The Instigator
CommanderTaco
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
leet4A1
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points

A Resolution To Eliminate Texas Top 10% Admittance Rule

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
leet4A1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,968 times Debate No: 9951
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (9)
Votes (8)

 

CommanderTaco

Con

Hello this is my first online debate. I wish luck to whomever my opponent is, let's begin shall we.
I am here to speak in negation for eliminating the top 10% admittance rule which is a rule that allows the top 10% of a class to get admittance into any College or university of their choice. The rule was passed in 1997 to make sure that there was no discrimination against races when it came to admittance in colleges and universities. The top 10% rule has shown some positive benefits such as 1. students admitted under the rule get better grades then other students and graduate at higher rates, 2. Racial diversity has improved in some colleges, and 3. Economic and geographic diversity have improved as well. The rule is also positive because it gives students at school something to strive for and therefore encourages them to try better. Many people claim the rule is unfair because one school's top 10% could be another school's top 40% and they claim it's unfair as well because there may be hidden talent at the top 20% but the rule is only to the top 10%. Senator Royce west said in a meeting discussing this topic "They are students from every walk of life in the state of Texas- Urban, Rural, Black, White, Hispanic" and as senator west asked I to ask "what is wrong with that" why is this rule so bad? someone awnser me that.
references:
http://blogs.usatoday.com...
http://www.citytowninfo.com...
http://www.chron.com...
leet4A1

Pro

I will begin my one and only round in this debate by welcoming my opponent to the site, and by thanking him for allowing me to debate this. I must admit, I hadn't heard of the "Top 10% rule" in Texas, but I have done a bit of research and I do believe it should be eliminated, for reasons I will provide in this debate.

My opponent has provided four arguments to support his position in this debate, and I will rebut each in turn. I will then provide a few of my own arguments to show why the Top 10% plan should be eliminated from Texas high schools.

CON:
"1. students admitted under the rule get better grades then other students and graduate at higher rates."

REBUTTAL:
Is it any surprise that those students who get better grades in high school generally get better grades at university? Frankly, I would be surprised by anything else. This statistic, while undeniable and indeed obvious, says nothing of the unfair nature of the Top 10% rule, which I will expand upon later. The same, I'm certain, could be said of schools in any state or country, but no other states have the exclusionary and unfair 10% rule in practice.

CON:
"Racial diversity has improved in some colleges"

REBUTTAL:
What my opponent has failed to mention is that in 2004, the Supreme Court overturned the affirmative action ruling which prompted the Top 10% rule in the first place. [1] According to state Senator Jeff Wentworth, the 10% rule came to be because in the 90's, a ruling was made that race could under no circumstances be used as a deciding factor for admissions. The 10% rule was proposed as a way of allowing a guaranteed number of non-white students admission to the college of their choice, as there are many high schools in Texas with predominantly non-white students and the 10% rule applies to all high schools. With the 2004 repeal of the affirmative action ruling, to quote Sen. Wentworth: "You may use race on a voluntary, limited basis [for admissions], so that gives us the option of using it or not. So we don't need the top 10 percent rule anymore."

So while my opponent is correct in stating that the 10% rule has allowed for greater racial diversity in the past, the same racial diversity has been possible since 2004 without the 10% rule. This fact, coupled with the unfair nature of the 10% rule (as I will soon show), is enough to warrant its repeal.

CON:
"3. Economic and geographic diversity have improved as well."

REBUTTAL:
I concede this point to my opponent, but I will show later that this fact is the inevitable result of an unfair system which takes a student's hometown into account over their performance.

CON:
"The rule is also positive because it gives students at school something to strive for and therefore encourages them to try better."

REBUTTAL:
If a child wishes to get into the university of their choice, they will strive for the best grades they can possibly get regardless whether the 10% rule is in place. An unfair rule such as this should not be, and thankfully is not (as evidenced by the performance of students in states other than Texas), necessary to ensure high school students try their hardest and acheive good grades. Indeed, even with the 10% rule, there are 26 states whose high schools out-perform those in Texas. [2]

---------------------------
PRO ARGUMENT 1:
The 10% rule, as I've harped on about for this entire round, is unfair in many respects.

a) It doesn't take into account extra-curricular activities or effort on the part of the student. As Sen. Wentworth has said: "The current situation in Texas is that you can have a young man who is an Eagle Scout, who's president of his student council and captain of his football team. But because he's in the top 12 percent, he's not automatically admitted. But somebody else who's in the top 10 percent, who didn't even take the recommended curriculum for college work, who took the minimum curriculum, automatically goes to the University of Texas at Austin -- and that's not fair."

b) It is entirely unfair to automatically allow the top 10% from an underperforming school into the college of their choice, but not students from a better school with higher average grades. A simple but typical example is provided in [1], as follows: "[A girl] had a 3.9 GPA, and she still didn't make the top 10 at her school. But 80 miles away in San Antonio, [another girl's] high school, Fox Tech, there were fewer challenging courses, less competition, and many kids from poor families. Torres had a 3.4-3.5 GPA, which put her in the top 10 percent of her high school. She didn't take any advanced placement classes."

