affected if they do not wish to be. Statistics on schools are out there, it's up to the student to find the right one.

4. Easy As make for lesser initiative of the student

I agree that if you knew you could get easy As at a certain college, there is less initiative for you to work as hard as you would if you knew that those marks were hard to achieve. Now, even if schooling is made easier, this does not mean that easy As are the result. It means that the learning is easier, not necessarily the work. If the learning is made easier, the students will be more likely to stay in that college. The work may not have to become easier, as I've already pointed out. If the students learned exactly what they were getting into and had easier ways of organizing their future years, they can make the good grades without losing true initiative. When a student is in a situation where it is easy to learn, they do not lose initiative. In fact, their initiative to learn is boosted because they know they are able to.

Con also makes the point that the United States does poorly when comparing it to other first-world-countries. However, I would like to point out that this will not be a factor in this debate because other countries work their school systems differently. Con does not have evidence that says that the United States is the only place that cares strictly about graduation rates. The common counter-example would be the High Schools of China that keep their students so much longer than the United States keeps theirs in school. It is not our job to compare in this debate. It is my job to prove, as I have, that you can increase graduation rates without lessening the quality of the education.

5. Human capital down as a result

I have already proved that there are ways to increase the graduation rates without losing the quality of education. This being the point, Human Capital will not go down, and this point will default to Pro.

My burden of proof was to prove that quality is not sacrificed when pushing for increased graduation rates as the 3rd party has suggested. I have proved that to increase retention rates is not to keep all students in school, but more students than in previous years. By posing solutions that could easily do this, I win on this interpretation.
Debate Round No. 2


zach12 forfeited this round.


Please extend all of my arguments here.

I thank zach12 for introducing this debate and look forward to more debates like this (minus the forfeit).

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff