The Instigator
DylanFromSC
Pro (for)
Losing
40 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

Not implementing a nationwide curriculum makes success less attainable.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,503 times Debate No: 11019
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (14)

 

DylanFromSC

Pro

Not implementing a nationwide curriculum makes success less attainable.

*Note that I am referring to the curriculum of the public education system of the United States, therefore everything that I talk about should be understood as in the public education system of United States.

**Also note that I am not inferring that success is an unattainable goal, I am simply suggesting that without a nationwide curriculum, success is LESS attainable.

First I would like to define success. Success - the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. Given that, we note that success can be attained.

Next I would like to explain what part of the curriculum I am referring to. The part of the curriculum that I am emphasizing is the courses offered at each school. I think that implementing a nationwide curriculum would give every student the same opportunity to achieve their goals, therefore giving everybody the same chance at success.

But with the various courses offered at each school, the bigger schools end up getting more courses, and most of the time leaving smaller schools without some of the courses required for certain career goals. There lies my biggest concern. When a student has to go outside of his/her public school system just to take a special class, it requires much more work than if the class were just offered, therefore making success LESS attainable.

I would like to thank everybody who took the time to read this, and hopefully my opponent for taking me up on this debate.
Danielle

Con

To my opponent: Unfortunately I was unable to post a first round in time, but I would very much still like to debate this with you. In that case, I'll accept a loss of conduct point for forfeiting this round if the voters feel that's appropriate; I promise to be back ready to debate for the next around. Again, my apologies to my opponent and good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
DylanFromSC

Pro

The last round was somewhat of a forfeited round I guess. All arguments are forwarded. I'll let my opponent post her arguments before I post anything else. Best of luck to Con.
Danielle

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for his patience and apologize again for skipping the last round. Without further adieu, I'd like to contest my opponent's main argument: That implementing a nationwide curriculum would give every student the same opportunity to achieve their goals, therefore giving everybody the same chance at success (the attainment of wealth, honors, etc.).

First and foremost, it is impossible for every student to have the same opportunity to achieve success regardless of school curriculum. In terms of monetary success, we would assume that one achieves the goal of wealth by landing a god job with a high salary. Some key factors that play a role in landing said job include: networking, a degree from a prestigious university, an impressive resume with relevant work experience and/or internships and good timing (applying at the right place at the right time). You'll note that a school curriculum is 100% irrelevant to all of these factors. So, even if a nationwide curriculum were implemented, there would still be no "equal opportunity." If you don't know a lot of people in the right field, if you don't have access to a good college (due to poor grades, no desire to attend or a lack of financial aid) or if you simply have bad luck/timing, then again your grade school curriculum is completely irrelevant to your success. This is especially true considering the current economy and the effect that the entire market has on one's success.

Second, I'd like to point out that people throughout history have attained success not only without a nationwide curriculum, but without attending formal school in general. Some examples include George Washington, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, etc. What helped these men succeed was an innate intelligence and desire to learn, their ability to invest in their goals (sometimes with the help of others), lucky opportunities, etc. These same qualities help people achieve success today along with a slew of other traits, such as having a big personality (for show business), a knack for creativity (entrepreneurs and inventors), talent (the arts), good looks (modeling or acting) etc. Again, all of these things are relevant to one's success - a nationwide curriculum is not.

So let's discuss the Pros of implementing a nationwide curriculum. The only one I can think of is that people assume students from everywhere in the country will have access to the same type education, therefore giving people the same opportunities to succeed. That's it. However, I've already proven that determinants of success extend far beyond the classroom. I'd also like to point out that implementing a nationwide curriculum in which students all learn the same thing is not feasible. For one, it would mandate that private, trade and parochial schools teach the same thing as regular public schools. If every school offered the exact same courses, there would be no need or market for specialized schools or industries. It would also require those who are home-schooled to learn the same material. This is not copacetic with the standards we have today; non-public institutions are free to teach whatever they'd like because they do not receive funds from the State.

That brings me to my next point: What right does the State have to determine what students ought to learn and ought not to learn? I do not recall that aspect being a part of the role description of government. Currently we have a public school system run by individual districts, which is a much preferable option to a socialized standard where the federal government mandates a nationwide curriculum instead of letting individual districts determine the type of courses that public schools offer. Leaving the school monitoring to the individual districts ensures more attention and cooperation between teachers, administrators and parents.

Another contention I have is that many times what one learns in grade school (where the nationwide curriculum would be implemented) is irrelevant to their career. Most times people fine tune their education in college, trade school, internships or on-hand work experience. In other words, if Pro and I both wanted to be accountants but his grade school mandated he take biology and mine didn't, there's no reason to assume that Pro would be a better accountant than me or have a better chance of getting the job if we both applied for the same one.

My opponent has the burden of proving that not implementing a nationwide curriculum makes success less attainable. So far Pro has only offered the idea of "equal opportunity" which I quickly dismantled. Plus, Pro notes that his biggest concern is "the bigger schools end up getting more courses, most of the time leaving smaller schools without some of the courses required for certain career goals." This is far too broad to serve as a cohesive argument. Bigger schools = more courses = greater chance of success for students who attend, thereby already negating Pro's resolution. I'm assuming he implies that those who attend small schools = less courses = less chance of success. However again, the factors I outlined which determine one's success prove that this is irrelevant.

Further, I'd like to point out another one of Pro's mistakes: If more people were given the opportunity to succeed, it would DECREASE the chance of success for others. More competition = less chance of success. For instance, if Pro and I were both equally qualified for a job, my chance of getting the job would decrease than if Pro had less qualifications than me (in which my chance of success would be higher). This is proven in eduction as well; SAT scores declined during the 1970s and 1980s because more students aspired to go to college and took the tests, not because of performance factors [1].

So, now that I've negated the resolution, I'll send the debate back over to Pro. Thanks again and good luck!

[1] http://www.ernweb.com...
Debate Round No. 2
DylanFromSC

Pro

I'm going to get straight to the point by exploiting my opponent's arguments biggest flaws.

"Some key factors that play a role in landing said job include: networking, a degree from a prestigious university, an impressive resume with relevant work experience and/or internships and good timing (applying at the right place at the right time)."

*My main problem with this is the segment stating that you need, "a degree from a prestigious university". Usually to obtain success, by monetary means, this is true. HOWEVER, prestigious universities usually require certain classes. Some schools are so poor, that they can't even offer a foreign language. Therefore, a certain curriculum does play a huge role in landing a solid job. I'm not sure what she meant by "in landing SAID job include". Maybe she was referring to the job that was "said" or discussed.

"Second, I'd like to point out that people throughout history have attained success not only without a nationwide curriculum, but without attending formal school in general. Some examples include George Washington, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, etc. What helped these men succeed was an innate intelligence and desire to learn, their ability to invest in their goals (sometimes with the help of others), lucky opportunities, etc. These same qualities help people achieve success today along with a slew of other traits, such as having a big personality (for show business), a knack for creativity (entrepreneurs and inventors), talent (the arts), good looks (modeling or acting) etc. Again, all of these things are relevant to one's success - a nationwide curriculum is not."

*I'd like to point out this whole idea. This paragraph is directed towards saying that, as the first sentence tells us, a nationwide curriculum is not necessary only because people have obtained success before, without this curriculum, or any formal schooling whatsoever. I'm trying to keep brevity in mind here, so I would like to point out just one the examples given:

1. Thomas Edison - Thomas Edison was not successful in terms of monetary matters. Thomas Edison died poor. Perhaps attending a formal school that taught money management skills would've spared him from poverty.

"So let's discuss the Pros of implementing a nationwide curriculum. The only one I can think of is that people assume students from everywhere in the country will have access to the same type education, therefore giving people the same opportunities to succeed. That's it. However, I've already proven that determinants of success extend far beyond the classroom. I'd also like to point out that implementing a nationwide curriculum in which students all learn the same thing is not feasible. For one, it would mandate that private, trade and parochial schools teach the same thing as regular public schools. If every school offered the exact same courses, there would be no need or market for specialized schools or industries. It would also require those who are home-schooled to learn the same material. This is not copacetic with the standards we have today; non-public institutions are free to teach whatever they'd like because they do not receive funds from the State."

*Again, I would like to point out this whole paragraph. Nothing in this paragraph proves that success is attained just as easily without this nationwide curriculum. And, "The only one I can think of is that people assume students from everywhere in the country will have access to the same type education, therefore giving people the same opportunities to succeed." proves my point. Note the ending. THEREFORE GIVING PEOPLE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES TO SUCCEED, so we can infer that without this, success IS in fact, less attainable.

**I have no quote from the next paragraph, but this next paragraph is completely irrelevant to my main point..

"Another contention I have is that many times what one learns in grade school (where the nationwide curriculum would be implemented) is irrelevant to their career."

*This is completely untrue. Colleges require certain classes to enter, you cannot just walk into whichever college you choose with no knowledge. College has everything to do with your CAREER. Therefore, what you learn in grade school is absolutely imperative.

"Further, I'd like to point out another one of Pro's mistakes: If more people were given the opportunity to succeed, it would DECREASE the chance of success for others. More competition = less chance of success."

*This is my final point. "If more people were given the opportunity to succeed". In this case, EVERYBODY would be able to succeed. And by saying this, you're saying that everybody does NOT have the opportunity to succeed as the curriculum is, and the only way that this proves anything, is if you believe that by implementing a nationwide curriculum more people WOULD succeed. In any other case, relevant to your argument, more people wouldn't succeed, so this argument is irrelevant.

I would like to thank my opponent for a very interesting debate. I know this debate may be rather hard to understand if you aren't actually in grade school, but I'm asking you to try your hardest to do so before you vote. Thanks again to the viewers/voters for taking the time to read this, and to the Con for taking this debate. I strongly urge a Pro vote. :)
Danielle

Con

Pro says that he has exploited my biggest flaws, when in reality he has done no such thing.

First, Pro brings up my point that having a degree from a prestigious university is often times what helps people accomplish monetary success. He notes that prestigious universities often have certain admittance requirements, such as taking X amount of years of a foreign language. My opponent makes 2 drastic mistakes here. First, he completely ignored my argument that sometimes people cannot use a prestigious university to their advantage for other reasons (ie. they can't afford to attend the college, they get bad grades in college, or simply do not want to attend an Ivy League or would rather attend somewhere else). Right there it eliminates using the degree as a sole factor in determining success, so implementing a nationwide curriculum would be irrelevant. I will expand more on this point in a little bit.

For now, I'd like to point out my opponent's second flaw and that is the fact that you do not need a nationwide curriculum, just nationwide REQUIREMENTS. A curriculum is a set of courses or a plan for a particular area of study [1]. In other words, Pro advocates for all schools to teach the exact same thing and offer the exact same courses and have the same exact graduation requirements. I've already pointed out why that would be impossible and unfair (considering different schools have different amounts of resources to work with). On the other hand, the U.S. has requirements about what every school *HAS* to offer... such as foreign languages. I'd like for Pro to show me one public HS in the U.S. that does not offer foreign languages as he has asserted. I highly doubt that he will find one, because high schools are already expected to offer the "basic" course requirements one needs to get into college.

That said, it is the individual's responsibility to enroll in the classes they feel would best help them succeed or prepare themselves for the future. For instance, I attended a Catholic private school that did not offer many AP (Advanced Placement) courses. Many college admissions look favorably upon students who take those courses, though there were simply very few of them available at my school (and many times students who wanted to enroll in them could not). Under Pro's standards, every school should offer the exact same classes to give people "equal opportunity" to be admitted into college, but as I've already pointed out, people's opportunities can never really be equal to one another despite the curriculum considering all of the factors that play a prominent role in success. As such, if AP classes were that important to me, I would have switched schools or found a way to compensate for the lack of offerings.

Pro notes that a HS curriculum plays a role in landing a job, but it does NOT play a "huge" role as he has said. The only thing it affects is your entrance into college, and even that's a giant if or maybe. If one noted that a certain course was not offered at their school, and yet they did well in the courses that WERE offered, a college will generally not hold it against them. Moreover, colleges already have a "standard" to hold students by; something nationwide that every student has equal access to are exams like the SAT and ACT.

Since these tests measure one's basic knowledge in important areas and determine one's overall reading and assessment capabilities, then what classes they took in HS are generally irrelevant. Colleges have their OWN graduation requirements and expectations. What colleges want to see when you apply is your course load because it shows how brave you are (they look favorably upon taking more difficult courses), the grades you got in those courses, what extracurricular activities you took and if you had any leadership roles, and how you scored on standardized tests in comparison to your peers [2]. Yet again, having an identical course as your peers is perfectly irrelevant.

Also, several times throughout the debate Pro has said things like, "I'd like to point out this whole idea" and "Again, I would like to point out this whole paragraph." What do those statements even mean? They are entirely grammatically flawed and do not make any coherent sense. Nevertheless, I'll respond to Pro's assertions. For instance, he points out that Thomas Edison was not successful because he "died poor." However, Pro has defined success in R1 as the attainment of wealth, POSITION, HONORS OR THE LIKE. In other words, Thomas Edison's fame and accomplishments have made him successful by Pro's own standards even if he wasn't rich, so Pro's point is a moot one.

Pro also says, "Nothing in this paragraph proves that success is attained just as easily without this nationwide curriculum." I have no idea where he got the idea that I was supposed to explain that. What I pointed out was that success is dependent upon a bunch of factors, most of which have very little or nothing to do with one's HS curriculum. Furthermore, I have proven throughout the debate that implementing said curriculum would be unfair due to things like resources (it would hold the affluent communities and schools back, infringe upon private schools, etc.). Also, what about those who are home-schooled? They are done so particularly because they'd like to have their own learning standards; meanwhile, Pro wants to use government force to mandate a certain curriculum. That is unconstitutional. Having minimum requirements is one thing, but imposing an entire mandatory curriculum is another. Pro has completely ignored this point.

In short, I have responded to all of my opponent's claims about college admission and the falsities surrounding Pro's idea, such as his absurd view that everyone would have "equal opportunity" for success if their curriculum was the same... even though other factors are more important in determining one's success than curriculum, and so people would still have unequal opportunities even with the same curriculum. I'd also like to point out that Pro's "final point" is completely wrong. He says - and I quote - "If more people are given the opportunity to succeed... EVERYBODY would be able to succeed." This is FALSE! As I've pointed out several times throughout the debate, an equal curriculum does NOT mean equal overall opportunity (as there are far more important and numerous factors to consider aside from curriculum).

With that said, I'll send the debate back over to Pro for now so he can make any final corrections or rebuttals in the third round. Thanks again to my opponent for debating and the readers for reading... Though I'd like to point out that you don't have to be in grade school to "understand" Pro's point. Pro's point is wrong and you can see that at any age ;)

[1] http://www.sil.org...
[2] http://www.airweb.org...
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by DylanFromSC 7 years ago
DylanFromSC
Honestly, how did Con have better spelling? Just point out some things...

And I didn't have my family vote straight 7's. I asked a few people to read it and vote how they felt, and apparently they gave me an advantage, but that's life..
Posted by SaintNick 7 years ago
SaintNick
An rfd for this one is easy. Con wins for sources cause Pro didn't have any, and L wins for spelling and all that cause Pro seriously failed there. I was gonna give Con conduct points cause Pro having his friends and family vote straight 7s when they obviously didn't read the debate is kind of sad but then I realized that I've done that lol plus L's 1 round was really short and didn't post anything....... Anyway Idk if I agree with Roy..... Pros only argument was that a nationwide curriculum makes success more attainable but how?? Even if everyone had the same knowledge like Lwerd said it would still not make success more attainable because then everyone would be equal and the other factors would come into play instead making the curriculum irrelevant.... Yea I see her point there so Idk what Roy is talking about........ Anyway most of all I am against this because I am a teacher and I know how much it would suck :-P
Posted by DylanFromSC 7 years ago
DylanFromSC
And this is one debate I REALLY wished I would've made 4 or 5 rounds. Haha.
Posted by DylanFromSC 7 years ago
DylanFromSC
Yeah. It's a really tough one for me. Idk. theLwerd is definitely a good debater too. So. It's hard.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
absolutely couldn't decide.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Thanks for the RFD Roy though I'll have to disagree with it. Did you take into consideration that Pro only had one argument? I'll point it out: "I think that implementing a nationwide curriculum would give every student the same opportunity to achieve their goals, therefore giving everybody the same chance at success." That was the only argument he made in R1, and proving that students wouldn't have the same opportunity to achieve their goals despite a similar curriculum dismantles his lone argument as the instigator. He didn't prove his case at all - that implementing a nationwide curriculum would give every student the same opportunity to achieve their goals, therefore giving everybody the same chance at success. Please explain how he proved that and showed the better arguments.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Con's arguments were mainly not to the point of the debate. The resolution was phrased with "less attainable" so that there are other factors than curriculum related to success or failure does not rebut Pro's arguments. Moreover, Con's argument that requirements might substitute for curriculum implicitly grants Pro's arguments. If standardized requirements make success more attainable, then standardization of the curriculum can also be assumed to be beneficial.

I think a better Con argument would have been to claim that having a populace educated in different things would be beneficial to society as a whole, and that it could give an individual a comparative advantage in a chosen field of study.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
LOL in the last round I said "I'll send this debate back over to Pro" because I didn't realize it was the last round! Anyway my RFD is pretty self-explanatory. Pro it was a great debate but your S/G was really off, and you didn't list any sources, so I had to give myself points for that.
Posted by DylanFromSC 7 years ago
DylanFromSC
Great debate. :)
Very tough.
Vote Pro!
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SaintNick
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