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Voting Style:  Open  Point System:  7 Point  
Started:  12/29/2009  Category:  Miscellaneous  
Updated:  6 years ago  Status:  Voting Period  
Viewed:  2,070 times  Debate No:  10597 
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (9)
1. Submit at least 4 resolutions of at least 3 different categories (see the forum for categories). Include your position for each resolution.
2. In R2, I will respond with my choice. If I am PRO, I will respond with only my choice. My opponent will then use his R2 to acknowledge my choice and invite me to begin. Debating will begin with me in R3 and end with my opponent in R5. If I am CON, I will respond with only my choice and invite my opponent to begin. Debating will begin with my opponent in R2 and will end in R5. My opponent will not post in his last round and will instead thank the audience and myself for the debate. BEGIN!
Kleptin, thank you for this opportunity to debate you! Topic 1: Society Government should require and enforce racebased affirmative action among equal candidates [see subsection of Myth 10, Source 1] in private businesses. I would be CON. Topic 2: Politics In the War Between the States (more commonly known as the American Civil War), should we assume a moral high ground to exist, on balance, the Confederacy had more of a moral high ground than the Union. I would be PRO. Topic 3: Technology On balance, video games (electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device) have had a positive impact on society. I would be PRO. Topic 4: Education Precalculus classes should be compulsory (required to be taken) in all American high schools. I would be CON. 1. http://www.understandingprejudice.org... Pick one. 

I will choose to debate the topic on Precalculus classes in American Public schools. As PRO, my opponent will simply acknowledge my choice and I will begin my argument in round 3. Much thanks.
Your choice of Precalculus has been acknowledged. Good luck. 

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. As the proponent, I will begin by clarifying on the resolution and a few terms.
Resolved: "Precalculus classes should be compulsory in American Public highschools. We live in a culture that is obsessed with individual liberty. The adolescent age is when developing individuals seem to display the greatest amount of resentment towards anything that is established without their consent. It is only after a significant amount of maturity that we become aware of things such as responsibility, practicality, and foresight. Highschool students often resent the classes that the Board of Education forces them to take, citing impracticality or other factors. However, there are many reasons for enforcing compulsory classes that go above and beyond the actual material. I will be touching on the academic importance of encorcing compulsory Precalculus classes in Public high schools as well as other ways in which this enforcement is important both to the teens taking the class and to society in general. I believe my opponent has specific reasons why he believes Precalculus should not be made compulsory. I will allow him to make his points before I develop mine. Thank you.
Thank you, Kleptin, for your response. Now, I shall present a few reasons why Precalculus classes should not be compulsory: 1. Little new material is actually introduced. Precalculus, for me, has actually mostly been a review of Algebra II. We went over polynomials and functions (Algebra, Algebra II), along with trigonometry (Geometry). As students already learn the basic mathematic essentials for life in previous classes, there is no necessary need to keep going. 2. Precalculus applications are limited to certain occupations. Look at this slideshow of applications for Precal: http://tinyurl.com... Exponents are already learned in Algebra. Biologists need to know predatorprey ratios. Bungee jumpers don't even need to calculate their own jumps. Physicists should be doing it for them. Daylight hours are available in weather forecasts. There's no need for everybody to have to understand how to graph daylight hours. One simply needs a graphing calculator, which does not require an entire course to learn. Then, if they need to graph daylight hours, they only need to consult a model explaining how to graph it, with no need to actually understand the trigonometric functions involved. Ultimately, one does not need to know Precal, and can instead get information divined from Precal from people specializing in Precalrelated jobs, or look up how to do some Precalrelated action from a book, with no need to commit all Precalculus ideas to memory. Here is the course description of Precal: "This course enhances topics taught in Trigonometry, as well as presents additional topics in the area of discrete mathematics. Emphasis is placed on functions, trigonometry, limits, logic, sequences, induction, combinations, and an introduction to the basic ideas of calculus. Students who complete this course should be prepared for AP Calculus." Source: http://tinyurl.com... Trigonometry needs not be enhanced, as enough was learned in Geometry. Discrete mathematics (http://tinyurl.com...) is a very specific field that you probably don't need to know about. Everything else is largely review, as well. I learned most of this stuff in previous math classes. Now, does Barack Obama need to know how to graph daylight hours of random cities? No. He has scientists to tell him. Does J. K. Rowling need to know how to determine if a SideSideAngle combination is ambiguous? No. Such a thing is completely irrelevant to Harry Potter novels. Does Mark Harmon need to know how to convert radians into degrees? No. He'd probably have a key if he needed it anyway. Does a random trucker need to be able to determine whether or not two vectors are parallel? No. The map will tell him whether or not two roads are parallel. Does a Language Arts teacher need to know the unit circle? No. There's no point. Does a lawyer have to discover whether or not two planes will crash into each other, given their current coordinates and velocities? No. Air traffickers use that. 3. Precalculus goes too slow for some people. Now, at my school district, in 6th grade, I was taking 7th grade math. In 7th grade, I was smart enough to skip PreAlgebra and go straight into Algebra I. Numerous kids did this, and the first month was basically a quick review of what we skipped in PreA. We then quickly accelerated into Algebra, and ended up smarter than most 9th graders taking Algebra as a level course. We then took Geometry in 8th grade and Algebra II in 9th grade. Now, in 10th grade, 11th grade, and 12th grade, the four courses of math to be taken are Precalculus, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, and Statistics. Statistics does not require any information from any Calculusstyle courses, so we'll ignore that for now. In 10th grade, only one AP course is available (World History), but in 11th grade, I'll end up with five AP classes total. Therefore, I have more spare time in 10th grade than 11th grade. If Precalculus is mandatory, then to end up taking Calculus BC, I have to take Precalculus in 10th grade, and then take Calculus BC in 11th grade, reviewing Calculus AB along with working with all my other AP classes. This is a lot of work. I would much rather skip Precalculus and go into Calculus AB, reviewing the few new aspects introduced in Precalculus with the greater spare time, so that by the time I'm in 11th grade, I only have to concentrate on the new material of Calculus BC., and I have 12th grade for Statistics. However, this better alternative is only possible if Precalculus is not compulsory. In conclusion, the kids not interested in pursuing a career requiring advanced mathematics should not be required to take the largely irrelevant Precalculus, while the kids pursuing a career requiring lots of advanced mathematics should not be required to spend an entire year on Precalculus, as it only slows them down. Thank you, Kleptin, and now it is your turn to present your own points. 

I thank my opponent for his response.
Now, although my opponent has made many legitimate points, most of my opponent's arguments can be reduced down to the issue of practicality. Here is a list of my opponent's arguments: 1. Precalculus does not cover much more new material 2. Precalculus is impractical outside of a specific scope. 3. Precalculus is inconvenient for my opponent The first issue: My opponent provides a source that involves Precalculus applications. These sources show a much more detailed list of what actually must be learned. http://www.math.ucdavis.edu... http://www.themathpage.com... http://mathworld.wolfram.com... Precalculus goes into much greater detail on functions, polynomials, and trigonometry. These details actually define the importance of Precalculus as a refining tool that joins basic algebra with concept formation used in the more applied sciences. There is a vast amount of new material that is not covered in Algebra 2. In fact, every single topic in algebra 2 is magnified into much more complicated detail in Precalculus. Whether or not Precalculus is useful is another issue, but we can certainly rule out my opponent's unfounded assertion that there is little to no new information given. Perhaps it is his school that is at fault for that. The second issue: While my opponent is right in saying that many of his "applications" can be trusted to those who decide to go into certain professions, I would like to point out that the time of choosing what profession you wish to go into is in college, not in high school. Those who wish to pursue careers in science will find that their mathematics requirements are quite stringent. And this applies to an enormous variety of fields. If students were not given Precalculus, then they would be severely lacking several years later should they decide that they like science. This is in no way a minor thing. Anyone hoping to apply to any field, be it computer science, medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, anything besides the liberal arts, would have to fall upon Precalculus. Furthermore, not making Precalculus compulsory may turn students away from a particular path. In the interests of time, a student may decide not to go into a scientific field because he lacks the background in mathematics, of which precalculus is key. The third issue: As for my opponent, I will basically disregard his final point as it is nothing more than an assertion that it inconveniences him. You might be able to do Calculus without taking precalculus, but you cannot do precalculus only with knowledge of algebra 2. So, let us summarize. 1. Precalculus is not as simple as my opponent declares. It reviews material from Algebra II and goes into much more complicated topics. It is not simply a rehashed version of Algebra II so my opponent's first point can be discarded. 2. We cannot discard Precalculus simply because my opponent's schedule would be inconvenienced. My opponent must provide proof that Precalculus really is as useful as it is before he can say that it inconveniences his schedule. Until he does that, then my opponent's third point can be discarded. 3. My opponent's only viable argument is that Precalculus is actually impractical. Let's go into this point in depth. *** A. Precalculus is absolutely key in all fields of science. Whether as prerequisite knowledge for mandatory classes in college or in its application. A student should not hold off until college to choose to take Precalculus. B. Precalculus is a widely varied course but every field of science will call upon at least 23 applications of precalculus. It would waste class time to go over those necessary precalculus skills in class. Students should have learned it before. C. Mastering Precalculus keeps the door open for students to pursue further education in the sciences, instead of closing the door because they opt out at an age where they are unsure about what they want to do in the future. D. Not only are applications of Precalculus rampant in the scientific fields, but the mastery of using concepts, of manipulating the numbers, of thinking according to a given field of study, help to build a student's thinking skills in other ways. The greatest application of precalculus is giving the student a field of intense thinking, exercising the mind. E. My opponent's arguments can form a slippery slope. For any compulsory class, there will always be a lack of application for some professions. If we follow his logic, then we should not make education compulsory at all. Unless my opponent wishes to argue for a return to the apprenticeship system, then we must discard his argument that Precalculus should not be compulsory because not all fields require Precalculus applications. Thank you.
I thank Kleptin for his response, as well. 1. Precalculus does not cover much more new material. On my opponent's first link, Algebra II and Geometry together completely cover the first 14 of the 23 Precal objectives. On my opponent's second link, Algebra II and Geometry together completely cover the first 22 of the 25 Precal objectives. On my opponent's third link, the General ideas are mostly covered from Algebra to Algebra II; the Complex numbers, Conic Sections, Exponents, and Logarithms are Algebra II; and Functions are Algebra and Algebra II. My opponent speaks of greater detail; however, in class, I am not seeing too much greater detail. On these pages, I am not seeing too much greater detail. I just looked over the Precal explanation for Logarithms (http://www.themathpage.com...), and I already learned all of this in Algebra II. This is not "greater detail." It's the exact same thing. My opponent claims that my school might be at fault. However, that means that either Algebra II went into too much detail (wouldn't be too surprised), which means that I should be able to skip Precal rather than Calculus AB; or my Precal class isn't going into as much detail as it should, which is actually kind of alarming. I'm actually in the most advanced Precal class in my school, and my area is known to have some of the best schools around. If our Precal class isn't teaching enough, then all of the rural schools in America definitely aren't going to be doing any better, which means that for them, Precal is also just review. 2. Precalculus is impractical outside of a specific scope. My opponent claims that people who suddenly decide that they like science would be at a loss if they did not take Precal; therefore, everybody should be compelled to take Precal. However, he assumes that the students are all going to college in the distant future to choose a career, potentially in science. For one thing, not everybody wants to go to college. Only half of all students actually go to college (http://tinyurl.com...). Precal is usually taken in 12th grade by students who don't take advanced math, so if they've already decided that they aren't going to go to college, and would rather go to a trade school or some other profession, so forcing a student into Precalculus would be pointless. Students forced into Precal often don't pay much attention anyway. A person with an interest in science should probably take Precal, but people with other interests shouldn't have to. An interest in science probably would have developed in middle school or junior high; 12th grade is a bit late. 3. Precalculus is inconvenient for some. My opponent claims that I cannot take Precalculus with only knowledge of Algebra II. However, I am currently taking Precalculus, and my highest math course before that was Algebra II, so I don't really understand what my opponent is saying. My opponent admits that I could take Calculus without taking Precalculus. Therefore, why stop me from skipping Precalculus and taking Calculus? I did the exact same thing for PreAlgebra and Algebra, and the first month of Calculus would just review the basics of Precalculus anyway. The Summary: 1. Most of the topics of Precalculus actually were from Algebra II, and in my class, I have seen little actual complication. 2. Why would I have to show Precal to be useful to skip it and move on to Calculus? Besides, even with some new material in Precal, it would be reviewed in Calculus. 3. Impracticality: A. A student not taking Precal in high school would consequently not take it in college, because either he chose not to go to college, or he wanted to be an author, a lawyer, a politician, a trucker, a juggler, whatever. B. A student could easily review the few applications of Precal relevant to his own profession of choice on his own time, ultimately using up less time than an entire class would. C. 12th graders have to have some idea of what they want to do in the future. College is only a year away. If 12th graders are all undecided, then how could they just magically make up their minds by freshman year in college? D. A student could take other classes that require intense thinking that are actually relevant to the career that they want. E. I believe that the basic essentials of math that everybody just has to know to get anywhere in life should be compulsory. Precalculus is not necessary to get anywhere in life. Sure, it's necessary for some things, but that doesn't mean that everybody should be forced to have a chance to take it. In conclusion, Precal is still largely review, forcing students to take it when they don't need it is impractical, and my opponent has not come up with a real reason as to why I should not be allowed to skip Precalculus as I did PreAlgebra. Thank you. 

I thank my opponent for his argument and will now make my final post.
1. I have never taken Algebra II. I studied PreAlgebra before High school, Geometry and Trigonometry in year 1, basic Algebraic portions of Precalculus in year 2, and Trigonometric and graphing portions of Precalculus, along with limits in year 3. I have looked at the topics of Algebra II and compared to what I learned in Precalculus, and Algebra II seems rather simple in comparison. However, my opponent, finds Precalculus rather simple in comparison. The explanation for the paradox is simple: His Algebra II class is advanced, and my Precalculus class is advanced. I did take that class in the best public high school on the east coast. Since we are both unable to come to an agreement on what constitutes Precalculus and what constitutes Algebra II, I will simply go with what we have both agreed on: That Precalculus is the equivalent of Algebra II with Geometry and some extra topics. As such, I stick by my resolution. Precalculus should be a compulsory class as it is absolutely necessary. I don't think my opponent disagrees that the topics covered by Precalculus or Algebra II are useless. However, Algebra II as a class, whatever it may be, is not. I am a perfect example of this. I have never taken Algebra II and yet, I learned all the material of Algebra II simply by taking Precalculus. Algebra II should be removed from the curriculum and Precalculus should be taught in its place and be made compulsory. 2. I disagree with many of my opponent's statements. First of all, all Public High Schools should have a curriculum devoted to sending their students to higher education. If that means adding more required classes that will help them later on, then so be it. By my opponent's logic, no classes should be compulsory, since there will always be a significant subset of the student population that will enter into specific fields in which a class is not required. Second, students of high school age should not choose all their classes because they would be far too inexperienced to know what they will develop an interest in, and classes which would benefit the majority of students should be made compulsory. Precalc should be given in 10th grade, before they have a clear view on what they want to do. Third, I began taking Precalculus in 10th grade and I never took Algebra II. Why does my opponent think Precalculus is taught in 12th grade? Maybe his school is just weird. Fourth, a huge portion of the student body for any institution enters college undeclared. Can my opponent provide the statistics showing that a 14 year old has his entire career plan in mind and sticks to it for 7 years straight? I severely doubt it. 3. I have never made that statement. I stated that one person cannot "do" Precalculus with only knowledge of Algebra II. Precalculus, by my opponent's definition, includes more things than Algebra II does. Therefore, Precalculus should replace Algebra II. Summary counterpoints: 1. Yes, and we should replace Algebra II with Precalculus entirely, since PRecalculus covers more topics than Algebra II. 2. My mistake, I meant to say that my opponent should provide proof that it is useLESS. If Precalculus covers more material than Algebra II, why not just replace Algebra II with Precalculus? I say it is better for the student. My opponent must show that the topics taught in Precalculus are useless if he wishes to make it noncompulsory. 3A. Precalculus should be taught earlier than 12th grade, as it is in my school, and it should be made compulsory since at that age, students would be too young to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Will you really take an adolescent seriously if he says he wants to be a trucker or a juggler? No, you foster all his talents to see where he will bloom. 3B. It's too bad that the topics in Precalculus are a prerequisite for so many things, including entrance examinations, college applications, etc. It is better to have kids prepared. 3C. No 12th graders. Precalc should be taught years before that. And many freshmen enter college undecided and major in their sophomore years after taking entry level classes. I base this on the massive amount of experience I have being a college student myself. 3D. At the age of 14 or 15, I doubt a student could seriously make such a decision. The majority would probably choose to take the easy way out. 3E. Precalculus represents the basics, especially in an ever growing technological age. We should not take steps backwards in education. Conclusion: My opponent has admitted that Precalculus is essentially Algebra II with extra topics. I argue that we should teach those extra topics. Precalculus should replace Algebra II and since Algebra II is compulsory, so should Precalculus be. I have shown why this compulsion is necessary to benefit the majority of students, I hope the audience agrees. VOTE PRO!
