The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

No child left behind is dragging the "not left behind children" down.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,315 times Debate No: 17845
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




First, good luck to the challenger.

I'd like to argue that the no child left behind statute is actually dragging down the rest of the children. What I mean by this is, the public school system can not cater to each individual child's needs. There's no way to single-handedly bring up an individual child's academic routine without affecting other students in the same class.

If there is a child or children in a class that are slower than the rest, the teacher must slow down the material/course to allow the slower students to catch up. This inadvertently affects the children who are excelling in class, because now they are forced to slow down their pace to allow others to catch up.

My challenger must prove that while the teacher is slowing down the course to work with the slower students, that the other students are not affected by it.


Wow 1000 character limit, I'm usually rather long winded.

Where I would disagree with you is on your model that no child left behind requires or demands hetrogeneous grouping. Moreover there is nothing in the statute at all addressing how classes are to be taught. No child left behind requires the administration of schools to administer state-wide standardized tests. The corrective actions it recommends are:

a) transfer to better or specialized schools
b) tutoring
c) supplementary educational services (example summer school).

Nowhere in the act does it recommend that teachers "slow down" and diminish average performance or not teach the curriculum. The statue never asks for that and lists alternate solutions as its preferred means of addressing problems.

[1] NCLB law:

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks Con, and yes, keeping it short and sweet :)

While the NCLB statute doesn't directly state so, in reality, there are no doubts that in-fact NCLB demands more on an overall grouping of students than it might necessarily mean to. Sure, it wants to target the individual child in need, and offers some alternatives to helping said child or children, but;

a) Transferring schools is not a reality to a lot of families
b) Tutoring will more than likely cost the parent money, which may not be an option for a family on welfare for example
b) And finally, summer school puts the student back in a grouping situation, which affects the students around them again. Not all students are in summer school to catch-up on old material. Summer school can be used for advancement, in which case once again, a student may be dragging down the class in order to obtain material that they are slow on learning


So your argument is the statue is bad because it causes things to happen that it doesn't even mention and doesn't cause things to happen that it provides funding for and mandates?

That's like saying the Iraq war resolution is bad because it caused so much speeding in Texas.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for your response, Con.

My title clearly states what the intention behind the debate is. Your analogy holds no water to this discussion. If you can't debate whether or not the effects, whether direct or indirect, of the No Child Left Behind statute are harmful to the students who aren't being"left behind", then there's no discussion to be had.


I understand your intention. And my counter is that the effect you claim is not part of the statue.

You made a claim of the form

A causes B
B is bad
Statute C causes A
thus C is bad

I'm disagreeing with statute C causes A. That's a counter case. I see no support in the statue for your contention. The statute is quite explicit about how to handle remedial needs, and provides both funding and mandates towards those alternate approaches.

If you don't like the effects of heterogeneous classes that's understandable. It has nothing to do with no child no left behind. The tracking / detracking debate ( has been doing on for decades. Stastically teachers teach to the 23rd percentile prior to no-child left behind (Harlen & Malcom, 1997).

I don't disagree on the problem, I do disagree on the cause. You have in no way supported the connection between the statute and your complaint.

Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by GThomas 7 years ago
Yes, but at least the students who want to learn get fewer distractions and interruptions.
Posted by CD-Host 7 years ago
I hate homogeneous grouping too. The data on it is mixed though. It really does hurt medium on down students to pull the better students out of class. It really doesn't help the better students all that much. Teachers really do not succeed in teaching to the better students as much as they think they do. Emotionally school is extremely frustrating for the stronger students.

Its tough because many of the goals of public education conflict on the tracking / no-tracking issue.
Posted by GThomas 7 years ago
Ugh, I hate this. If a student doesn't pay attention in class because he's too busy making spitballs and "your mom" jokes, then the rest of the class has to wait for HIM. I already am advanced, and then everyone has to wait because of an inconsiderate jerk-off who only exists because the rubber broke. I hate this system, put them in different classes or something and don't make Language Arts both mandatory and the same thing 4 times.
Posted by holden15 7 years ago
You can send private messages to C-DHost using the Send Message feature of this website. I'm assuming you meant to do that, since your comment has nothing to do with the voting in this debate, or the debate itself.
Posted by crackrocks 7 years ago
@C-DHost Thank you being knowledgeable in the disciplines to which I was referring. Your vote is appreciated.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: In R1, Con provided a much better argument and Pro's refuation of it was not very good. However, Con's R2 (and R3 to a lessor extent) seemed very belittling and got very off topic. It is better in those cases to point out the fallacy, stay on topic, and restate why you are correct.