The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
pmagyar
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Private School vouchers should be utilized in the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,155 times Debate No: 3835
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

First, some parameters: The term Private School vouchers, for the purposes of this debate are monies given to low income families so that they can choose to send their children to private schools or public schools. Also for the purposes of debate, these vouchers will be enough for tuition to the average private high schol (a little less the $5000). Assume the vouchers are paid for without increasing the deficit, and the cost is split between the federal and the state governments. If you don't like these parameters, don't accept the challenge, I don't want a semantics argument.

I will wait for a challenger to post my constructive.
pmagyar

Con

I accept the parameters of the debate. I will attack this topic on multiple levels. First, that if neither side is winning you vote Con. Second, I will show that the specific way my opponent is going to implement school vouchers(his parameters) are not how vouchers should be used. And third, that vouchers in general should not be utilized. Either one of the points is sufficient for me to win. If the way my opponent would use vouchers is a good way to use them, but vouchers themselves are a bad idea, then they still should not be utilized. It would be like finding a good way to commit murder, it may be a good way to do a certain thing, but that thing is still wrong. If my opponent defeats my third point and shows that in general vouchers are good, but I show his implementation of them (his parameters) are bad, then it's still a bad idea because the topic is to be debated with the parameters.

First, if there is no reason to use or not use vouchers you vote CON. Justifications:
1.Logically, it is on the proponent of an argument to provide evidence for that argument, absent justification for it that argument is rejected.
2.This is a public policy that is being discussed, and any public policy that is being considered ought not be implemented if there is no reason that it is a good thing for society. If the status quo is the same as the change, there is no justification for making changes.
3.This specific policy goes against how taxes are commonly used. In no other situation can I think of that individuals can say they do not want to receive a specific state provided benefit and instead get money back to provide it on their own. For example, you cannot say you do not want to use the fire department and receive tax money back that was to pay for the fire department.

Second, Implementing school vouchers in the way my opponent would is bad.
1.There is no justification for why this should only apply to low income families, if vouchers are in fact justified then the tax money should be given to any individual who wants to send their children to a private school.
2.If you are only giving money to low income families, then there is a cut-off point at which a family will not receive any money from the government to send their children to private school. For example, say the cutoff for being considered low-income is $40,000, a family that makes $39,800 a year will receive money to send their child to private school, but a family that makes $40,200 will not receive any assistance. While they may not be low-income, they still will need the assistance to be able to afford most private schools, given all their other bills(mortgage, utilities, savings for retirement, food, car payment, etc). This is an unfair way to delineate who gets money to assist them in sending their children to public schools.
3.Only providing $5000 a year(even if that is the average) will still limit individuals from attending at least half of all private schools, so you are still creating inequalities, so if solving inequalities is a justification for this then this plan fails to do that. Instead there are other ways to better solve these inequalities, which I will address later.
4.The money must come from somewhere, and it generally comes from the funds that are provided for the public schools. A big part of what pays for education is property taxes, which means that schools in poorer neighborhoods already receive less money for their schools. If you implement a voucher program then these schools will receive even less money, harming all of the students left behind by giving them an ever worsening education system. This answers back any argument about equalizing access to education.

Third, vouchers in general are a bad idea.
1.This is the same argument as just presented, for it applies if anyone is allowed to have vouchers as well.
2.This is not an effective way to provide equality of opportunity to students, especially as it harms the lower income students who do not go to private schools. It would be far better to reform the system of public education to provide a better quality of education to all.

As it is on the proponent of this policy to justify it, I will let my opponent provide his justifications and respond to them.
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, first I will post my argument for the system which I described, then I will rebut my opponent's case.

The Case for Vouchers
1. Vouchers instill competition into the educational system
Public Schools are one of the few socialist elements of America. History has shown that the monopolies created in socialist systems will almost always fail. The school system is a prime example of socialism's failure. UNICEF ranked the United States' educational system 22nd out of 30 developed nations. That is clearly failure. The school system is choked by bureaucracy and standardization. There is no accountability for schools. If they fail, they aren't hurt, if they succeed, they aren't rewarded. A voucher system would create a market-style school system, if a public school fails, students zoned for it will go to private schools. In a way this competition already exists, but not to its full extent. In many cities the schools are failing. This is for a variety of reasons, most of which stem from the socialist model, but those who can afford to go to private schools go to private schools. Poorer children are left in the failing schools. They have no where to go. As long as the school has a captive student body, it has little incentive to improve, and the children who have to go there are left with a very poor quality education.
2. Vouchers are necessary in order to provide quality education
As I said before, many low income students are stuck in bad schools, schools described by the Chicago Tribune as "An institutionalized case of child neglect." If these schools are failing, children need a way out. Vouchers provide a way out.
3. Voucher Systems Have been very successful elsewhere
In Colombia, a nation with a fairly similar educational system, a voucher program was developed. Unfortunately, as Colombia is a poor nation, only 50% of those eligible for vouchers could get a voucher. Luckily for us, this allows us to compare the success of the vouchers to the traditional system. The Brookings Institution performed a study of this program and it found that there was an increase among voucher winners in those taking college entrance exams, voucher winners being about 9% more likely to do so, a 5-7% increase in high school graduation among winners, and winners were much less likely to fail a grade. The authors of the study said "On balance, our results suggest a substantial gain in both high school graduation rates and
achievement as a result of the voucher program. Although the benefits of achievement gains per se are
hard to quantify, there is a substantial economic return to high school graduation in Colombia." Also, in 1994, a conservative government in Sweden made a voucher system that was so successful that when the liberals took over, politically they could not end the system.
4. Vouchers would address problems that other programs would not
The problem with public schools is not money. Public school systems spend an average of about $10000 on every student, whereas private schools spend substantially less. It is not money, it is how the money is spent, and private schools that by nature are forced to compete have shown they can spend the money better, it is better to let people make the choice to instill competition, than it is to consign people to failing schools that seem broken beyond repair.

Now, to rebut. I agree that if there is no reason to use or not use vouchers CON wins, but I have provided reasons to use vouchers. Then he claims that if vouchers are justified everyone should get them. This is just not true. There is no reason to give Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs money to send their kids to private schools. While this is an extreme example, it still applies to the less rich. If they can afford the tuition, we don't need to pay for them. Vouchers are in a way like welfare, you wouldn't give welfare to someone who didn't need it, that would be wasteful and expensive. He also complains that the cutoff is unfair, but there is no need for a cutoff. Voucher eligibility could be determined by necessity, with an applications system to determine if one needs a voucher. If families can't afford tuition, we'll pay for it. Then he says $5000 is not enough. First, I said the cost of an average secondary private school, which according to the outdated info I got was a little under $5000, it is actually $6600 (USDE). Even so, my opponent will obviously claim that they can only go to half the schools, as he did in Round 1. While this is true, it is not a significant problem, as according 1999-2000 USDE study, the average private school is better than the average public school, even if one takes into account selective admissions etc. And besides, most who receive vouchers will go to below average city schools, so even an average school is a major improvement. Then my opponent claims that money will be taken away from public schools if a voucher system is in place. Again, although there is truth to this, the whole point is to instill competition. If a public school is competitive and attracts students away from private schools, they will get more money, if a school does poorly, it will get less money. It all depends on the number of students at a school as to the amount of money it will get. Even though a school may be getting less money, it will also be providing for less students, making it cheaper to run and balancing out the money decreases. Finally, my opponent says it would be better to reform the public school system. This is not true, as I said before, the public school system is broken beyond repair, it is an over-centralized monopolistic dinosaur in today's age, we need to create a voucher system, and bring it into our market society.
pmagyar

Con

Opponents arguments
Off 1(competition): 1. I looked on the UNICEF website for the statistic you quote, and could not find it. Please post the link to it so I can evaluate its accuracy. 2. A system of accountability was to some extent created with No Child Left Behind, and there is no evidence of its success in actually making education better. Punishing schools for not meeting certain standards only makes it harder for them to actually meet those standards the next year, making our educational system worse. 3. Schools are failing because they are not getting what they need to be successful. Less property taxes in certain areas mean those schools get less money. Failed Levy's also hurt schools, those are a big part of the reason that schools fail. 4. There is no reason that in this field competition will make our teachers better teachers. Nobody becomes a teacher because they want to make money, so they already care about teaching and the kids. They don't fail because they don't have to compete, they fail because they don't have the resources, or perhaps they aren't good teachers (which you cant solve by competition). 5. Allowing vouchers would only further harm those children left behind. Some won't want to go to a private school, some wont be able to actually get to a private school and are forced to go to the public school. This could be that the parents cant get them to the private school, or that the money given by vouchers isn't enough for them to afford any of the private schools in their area.

Off 2(quality education): 1. If schools are failing we need to fix the schools. That provides children a way out without harming those still left in the public schools

Off 3(vouchers are successful): 1. "voucher winners" means that vouchers were prioritized for the more qualified students. Of course they are going to do better than the average population, they were given vouchers because they were above average. This study proves nothing about the success of vouchers, and furthermore the study did not evaluate what they could have accomplished had the money been put to use with the public school system, to improve them instead. 2. All you say is Sweden did it, and it wasn't taken away. What and how did they use vouchers, what were the results, absent that this is not an argument as they may have been utilized very differently than you propose.

Off 4(vouchers address problems): 1. Where is this data from? I have doubts about its accuracy. 2. If public schools are wasting money then the solution is to solve that problem and evaluate where the money is being wasted.

My arguments.

My opponent accepts you vote CON absent reasons vouchers are good.

"Vouchers are in a way like welfare, you wouldn't give welfare to someone who didn't need it, that would be wasteful and expensive."

Welfare is a way to provide individuals below the poverty line a way to get the basic essentials for life. Private education is not like welfare at all, it is a luxury that is a choice individuals can make if they wish to, not something the state should be required to provide. The state provides public education, that is similar to welfare, not private schools.

"He also complains that the cutoff is unfair, but there is no need for a cutoff. Voucher eligibility could be determined by necessity, with an applications system to determine if one needs a voucher."

Based upon what? The federal government supposedly does this with providing aid for college tuition with the FAFSA. They ignore far too many things that need to be paid for, like mortgages and car payments, which can be pretty expensive. There is no reason to assume that the system setup to deal with vouchers would be any different. Families in the middle would be those cannot afford private tuition, but would be told by the government they did not qualify for assistance. Also, with the rising cost of college tuition, and the fact that parents need to save for retirement, means the money they are saving for those things will be counted as extra income, money that could be put into paying for private schools. Those individuals will be denied for vouchers, but would not be able to afford private school without failing to save any money, which they will probably choose over a private school.

"Then my opponent claims that money will be taken away from public schools if a voucher system is in place. Again, although there is truth to this, the whole point is to instill competition. If a public school is competitive and attracts students away from private schools, they will get more money, if a school does poorly, it will get less money. It all depends on the number of students at a school as to the amount of money it will get. Even though a school may be getting less money, it will also be providing for less students, making it cheaper to run and balancing out the money decreases."

1.There is already the mindset that private schools are better than public schools, so students will leave the public schools for private schools even if it is a good public school. This will decrease the quality of the schools because they will receive less money. No matter how many students a school has, they have many expenses they will incur whether they have 300 or 3000 students. All of the facilities costs. Faculty costs. Whether there are 30 students in a science class or 10 students the teacher will get paid the same amount, but the school will be bringing in less money to afford those costs. That money will be taken away from other programs, perhaps sports and co-curricular activities, as well as books and equipment for classes. That will decrease the quality of education. Or maybe they do decrease what their staff are paid, in which case they will get the worst teachers at that school because they cant get hired at schools that pay more. Also making the schools worse. Those who still have to go to these schools will receive a far worse education than without the voucher system.
2.You need evidence that competition works in education for this to be a good response.

"Finally, my opponent says it would be better to reform the public school system. This is not true, as I said before, the public school system is broken beyond repair, it is an over-centralized monopolistic dinosaur in today's age, we need to create a voucher system, and bring it into our market society"

Really? That's odd because I recieved a pretty good education as the public school I attended. You need to actually WARRANT this claim, why are they beyond repair, what is so horrible about they system that it cannot be fixed if we actually put the money into education so that all public schools can have what they need to be successful. Otherwise, you are further harming students that have no choice but go to public schools.

Also, all private schools are well funded because they can charge what they need. Many public schools do not receive what they need to be good schools. That is a part of why private schools perform better overall. The solution is to provide the poorer schools with what they need to succeed, not spending that money to send students to other schools.

Finally, With a greater pool of applicants, the private schools could be more selective over which students to admit, excluding those who do not belong to a preferred group such as religion or ethnicity, those with disabilities, and those with disciplinary problems. By law, the public schools must accept any student. They would presumably end up with all students whom the private schools turn away for such reasons. This would likely further undermine the reputation and competitiveness of the public schools, leading to a vicious circle that tends toward the total abolition of the public schools and perhaps the end of universal education.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

I'll just go down what my opponent has just posted.
First, he attacks my case. The UNICEF stat I mentioned is here (This is a different one, I can't remember where I found the original stat, but this is 18 out of 24, rather than 22 out of 30) http://www.cbsnews.com... Then he says that NCLB created accountability in a sense, but that failed. I agree with that statement, but vouchers would create as separate form of accountability, giving children the choice between failing schools and succeeding schools, as well as giving schools an incentive to compete. Then my opponent claims that schools are not getting enough money. The average state spends $9100 combined with an approximately $1500 federal spending per student (FY2007 budget) leads to $10600 per student on average, with about $600 more for special education students. The average private school spends less money per student: $6600. If private schools are giving more for less, then we know that money is not the issue. Then he says vouchers won't make our teachers better, nobody becomes a teacher for money. Not to offend teachers or anything, but that isn't true. Although teachers are not paid a fortune, there have been studies that show that some teachers are teachers because they could not get a better job in their field. And besides, if someone's job is on the line, they will work much harder. Then, he says that if schools are failing, we need to fix them. Socialism almost always fails, public education, like it or not is a socialist concept. Because there is no competition, schools will fail. A voucher system would force schools to compete for students and funding, creating a successful capitalist system. The he questions the peer-reviewed Brookings study i mentioned claiming that voucher winners were given vouchers for performance, but that is incorrect, vouchers were given in a lottery, a random lottery among low income students. Second, all I was saying with Sweden is that it was an idea that was not liked at first and became very popular, but since you asked, Sweden instituted vouchers that gave students thee choice between public and private schools in their community. I was not able to find many statistics, but the system was so popular, the Social Democrats, who strongly opposed the idea, could not end the system. Then he has doubts about my claim that money is not the issue, but that management of the money is the issue, a claim which I partailly substantiated in the beginning of this rebuttal, and will substantiate more here. According to a study by the Baltimore Sun, Harford County schools had 64 non-educational administrators managing a system of 36000 students, while the Baltimore Archdiocese, managing 34000 Baltimore area Catholic school students had 7. An even more striking example is New York City, the largest public school system in the US, with 6000 administrators to the 25 of the New York Archdiocese that had almost half as many students as the public school system. That is no way to spend our money. This is a direct result of the socialist model upon which our schools are based. There is a way to fix this problem, and that's by instilling competition, by creating a voucher system. Next, my opponent claims a quality education is a luxury. If that is his argument, than sure, he can win this debate, but I contend that quality education is not a luxury, but a necessity for success and prosperity. Then, my opponent claims that the government would not be accurate in determining whether students needed vouchers or not, using the example of FAFSA, but that does not mean that evaluation will always be inaccurate, we can reform evaluation of necessity in this system, we can't assume it will be inaccurate, simply because other programs have been before.
"There is already the mindset that private schools are better than public schools, so students will leave the public schools for private schools even if it is a good public school. This will decrease the quality of the schools because they will receive less money. No matter how many students a school has, they have many expenses they will incur whether they have 300 or 3000 students. All of the facilities costs. Faculty costs. Whether there are 30 students in a science class or 10 students the teacher will get paid the same amount, but the school will be bringing in less money to afford those costs. That money will be taken away from other programs, perhaps sports and co-curricular activities, as well as books and equipment for classes. That will decrease the quality of education. Or maybe they do decrease what their staff are paid, in which case they will get the worst teachers at that school because they cant get hired at schools that pay more. Also making the schools worse. Those who still have to go to these schools will receive a far worse education than without the voucher system." While there is an element of truth to this, it should be taken with a grain of salt. The whole point is that bad schools will be forced out of the market, only to be replaced by better schools. His argument that even good schools will lose students is not valid however. A characteristic of many good schools is a large population of well-to-do students. Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland is one of the best school systems in the country, and Maryland happens to be the richest state in the US. A truly good school will not lose students, but will only get better. If schools can't pay for 50 teachers, they will have to downsize, and only pay 35. The only reason they would lose money is if they lost students, so the loss of teachers would not be a major concern. The whole point is survival of the fittest schools to educate our children. Our children don't deserve a bad education. And, to answer my opponent's concern about the effectiveness of competition, that is precisely why competition would be so successful, only the best would survive. Then, my opponent claims that schools are not beyond repair, and that he receives a quality public education, and that my claim is not warranted. I believe that 18 out of 24 is failing, and that as shown money is not the problem. Public schools spend more and give less, the only fix is to force them to get up to par, and that can only be fully achieved through a voucher system. More funding, better teachers will all help, but the biggest fix would be a voucher system, as I have shown. Then my opponent again claims that schools are underfunded, which I have again and again shown was false. Finally my opponent says "Finally, With a greater pool of applicants, the private schools could be more selective over which students to admit, excluding those who do not belong to a preferred group such as religion or ethnicity, those with disabilities, and those with disciplinary problems. By law, the public schools must accept any student. They would presumably end up with all students whom the private schools turn away for such reasons. This would likely further undermine the reputation and competitiveness of the public schools, leading to a vicious circle that tends toward the total abolition of the public schools and perhaps the end of universal education." Again, while I must admit that this may occur to a degree, there is no evidence that ethnic discrimination would occur. Religious discrimination may occur to a small degree, but only at some religious schools. Students with disabilities can always find schools, as there are many private schools geared towards disabled students (I can provide examples if necessary), and finally, disciplinary problems are a legitimate concern for all schools, as scholastic anarchy is beneficial for none. Students with severe disciplinary issues would be shunned from most public schools as well. Finish in com.
pmagyar

Con

pmagyar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

My opponent's failure to rebut any of my points signifies his tacit agreement, assuring a PRO victory. Thank You.
pmagyar

Con

"My opponent's failure to rebut any of my points signifies his tacit agreement, assuring a PRO victory. Thank You."