Kleptin, thank you for your argument. This has been an enjoyable debate. 1. My opponent claims that "Precalculus is the equivalent of Algebra II with Geometry and some extra topics." However, in his own experience, he learned the algebraic portions of Precal in one year, and the Trig and graphic portions in another year. Therefore, the only reason Precal could be said to have more than Algebra II is because it also takes that much longer to learn. My opponent's new plan is to replace Algebra II with Precalculus. However, without Algebra II to go over the algebraic necessities, Precal would take two years to learn. There's utterly no point in changing the name of Algebra II to Precal, as that would result in Precal I and Precal II, in addition to Calculus AB and Calculus BC. Precalculus I takes longer to say than Algebra II. If we change all Algebra II references to Precalculus I, and all Precalculus references to Precalculus II, this would result in the reprinting of numerous textbooks, tests, etc., and everybody would have to get it straight in their head again. Therefore, to conserve time, the class should be Algebra II, not Precalculus. 2. There is such a thing as overpreparation. A student's time could be better spent taking electives that are useful to them for their selected path. As for my logic, up until around high school, students don't have a clue about what they don't want to do. Besides, everybody has to be able to read, write, add, and point to the United States on a map. If a student has not developed an interest in science and math by the 12th grade (most of the future scientists elect to take the class earlier by the concept of advanced placement), it's quite likely that he never will. I'm going to explain how the math curriculum works at my school. Starting from 7th grade: Basic Math, PreAlgebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus AB, Calculus BC (Statistics can go anywhere past Precalculus) Most students take basic math in 7th grade, because they are not advanced in math. Therefore, they end up taking Precal in 12th grade. However, I took basic math in 6th grade, and skipped PreAlgebra to get into Algebra, and therefore, I am taking Precalculus in 10th grade. My opponent's idea is to accelerate everybody. However, this would make everybody's grades go down, increasing anger at math and hindering any developing interest. So apparently, my opponent is just smart for having taken Precalculus in 10th grade. However, were we to force all 10th graders to take Precalculus, most of them would flatout fail, because they wouldn't be ready. Such a plan would be foolish. My opponent asks me to cite a situation of a boy following a 7year career plan (how would I find a statistic on that?), but declines to source this "huge portion" of undeclared students. 3. If Precalclus replaces Algebra II, then we end up with two Precalculus classes where there was only one before. Summary counterpoint counterpoints: 1. In that same logic, Algebra should replace PreAlgebra, because Algebra goes into so much greater detail. But then we'd just end up with three Algebra courses, so that would be a waste of time. 2. The reason is because Precalculus takes more time, unless Algebra II is taken before Precalculus to cover some of the algebraic portions of Precalculus. As for the rest of Precalculus being useless, they are to the majority of the population. Most people use degrees, anyway. 3A. Teaching Precalculus early would disrupt the students advancing that their own regulated pace. Besides, the best it could be advanced would be 11th grade, because in 10th grade, my opponent might as well have been taking Algebra II. 3B. Actually, the most advanced class on the SAT is Geometry [1]. My opponent sources no entrance exams requiring Precal. 3C. Precal cannot be taught sooner because it would disrupt the pace. Now, as far as freshmen going in undecided, how undecided were they? After all, if they're just undecided as to what science profession they're going into, then they've probably already chosen to take Precal. 3D. 16, at the earliest. 3E. My opponent gives nothing to support this statement. However, given that the majority of the population doesn't need the entire Precal class, and my opponent has called it detailed numerous times, it can hardly be considered basic. Now, my opponent gives no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to skip Precalculus and head right into Calculus AB. Therefore, I should be allowed to skip Precalculus, and it would no longer be compulsory. Conclusion: My opponent's plan of renaming Algebra II to Precalculus I would be a waste of time. Precalculus cannot replace Algebra II and teach all of Algebra II and Precalculus in one year, but two. Compulsion would be a waste of time for most students. I should be allowed to skip Precal. VOTE CON! 1. http://tinyurl.com... 
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 4 months ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by Udel 4 months ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Reasons for voting decision: Con wins because of this statement  "Now, my opponent gives no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to skip Precalculus and head right into Calculus AB. Therefore, I should be allowed to skip Precalculus, and it would no longer be compulsory." Con argued that if you know the material, you shouldn't have to take the class, which is a contention that Pro could not deny and did not try to refute. Con explained why something should not be a mandatory class to sit through if you demonstrate knowing the material.
Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by LaSalle 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by Mangani 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by Kahvan 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by bambiii 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by Procrastarian 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
Kleptin  mongeese  Tied  

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I prefer to keep all math courses required (Alg I to Trig / PreCalc minimum) and reduce the english courses.