The Instigator
Apple14
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
supadupaman7
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Preparatory Schools cultivate elitism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,263 times Debate No: 12681
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Apple14

Con

Elitism is defined as the ideology that favor " a group of people considered to be the best in a particular society or category, esp. because of their power, talent or wealth" Prep schools are the most competitive, academically rigorous schools that place high value on intellectual curiosity, athletic excellence and giving back. People who can count themselves amoung the select candidates to attend those academies do have emotional strength – power – and many of them are talented. They are the best in a particular category – the applicant pool. All candidates are considered despite their wealth or family prestige. In fact, in the top prep schools, on average, a third of the student body is receiving financial aid. This leaves no room for ignorance or for pretentious ideas to grow in students' minds as they are surrounded by people of all financial states, nations and talents. Moreover, prep schools place a high value on diversity – of culture, of economic state, of personal values. Community service is often a requirement – develops cognizance of those who are less fortunate and the realities outside of the prep school bubble.
supadupaman7

Pro

Thanks for this interesting topic.

I am under the impression that Apple14 is advocating that Preparatory Schools DO NOT foster elitism. If I have misinterpreted this please let me know.

I accept my opponent's definition for elitism.

Point 1: Prep schools insulate the best and brightest from their public education peers.

Whether or not prep schools intend to foster an environment of elitism they inevitably will. My opponent states that admission to prep schools is reserved for "select candidates to attend those academies do have emotional strength – power – and many of them are talented." When you group an elite group together elitism attitudes will inevitably follow.

Point 2: Prep schools do not accurately reflect the American populace.

Like almost all private schools and universities, administrators try to paint a picture of diversity, racial harmony, and inclusiveness through brochures, websites, and pictures which showcase people of all backgrounds working together. The sad reality is that diversity stops at those pictures. Prep schools are too wealthy, too white, and too privileged. At some of the nation's best prep schools the darkest people there work on the janitorial staff. Although my opponent points out that 1/3 of students receive FA a far larger percent of Americans would need FA to attend a $20,000 a year school.

Point 3: Compulsory volunteer service isn't volunteer service

My opponent finally points to the fact that many prep schools require community service. It is impossible to gauge how genuine this service is if it is required by the school. These efforts are mandated by school officials who want to give the impression that the school and its students care about the community. When you look at public schools community service is often conducted through organizations or individually. The community service is truly voluntarily and thus more meaningful, than the prep school requirements.
Debate Round No. 1
Apple14

Con

Rebuttal:
Point 1 - "Prep schools insulate the best and brightest from their public education peers."

- There are certain students who attend prep schools that are intellectually gifted, yes. However, when the admission staff are selecting their pupils, they pick variety. Consequently, a Canadian hockey player may attend the school with academic records that are not too flash. A trombone player may be accepted with zero athletic ability and average grades. A well rounded student, active community participant, good at sports, receives good marks may be accepted - but this pupil will not be the "best". So to summarize, pupils, each with different areas of skills and weaknesses compliment each other to form a unique, diverse student body.

Point 2 - "Prep schools do not accurately reflect the American populace."

- Their attempts to create diversity and racial harmony is a work in progress of course. The schools are situated in red-neck, prejudice America and they are taking a great leap of faith attempting to unite all nations in a rigorous academic institution. The more advertising of variety they publicize, the more culturally diverse students will be applying. On average, the most prestigious prep schools, have 25-30% of international students. These schools are beginning to affiliate themselves with students of the middle east and various Caribbean islands. Perhaps the aim for diversity started as propaganda, but it sure is developing. For example, Choate Rosemary Hall has students registering for the fall of 2010, that come from 25 countries and regions and 22 states. Choate also has 35-40% students of color. Obviously the schools can not cater to the entire American nation financially, however the majority of that financial aid does go to Americans (the ones who are dedicated, focused, confident). Sad fact is that the "far larger percent of Americans" that would need FA would not qualify anyhow for admittance.

Point 3 - "Compulsory volunteer service isn't volunteer service"

- For the students who are not motivated by community service already, it gives them the opportunity to feel the emotional gratification of helping others out and experience the sufferings of the less privileged. FYI, interest in community service is a big selling point on the applicant form for the admissions office - thus, many giving, generous people are accepted who conduct volunteer service entirely voluntarily.
supadupaman7

Pro

DEFENSE

1)Students Complement One Another

Most prep schools require admissions test which are meant to weed out less academically qualified students. Unless a student is an incredible athlete or musician, they will have to score above a baseline to be admitted to a prep school. This baseline is markedly higher than average intelligence of the average American student. The result is that while not all students at prep schools are geniuses, they are all intelligent and many excel in other activities. You will still run into the same problem. When you take a student body that is academically, athletically, and/or culturally superior to public school counterparts attitudes of elitism will inevitably arise. For example at many prep schools attending a prestigious college is a requirement and those who end up at the state school are looked down upon.

2)International/Racial Diversity

Although prep schools may admit students from out of the country they still face huge problems with racial diversity. The international students are either extremely smart or gifted in some other activity to be able to attend overseas prep schools. Furthermore this article illustrates that at prestigious public prep schools the amount of Hispanic and black admits are falling. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com... Although a segment of the student population calls themselves "persons of color" this fails to account for the fact that white culture dominates prep schools. African Americans may attend but many are culturally more white than black (if that makes sense). There may be African Americans on campus, but too often African American culture is not present.

3)Community Service

Applicants may have participated in community service prior to admission and students may learn of their love for the community, but at the end of the day the service isn't voluntary. Unless a student goes above the number of hours required by the school it appears they are only trying to fulfill a requirement, much like a criminal who is ordered to do community service by a judge.
Debate Round No. 2
Apple14

Con

Thank you for the great arguments. As a high school student, hoping to commit myself to the debate society, I have learned a lot from you. If you have any debate tips I would really appreciate it. All I need to do is LEARN.

I do not wish to continue as I am not experienced enough to rebuttal such strong arguments.

Please, any one reading, or my opponent, leave me some advice, practice methods, performance tips and help in the formulation of ideas.

Thank you very much for a wonderful conversation.
supadupaman7

Pro

Thank you as well for this great debate. I will PM you with some comments.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by LaissezFaire 7 years ago
LaissezFaire
Why are people voting Con? "I do not wish to continue as I am not experienced enough to rebuttal such strong arguments." Even if you believe his position is correct, sounds to me like he forfeited.
Posted by Guardian 7 years ago
Guardian
I fail to see how "gifted" students going to school with other "gifted" students is a bad thing. Won't this just cause them to push themselves to be better by forcing them to compete with students on their same level?
Posted by wmpeebles 7 years ago
wmpeebles
I am a student in a so called "prep school". There is not any elitism at all here. If we choose to go to a county college instead of a more prestigious one, we are not looked down upon.
Posted by supadupaman7 7 years ago
supadupaman7
Apple14, for some reason I can't PM you. So you could try sending me a message or email me
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 7 years ago
LaissezFaire
Apple14supadupaman7Tied
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Vote Placed by Guardian 7 years ago
Guardian
Apple14supadupaman7Tied
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Vote Placed by Strikeeagle84015 7 years ago
Strikeeagle84015
Apple14supadupaman7Tied
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Vote Placed by wmpeebles 7 years ago
wmpeebles
Apple14supadupaman7Tied
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