Hardly, it means i had other stuff going on and forgot about this debate, ill respond to your points right now.

http://educationwonk.blogspot.com... "A large-scale government-financed study has concluded that when it comes to math, students in regular public schools do as well as or significantly better than comparable students in private schools. The study, by Christopher Lubianski [sic] and Sarah Theule Lubianski, [sic] of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, compared fourth- and eighth-grade math scores of more than 340,000 students in 13,000 regular public, charter and private schools on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress. The 2003 test was given to 10 times more students than any previous test, giving researchers a trove of new data. Though private school students have long scored higher on the national assessment, commonly referred to as "the nation's report card," the new study used advanced statistical techniques to adjust for the effects of income, school and home circumstances. The researchers said they compared math scores, not reading ones, because math was considered a clearer measure of a school's overall effectiveness. The study found that while the raw scores of fourth graders in Roman Catholic schools, for example, were 14.3 points higher than those in public schools, when adjustments were made for student backgrounds, those in Catholic schools scored 3.4 points lower than those in public schools…"Over all," it said, "demographic differences between students in public and private schools more than account for the relatively high raw scores of private schools. Indeed, after controlling for these differences, the presumably advantageous private school effect disappears, and even reverses in most cases.""
This clearly shows that when other factors that influence education are accounted for, private schools are not better than public schools. They appear so because they receive the students already in the best position to succeed who have already shown they are good students. At best for my opponent, there is no reason to implement vouchers, which means you vote CON. Add in the downsides of vouchers, and they are more likely to be harmful than helpful to students, and you vote CON.

Unicef Stat: Here's a quote from the article. "We didn't really get into why. We found out that there was no one answer" This proves at best that our schools need improvement, not that vouchers will do that. Also, many other countries only test their best students, whereas we test everyone, which could also be a big factor.

NCLB:Under NCLB, if a school was failing you could attend a different school, and it created a system of accountability, if your school doesn't do well you lose money(same thing vouchers are supposed to do that would work). That also gives schools an incentive to compete. It didn't work, vouchers are a different mechanism attempting to do the same that NCLB attempted. There is no reason its actually different or would work any better.

Money: Ill agree that public schools waste a lot of money on administrators. The solution is to force them to cut those costs, so the money goes to the students education instead. That can be achieved through a government mandate easier than competition, without the negative side effects of vouchers. Also, part of the reason that public schools may need more administrators is because they have to deal with far more problem children than most private schools do, so vouchers would either A get those students into private schools who would also need more admins, or B they wouldn't receive an education at all, which is far worse, as my opponent agrees education is important.

Teachers: Competition always exists between teachers, if they are bad teachers they will be fired and replaced whether there is a voucher system in place or not. Vouchers won't change that, so it's a non-unique argument.

"Socialism almost always fails, public education, like it or not is a socialist concept. Because there is no competition, schools will fail. A voucher system would force schools to compete for students and funding, creating a successful capitalist system." That's an assertion because you don't like socialism, that doesn't mean the private sector would be better at it through competition between schools. Furthermore, the biggest reform that seems to be needed with public schools is to majorly cut down on administrative costs. The easiest way to do that is by the government requiring them to do that, rather than letting some schools become worse and harming the students waiting for the market to cause them to decide to fix it.

Brookings Study: At best this shows is that in Colombia a voucher system worked, all that can easily be explained by their public schools being poorer. And the students still had to be admitted to the private schools, so the students the study referred to were still ALREADY the better students, which isn't evidence that the private schools are better.

Sweden: This is not evidence that a voucher system would work in the US, which is what this debate requires.

"Next, my opponent claims a quality education is a luxury. If that is his argument, than sure, he can win this debate, but I contend that quality education is not a luxury, but a necessity for success and prosperity." I said private education is a luxury, I agree that education is a necessity for success, and yet my opponents plan would limit that education only to those who can get in to private schools, which is even worse given that private schools aren't actually better at providing a quality education.

"we can't assume it will be inaccurate, simply because other programs have been before." OK, but that applies to more than determining eligibility for vouchers, you cannot assume that because something has worked in other countries it will work here, or that it is best for the US.

"The whole point is survival of the fittest schools to educate our children. Our children don't deserve a bad education. And, to answer my opponent's concern about the effectiveness of competition, that is precisely why competition would be so successful, only the best would survive." Less schools mean less students will be educated. Some students wont be able to go to private schools(parents cant get them there for one). More students trying to get into private schools will mean more and more students either stuck in public schools that nobody is doing anything to help, or those schools will be closed and there will be students who have no schools to attend. What are they supposed to do? Hope that more private schools will open so they will be able to go to school?

"universal education will continue regardless of my opponent's unwarranted claim, and maybe the end of public education would not be so bad. Our children deserve the best possible education, and if that can't only be found in private schools than so be it." Not only is it not, but relying on the private sector means many students wont receive any education at all, which is far far worse than relying on public schools, especially when many of them are as good or better than private schools.

There are problems with our schools, but vouchers are not the answer to solve the problems, which is all I have to show in this debate. Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 4
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

I'll rebut, and show you why you vote PRO

First, Line by Line
"Hardly, it means i had other stuff going on and forgot about this debate, ill respond to your points right now."

Well, it's not my fault you forfeited the round.

My opponent then references a study showing that public schools performed better on average than private schools saying "This clearly shows that when other factors that influence education are accounted for, private schools are not better than public schools. They appear so because they receive the students already in the best position to succeed who have already shown they are good students. At best for my opponent, there is no reason to implement vouchers, which means you vote CON. Add in the downsides of vouchers, and they are more likely to be harmful than helpful to students, and you vote CON."
There are even more Department of Education studies showing the superiority, so if my opponent wants to get into a study-war, then bring it on, I've got more than enough studies to use. Even if this is true, allowing students to make a choice is most important. There are undeniably good private schools that a voucher child would now have access to. This creates the survival of the fittest effect, weeding out bad schools, and letting everyone go to good schools. Also, it would be fair to conclude that private and public schools are on average equivalent, as all we have to counter each others studies is more studies. If we conclude that we still have the fact that many schools in low income areas are below average, and vouchers let children get out of those schools, and also that vouchers cost less than most public schools, we could use the money we save to improve public schools, to fund reforms. The thing is, adding capitalism to education is one reform that will improve it already.

Why this stipulates a PRO vote: Saving money is a viable reason to do things. If you can pay less for an equal or greater product you should do so. Also, adding capitalism helps reform the school system in America. Third, this system eliminates schools that have proven themselves so unfit to educate our children that no parent wants their child sent there.

Then, my opponent says that "Also, many other countries only test their best students, whereas we test everyone, which could also be a big factor." He never supports this fact, and even so there is other empirical measures of education that show that America is failing. For example in 1972, the College Board reported 2817 students scoring above 750 on the verbal portion of the SATs, 22 years later, they reported 1438 students scoring above 750, about half of the older statistic even though more students were taking the test. Furthermore, most education experts will conclude that our schools are failing.

Why this means a PRO vote: As I have shown public schools are failing our children. Earlier in this debate I proved that the overcentralization and humongous bureaucracy of public schools that private schools lack leads to their ineffectiveness. My opponent agreed saying "Furthermore, the biggest reform that seems to be needed with public schools is to majorly cut down on administrative costs." (Round Four Rebuttal). I have shown that the monopolistic model that schools use is the cause of these problems, which my opponent never denies, giving me victory on that point. If I win that point I prove that vouchers should be used to solve that problem.

Then, he compares the voucher system to NCLB saying "Under NCLB, if a school was failing you could attend a different school, and it created a system of accountability, if your school doesn't do well you lose money(same thing vouchers are supposed to do that would work)."

There is an important contrast that shows that these negative side effects of NCLB would not be present with a voucher system. One, in this case a school with less money would also have proportionately less students. The education it provides would not deteriorate, it would simply be downsized. The incentive to compete is offered by the fact the the faculty has their jobs on the line, and they are forced to work to keep their school up to par.

Why this means a PRO vote: It shows that the voucher system is cheaper, and, if not an improvement, it is not negative. At worst with this system education does not change at all, and we simply save money, which is a good goal.

Then my opponent claims that bad teachers will be fired vouchers or no vouchers. Unfortunately he is wrong. Often teacher's unions prevent schools from firing teachers for being bad teachers. If you want I can provide studies.

This goes for PRO as I show that it solves a problem that would otherwise remain unsolved.

Then, he claims that the government can fix the administrative problems without implementing the vouchers and without any ill effects. Well, first, as I have repeatedly shown vouchers can't cause harm. Next, even if the problem could be at least partially fixed by the government stepping in, we still have bad schools that need to taken out of the system, as subpar education is not a good goal. Also, the government is to d*mn inefficient to do something about huge bureaucracies. the only way it will happen is if they're forced to do so, as vouchers would do.

Why this is a vote for PRO: This shows that vouchers solve problems that can't be solved effectively otherwise, which means we should do them.

When he attacks my studies his claims are unfounded. As for the Colombian public schools being really bad, so the private schools will obviously have better statistics, the private schools are very bad too, but they are better, as this study showed. The nation was picked for the study because of similarities with our nation. Also, the vast majority of those lucky enough to get the vouchers got accepted, so even taking that into account, the vouchers were a success. As for Sweden, which also has a similar educations system, and a similar voucher system, although it is not definite that we will share their success, there are so many parallels that it seems very likely that we will. This gives me back this strong empirical evidence, supporting a PRO vote.

Then, he claims the plan hurts students, which it doesn't as I have repeatedly stated and proven.

He then puts a turn on my argument that other program's inaccuracies will not necessarily be replicated by saying neither will successes. But, we will have learned from history, replicating what is good, eliminating what is bad. This kills CON's point here.

He then says that some students will not be able to attend private schools, citing transportation problems. IF this is a real problem private schools will offer transportation to those who need it so they can tap that market. Also, this system does not hurt the public schools, it only can improve them. Also, addressing the school scarcity problem, the private school market would be forced to undergo expansion as demand increases, if the school operators want money they will expand their programs to fit more students. If the private schools can't take enough people public schools will still be there to take all who need the education. They won't be any worse off if this happens, so there is no real loss.

Why this means you vote PRO: I have shown that the negative effects listed will not be present, and that we can only improve with this system. More for Less is a concept we should always strive for.

Finally, he readdresses the school scarcity, which I have shown won't occur.

Why you vote PRO:
1. My opponent forfeited a round.
2. Vouchers cost less.
3. Private schools provide an equal or greater education, especially when compared to inner-city schools.
4. Vouchers have negligible negatives.
5. Vouchers solve problems other plans can't solve
6. Vouchers have historically been effective in improving education.
pmagyar

Con

"There are even more Department of Education studies showing the superiority, so if my opponent wants to get into a study-war, then bring it on, I've got more than enough studies to use"

Not only have you failed to provide any of these supposed additional studies, but also fail to realize that its not the number of studies one has but the quality of the studies and what they evaluate that determines their validity. The department of education studies only look at the test scores etc, and ignore other important factors in determining whether the schools are actually successful. The study I cited actually takes into account other factors not related to the schools that affect education. These factors will not change whether the students attend a private or public school. When these factors are accounted for, private schools are not actually any better than public schools, in fact they are slightly worse. Also, this study evaluated 10x more data than previous studies, which also makes it a much better study than others.

"This creates the survival of the fittest effect, weeding out bad schools, and letting everyone go to good schools."

If it does work that way all you do is eliminate schools, without any actual plan to create new schools for the students, meaning there wont be schools for students, leaving some students without schools to attend. This is far far worse than attending a bad school, it would be much better to actually work to improve the schools that are not doing well than implement a plan which eliminates schools that we need to actually educate our students.

Opp argues schools failing

This doesn't mean that vouchers will actually do anything to fix the problem. Cut down on the administrative costs and you save money, taking out that private schools save money. There is no reason this could not be implemented. My opponent also ignores that some of those administrators may be necessary to deal with problems that private schools don't have to worry about, so moving more students to private schools would cause them to need more administrators, meaning this argument gains my opp nothing.

"The incentive to compete is offered by the fact the the faculty has their jobs on the line, and they are forced to work to keep their school up to par."

This incentive exists with or without vouchers, teachers can always lose their jobs if they are bad teachers. That means vouchers instigate nothing new in terms of competition, so this is not a reason to vote pro.

"Then my opponent claims that bad teachers will be fired vouchers or no vouchers. Unfortunately he is wrong. Often teacher's unions prevent schools from firing teachers for being bad teachers. If you want I can provide studies."

But you didn't, which means you have no evidence for this. Unions can prevent people from being fired arbitrarily and provide them benefits, but if they are bad teachers they are not doing their jobs they wont be protected by the unions. And even if they are, this would still exist with or without vouchers, so vouchers do nothing beneficial.

"Also, the government is to d*mn inefficient to do something about huge bureaucracies. the only way it will happen is if they're forced to do so, as vouchers would do."

There is no evidence or warrant for this, and passing reforms through congress WOULD force them to do this, vouchers might or might not as it relies on them choosing to.

Columbia: because private schools are less horrible than public schools there doesn't mean this is true in America, which is what were talking about. My study actually evaluates the US, and shows that public schools are actually better than private schools. Same with Sweden, its not evaluating the US, so my study is far more applicable.

"He then says that some students will not be able to attend private schools, citing transportation problems. IF this is a real problem private schools will offer transportation to those who need it so they can tap that market."

Why? Private schools that are considered good schools already receive more applicants than they can accept, so they have no incentive to provide transportation.

"Also, addressing the school scarcity problem, the private school market would be forced to undergo expansion as demand increases, if the school operators want money they will expand their programs to fit more students. If the private schools can't take enough people public schools will still be there to take all who need the education. They won't be any worse off if this happens, so there is no real loss."

Private schools will not be forced to do anything, they are already at max capacity for their facilities. They have no incentive to spend millions on increasing the size of their school to make a few more thousand dollars.

Less schools mean less students will be educated. Some students wont be able to go to private schools(parents cant get them there for one, also there is limited space in private schools, they don't have to accept everyone, and have an incentive to keep their student numbers down because one big selling point they use is low class sizes). More students trying to get into private schools will mean more and more students either stuck in public schools that nobody is doing anything to help, or those schools will be closed and there will be students who have no schools to attend. What are they supposed to do? Hope that more private schools will open so they will be able to go to school? Vouchers are not a solution to the problem, it's a bandaid that makes people feel like theyre doing something, but really they're just covering up the problem.

"1. My opponent forfeited a round" That doesn't mean I haven't upheld my side of the resolution, and is not a reason to vote.

"2. Vouchers cost less" There is no reason this is true, private schools will probably need some of the administrators public schools need if they start to accept all students. Also, the money issue can easily be solved by mandating the public schools eliminate a lot of the unnecessary administrators, and it would actually make sure that the changes happened

"3. Private schools provide an equal or greater education, especially when compared to inner-city schools." Not true, see the study I cited, public schools are actually better on average. And the solution for failing innercity schools is to actually work to fix their problems than do nothing and let the schools shut down, which is what my opponent wants to happen.

"4. Vouchers have negligible negatives" This isn't true, eliminating schools means there will be students who wont be able to even attend schools. We both agree school is incredibly important for future success, so my opponent's plan is to eliminate schools without any plan to replace them? This will only hurt students, and is hardly negligible.

"5. Vouchers solve problems other plans can't solve" Vouchers solve nothing, they make us feel like were doing something while making everything worse.

"6. Vouchers have historically been effective in improving education." Not here, and here is where it matters. In the US, public schools are actually better.

Heres why you vote con. "I agree that if there is no reason to use or not use vouchers CON wins" My opponent agrees that absent reasons to use vouchers you vote CON. There are no reasons to use vouchers, they won't save money that cant be saved other ways, they don't put students into better schools, actually worse ones(see study), and they won't make schools better by eliminating schools without replacing them. Best case for my opponent is that vouchers aren't bad, but also provide no benefits. That is enough to vote con. Moreover, my opponent wants o eliminate schools without a plan to replace those schools, leaving students either in worse schools, or without a school. Either way, its worse for our students than by implementing vouchers
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 9 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
because the gov is wrong.
Posted by Darkstar425 9 years ago
Darkstar425
Since I have attended a private school i am in diagreement with the affirmative side. Giving Vouchers will increase taxes and property tax. Why give them vouchers if the gov is saying public schools are sufficient.
Posted by ghegeman 9 years ago
ghegeman
yeah a 5,000 dollar voucher might pay for an quarter to two thrids of the tuition at a school
Posted by pmagyar 9 years ago
pmagyar
"My opponent's failure to rebut any of my points signifies his tacit agreement, assuring a PRO victory. Thank You."

Hardly, it means i had other stuff going on and forgot about this debate, ill respond to your points later tonight.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 9 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
(finishing round 3 post)
There are private schools geared towards ill behaved students anyways. To conclude, universal education will continue regardless of my opponent's unwarranted claim, and maybe the end of public education would not be so bad. Our children deserve the best possible education, and if that can't only be found in private schools than so be it.
Posted by pmagyar 9 years ago
pmagyar
This isn't very important to the debate, but private high schools cost more than $5,000 a year, some quite a bit more.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
Why should it only apply to low income families? Vouchers, if they exist at all, should apply to ALL people who are capable of reciving free public schooling.
Posted by elphaba1389 9 years ago
elphaba1389
5 rounds?! Seriously, no one is going to accept it because 5 rounds is really killing it and streching it out.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 2 years ago
tajshar2k
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Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by pmagyar 9 years ago
pmagyar
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Vote Placed by MaxHayslip 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by LandonWalsh 9 years ago
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