As the article correctly states, "If [the second girl] had gone to Westlake, she'd barely have made the top 50 percent. And if [the first girl] had gone to Fox Tech, she might have been the valedictorian. As for SAT scores, Aicklen also scored hundreds of points higher than Torres." In other words, the better a school a student is lucky enough to attend, the worse their chances of getting into the college of their choice in Texas. This is counter-productive to say the least. My opponent has stated that the 10% rule is likely to encourage students to try harder, but with statistics like those I've just presented, the only thing it is likely to encourage students to do is change schools to those less challenging.

PRO ARGUMENT 2:
The 10% rule, with its forced admissions, has overrun certain universities almost beyond capacity, which affects all students who attend those universities adversely.

When asked "if every student entitled to come to the University of Texas actually came, would the university be able to handle it?", UT president Larry Faulkner said "no, we couldn't come close to handling it. And in fact, that's where we are now." [1]

------------
I will leave it there for this debate, because I have successfully rebutted my opponent's arguments, and have successfully shown the unfair nature and impracticability of the rule. Based in part on the arguments I've provided in this debate, the rule should be, and thankfully has been, repealed.

Thanks very much to my opponent, and once again, welcome to the site.

REFERENCES
[1] - http://www.cbsnews.com...
[2] - http://www.usnews.com...
Debate Round No. 1
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by leet4A1 7 years ago
leet4A1
Hey daniel_t, thanks very much for the comments. It's good to know people have not only read your debates, but thought about them too.

And welcome to the site. Judging by your comment you're gonna fit in just fine. :)
Posted by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
wjmelements,

The solution, of course, is for you to attend an underprivileged school. That way (1) you will have an easier time of getting into the top 10% and thus in college and (2) you will likely help increase the racial diversity of the school you are attending.

This is the first I have heard about the top 10% rule, but it seems to me that PRO's "this harms students in good (i.e., white) high schools," argument only follows if those students are incapable of attending "not-good" schools. Not only does this rebut PROs argument, but it turns it into a CON argument for now it can be shown that it will help increase racial diversity in high-schools as well as colleges.

PRO argument 1a can be rebutted (though not as thoroughly) using the same argument that PRO used to rebut CON's "something to strive for" argument. If PRO is going to assume that students who want to get into college "will strive for the best grades they can possibly get regardless whether the 10% rule is in place," then it follows that they will also take a college curriculum regardless of whether the 10% rule is in place.

Lastly PROs argument 2 isn't necessarily an argument against the 10% rule at all. There are any number of solutions to that problem that have nothing to do with the 10% rule.

It's a shame the debate didn't go for more rounds.

(BTW, Hi everybody, this is my first post to www.debate.org.)
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Honestly, I don't see the point in having racial diversity. Just because 20% of the population is black/hispanic/asian/etc. doesn't mean that 20% of the university students have to be composed of that minority. Honestly, if the brightest children happen to be almost entirely white, I don't see any reason to kick them to the curb just for the sake of being able to claim 'diversity'.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I'm guessing he meant PRO. And I agree, the 10% rule is crazy.

"I still have a chance though because I'm in that division. All others are screwed."
Yay for being in the awesomeness division.
Posted by leet4A1 7 years ago
leet4A1
Wait I thought you said you agree with CON in this debate?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I don't like it because it harms the high schoolers in the better schools. I personally am disadvantaged because my school has a special division for smart kids (I'm in there) and other kids from all over the district go to my school to be in that division. It's harder to be in top 10 percent and this rule necessarily means that our colleges reject a lot of people <10 percent.

I still have a chance though because I'm in that division. All others are screwed.
Posted by leet4A1 7 years ago
leet4A1
Thanks for RFD wjm.

As a Texan yourself, why do you see the 10% rule as a good thing? Just out of curiousity...
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Though I agree with CON, PRO clearly won.

Punctuation and capitalization give PRO S&G.
Sources to CON.
Args to PRO (crushing, actually. Further, CON's arguments lacked structure and indiividual warranting.
Posted by leet4A1 7 years ago
leet4A1
Hey commander taco, can I please ask that you don't vote for yourself because I live in Australia and can't vote.
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