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Do you support affirmative action for students with learning disabilities?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 726 times Debate No: 66362
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




I believe that a 3.5 GPA student with dyslexia/ADD is as competitive as regular students with a 3.8 GPA. Why should we give affirmative action to minorities and not to those who were born with learning problems. At least these students have already shown they've worked very hard to achieve good grades and other accomplishments, much harder than regular students.

And no, ADHD and other learning problems are NOT a myth NOR over-diagnosed. I personally suffer from heavy test anxiety as a result of it. I must provide details to weed away the ignorant people.

When I take an exam (particularly math), I end up studying more time and, in many cases, learn more material than the other students need for the exam. But during the test, I tend to blank out the first 20 minutes and make lots of careless mistakes. So I don't have enough time to remove all the mistakes that were made the first 20 min.

I can't help the major anxiety so sometimes I feel I need extra time in college. BUT, my parents believe in "no excuses" so I have to take my share of lost points that don't have to be lost. I have the same capabilities as others have. I just need a few accommodations to compensate for it.

America loses billions of $ a year because fewer students with disabilities graduate high school or college. Why is a black(able-bodied) student with a 1700 SAT given preference over a white student with a 1900 SAT, and at the same time, it's considered lazy by many for ADHD/dyslexic kids to use a few of the accommodations that they are entitled to?


I thank my opponent for creating an interesting debate, I will be arguing that we should not give students with learning disabilities affirmative action in college.
Note that I also do not support affirmative action for minorities, so I am not being discriminatory towards who receives it. Nobody should receive affirmative action in my view.

I will begin my argument by considering the function of college:
'an institution of higher education created to educate and grant degrees; often a part of a university'(1)
To reiterate, a college's role is to educate young people to a high level then rate their cognitive ability using exam grades. They do this to provide employers with a comparison on the mental competence between students which allows employers to select the most suitable people for the job.

Given this function of colleges, it is their responsibility to award grades based on the standard model; that of a timed test of knowledge. The reason that it is timed is because of two reasons:
1. It is fair that all students have the exact same time to complete the exam
2. It means that exams measure working ability as well as knowledge. Modern workplaces often require things to be done under high-pressure so therefore an exam grade provides a more relevant detail to employers.

So how does all this relate to my argument?
Well, if we gave extra time to people with learning disabilities then it would result in these people gaining a higher grade than the level at which they are at. To illustrate my point, let us suppose that we have two people:

John, a student with no learning disabilities who gets an A grade
Sam, a student with severe anxiety who gets, due to affirmative action, an A grade

To an employer, there is seemingly no difference between these two people. Yet John would be a much more valuable employee because his work would not be hampered by learning disabilities.
This defeats the point of an examination system, as it does not present an accurate comparison of the cognitive abilities of different people.
Therefore, affirmative action should not be implemented for people with learning disabilities.

The crux of the matter is that the qualification system does not owe people good grades. It is supposed to set a standard that people either meet or do not meet. A person with learning disabilities is not entitled to as good a grade as someone without learning disabilities, as learning disabilities actually do affect the competency of one's brain. Employers have a right to not be misled in these matters.

"America loses billions of $ a year because fewer students with disabilities graduate high school or college."

I would be interested to hear your source for this, as it doesn't seem particularly clear that helping people get through college where they otherwise would not would help the economy, because workplaces require the same skills that people with learning disabilities struggle with in college. Besides, forcing everyone through academia is blatantly ignoring the facts that, firstly, many people are not academic and secondly, there are tons of jobs that need doing that do not require much academic qualifications at all.

Debate Round No. 1


mysadlife forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


mysadlife forfeited this round.


The debate has ended with my arguments remaining standing.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture