The Instigator
Volk23
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Public high school students in the US ought not be required to pass standardized test exams to gradu

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,892 times Debate No: 9887
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Volk23

Pro

Because I believe that education should not be subjected to government control, I affirm today's resolution: "Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized test exams to graduate."

The value for the round is education, because it is implicitly stated within the context of the resolution.

The criterion is prevention of government monopoly, which means to restrict total government control of schools as much as possible.

Contention One: The current government monopoly in the public school system is ruining education.

The United States government's control of the public school system is extraordinarily strong. The state governments run public schools; after all, they are the ones who collect the tax dollars to fund such schools. John Stossel, former co-host of 20/20, 1 elaborates,

"This should come as no surprise once you remember that public education in the U.S. is a government monopoly. Families send their kids to schools the government chooses. If you don't like your public school? Tough. If the school is terrible? Tough. Your taxes fund that school regardless of whether it is good or bad."

This puts students and parents in a troubling dilemma. No matter what problems the school they are sending their kids to may have, they must send their student to that school; the government orders them to do so. Not attending the school gives the child the label of "truant." This enforced education is bad, but it's not anywhere as bad as the problems with the schools themselves.

Sub-Point One: Government schools fail to give the students a good education.

Often times, student laziness and teacher incompetence are cited as the cause of low test scores and graduation rates. However, it's pretty hard to believe that all across the nation every teacher and student is being lazy. The problem with public schools is not the teachers or administrators: it's the government.

John Stossel 2 reports,

"I agree. It's the schools. At the age of ten, students from twenty-five countries take the same test and American kids place eighth, well above the international average. But by age fifteen, when students from forty countries are tested, the Americans place twenty-fifth, well below the international average (see chart, page 109). In other words, the longer American kids stay in American schools, the worse they do in international competition. They do worse than kids from much poorer, less-developed countries, like Korea and Poland, which spend much less on education than the United States."

For a country so advanced, the U.S.'s numbers shouldn't be so low. The U.S. shouldn't have to deal with an illiterate population of 27 million , but it does. However, this is because of the government's strict control over the schools. The government decides exactly how education runs, and this monopoly is making the students pay for it. Mark Harrison of the CATO Institute writes,

"The U.S. public school monopoly is guilty of seven deadly sins: It wastes resources, discourages good teaching, inhibits parental involvement, suppresses information, stifles innovation, creates conflict and harms the poor.
Just as the seven deadly sins correspond to weaknesses in human nature, the sins of public education are inherent in the nature of the existing system -- that it is controlled, operated and funded by government. The politicians and bureaucrats who control government-owned schools do not have the strong incentives or the information necessary to satisfy consumers, control costs, innovate or encourage good teaching."

Sub-Point Two: The government will not change the way it operates public schools currently.

Because the U.S. government is a monopoly, it will not so easily change the way it runs its schools. The government thus leaves its students in a place where they cannot remedy the situation. John Stossel 3 furthers,

"Monopolies don't innovate. Why does the school year run from September to June? Because the public schools still use the farm calendar as a model of when kids should be in school. In 1830, kids needed the summer off to plant and weed the crops. Andrew Coulson, author of Market Education, points out, "Of course, we're no longer an agrarian society and so demands for schooling have changed, but public schools are not an organization that is responsive to consumer demand." No kidding. Some parents would prefer year-round schools. Today less than two percent of families get their incomes from farming. Has the education system responded? No."

Not only is the problem that the U.S. government's monopolistic control is blind to innovation, but the officials in the government who run the schools are not held truly accountable. John Stossel 4 writes,

"Accountability? The head of a government monopoly has the nerve to talk about accountability? Accountability is why private schools perform better. Every day they are held accountable by parents, and if they fail the kids, the school administrators lose their jobs. Government schools are accountable only to politicians. It's why almost no school is ever closed, no matter how bad it is. No one loses his job when the kids fail. It's not news that government monopolies perform poorly. The fall of the Soviet Union is not a secret. Why would we think a monopoly would work for schools?"

Contention Two: Exit exams strengthen government control on schools and thus only more problems will be caused for these schools.

The exit exams that are used in the United States are government mandated and created. These tests are not the mastermind of a group of educators; these exams are merely another stringent requirement the state creates for its students. Thus, requiring students to take an exit exam to graduate only strengthens the government's control of public schools; as evidenced my previous contention, more government control is the last thing that these schools need.

Exit exams are only a small part of a bigger system. However, if that bigger system is bad and is causing students not to learn, then it is very obvious that using these exit exams upon students actually harms education. These exams are not a step forward for students; they are in fact another step back into monopolistic control of government schools.

These standardized test exams, much like the governmental system they are under, are also largely ineffective. John Robert Warren and Eric Grodsky of the University of Minnesota report:

"This same basic pattern of exit exam policy evolution has played out in a number of states. States begin by setting moderate to high standards and then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars designing exit exams that purport to hold students to these standards. In short order, however, high failure rates and much-publicized legal challenges built on inequities in states' education systems test the political will of policymakers to hold students to these standards. In the end, politics wins out over principle and the exit exam, the passing threshold, or both are altered to increase the share of students that passes the exam. In the end, most states set the bar for passing exit exams at a point that is too low to make any real difference for academic achievement or workplace preparedness but just high enough to prevent a modest number of would-be graduates from obtaining diplomas."
Nails

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate. I'm going to try something that I've never tried before, a counterplan.
This will go: his case, then mine

=======
Framework
=======

COUNTERPLAN
The should government continue to maintain it's monopoly on public schools, and allow students to attend whichever public school they choose, provided their grades warrant it.

His framework is:
Value: Education
Criterion: Prevention of government monopoly

In so far as I win that my counterplan is more beneficial to education, this turns the impact of his criterion.

======
His Case
======

==========
Contention One
==========

"Families send their kids to schools the government chooses. If you don't like your public school? Tough. If the school is terrible? Tough."

" No matter what problems the school they are sending their kids to may have, they must send their student to that school; the government orders them to do so."

The counterplan solves this. Students can opt to go to a better or worse school based on their educational needs.

=======
Subpoint 1
=======

It seems that my opponent has forgotten which side he is on! He claims that government run schooling is bad, then provides examples of countries with public education that are doing better than we are.

Best educated countries
Country A
Country B
Country C
Country D
United States

My opponent would benefit in pointing out that countries A-D are doing better than we are and that they don't have government education. He is doing just the opposite. He points out that countries (such as Poland and Korea) are doing better than us, but they DO have public education. This seems to be a reason to continue public education.
Poland: http://education.stateuniversity.com...
Korea: http://www.transitionsabroad.com...

This means that not only does this not prove his point, but this Subpoint 1 is an independent reason to vote CON, because the countries he wants to compete with DO have government monopolized education.

=======
Subpoint 2
=======

"Accountability is why private schools perform better. Every day they are held accountable by parents, and if they fail the kids, the school administrators lose their jobs."

This, like his Subpoint 1, is also a reason to vote for me.

1. My counterplan captures the benefits private schools currently have: the ability for parents to reject a failing school.

His reason that these private schools are good is because they have the incentive to be. If they do bad, they lose business. My counterplan provides this incentive to public schools, because if the schools do bad, kids transfer. This solves the problem of a lack of accountability, but further...

2. Standardized testing provides MORE accountability than private schools:

What determines which private school is the best? Their ad campaign? Their price? Determining which private school is the best is a very subjective business. Accountability isn't even being adequately provided. If you advertise your school well, you get business; if you don't, you lose business. While the educational experience might play a part, it certainly isn't the only thing going into private schools' so called "accountability" program.

Standardized exams across government funded schools solve this. This gives us an objective way to measure the quality of education across school systems in order to choose the best school to go to. We compare the test scores of one school to the scores of another to determine which school is better teaching. This is certainly superior to comparing the brochures of one private school to another, because what we are comparing here is actual education.

========
Contention 2
========

"requiring students to take an exit exam to graduate only strengthens the government's control of public schools; as evidenced my previous contention, more government control is the last thing that these schools need."

Notice what he is doing here: This 2nd contention isn't an independent reason to affirm. He just bases it off of his 1st contention. It isn't its own point at all, because it relies on the fact that he has proved contention 1 true. Now look what's happened in the round:

I showed that my counterplan is the best form of education, and that it requires a government monopoly.
His 2nd contention says: exit exams only strengthens the government's control of public schools.

I've already proved that government monopoly is good, so his 2nd contention just furthers MY point, by proving that exams will HELP my government monopolized counterplan, which would benefit education.

This means that his 2nd contention is jut ever furthering the reason why you vote CON. But, let's look at his (unsourced) evidence:

"[they] test the political will of policymakers to hold students to these standards"

My counterplan solves this. The power isn't only in the hands of policy makers to effect change in our school system; it's with the parents, too. If schools are scoring below average, the parents choose to switch schools. The schools lose revenue, so this forces them to keep up their standards. This means that the problem isn't being solved by weak-willed policy makers with no interest in the matter, but by the parents who have something at stake here.

"states [currently] set the bar for passing exit exams at a point that is too low to make any real difference"

Um, ok? So if the only real problem is that the bar is set too low, then just set it higher. Problem solved.

=====
My Case
=====

Contention: Privatized schools entrench the poor in a cycle of poverty.

A. Private schools can push out low performing students to boost their appeal.
As a private corporation, private schools have the ability to choose their clients. If certain students are scoring poorly and reflecting poorly on the school's academic prowess, it is within the school's power to simply give them the boot. This means the stupid will only get stupider and are forever stuck in a self-defeating cycle. Only the smart kids are allowed into the best schools, and those who don't achieve are put back into worst schools. This takes away the effective education of the ones who need it most. Privatized schools shun the person who isn't naturally gifted because he would reflect poorly on them, even though he is the one who needs the help most. A publicly run school system solves this because it doesn't have the right to kick kids out; its education is open to all.

B. The cost of schooling just makes the poor even poorer.
In a privatized system, the best schools cost the most. The richest students can get the best education, and the poor are simply left with the 2nd class education. This only serves to keep the rich rich and keep the poor poor and further segregate the society into social classes. It is the government's duty to provide equal education to all to prevent such dehumanizing social classes from existing.

======
Summary
======

My opponent has claimed in his Contention 2: Exit exams strengthen government control on schools.
I certainly agree.

I posit that a government run system, rather than a private system is superior for multiple reasons:

His C1, subpoint 1: Public education is clearly superior if we are looking at other nations as examples.
His C1, subpoint 2: A government run system provides more accountability to kids than a private one.
His 2nd Contention: Exams clearly allow the government to provide better education to students.
My one Contention: A private system will only serve to entrench the poor in poverty and further social class distinction.

In conclusion, not only my case, but my opponent's also, proves that we should maintain government education and that standardized tests will only benefit us in doing so.
Debate Round No. 1
Volk23

Pro

On to his CP text...

1) He's not topical. This is very obvious just by looking at his plan text. He is not proving how students ought to be required to take an exit exam; he's arguing in favor of school vouchers. He's not debating the resolution, nor is any of his NC offense about exit exams. Since he's not topical, it's a very clear affirmative ballot in this debate. He doesn't show how sending students to a school of their choice means they are obligated to take an exit exam. This is the primary reason why you'll vote aff.
2) My case is preventing government monopoly, thus his whole CP fails to achieve anything that my case is trying to solve. Allowing students to choose doesn't solve the problems of the government schools themselves. Extend my Harrison analysis which states that the problems with government schools are inherent to the fact they are run by the government. At this point, the entire negative counterplan fails to achieve any beneficiality. Moreover, you can also extend my Warren and Grodsky analysis, which states that any time in the US the government has mandated exit exams politics always wins out over education and as such it suffers.
3) He offers no framework by which to evaluate his CP. Even if he defaults to a post fiat util calc, he can't claim net benefits because his CP doesn't link to my case.
4) Turn his CP against him. If students are allowed to choose, then schools that are currently deemed as "richer" will be overflooded with students who want to move (seeing as they have the choice) and thus the problem of rich and poor schools, which he argues is important, will be exacerbated.

Onto my framework....
1) His CP and my AC are mutually exclusive. Thus he can't hijack my framework.
2) He fails to provide any statistics as to how this new plan will cost; given the current recession it is likely to leave a severe dent that is not good to be made. My opponent will probably try to opt out of this argument by saying I don't offer an alternative; however, that is not necessary for my burden in this debate. This resolution is a normative question of education, not a policy resolution. The resolution asks if students are obligated to take these tests. My case shows that since all students in the US could only be forced to take an exit exam is through government mandate, it is unjust because government control of schools is bad.

On my C1:
1)Seeing as the government will still run the schools, the problem of monopoly isn't solved. His argument falls.

On my SP1:
1) The examples of those countries was a comparative analysis. Even if Country A is doing better than B or C with a government monopoly, that doesn't mean the monopoly is good; all it means is that it is comparatively doing better than others.
2) The resolution is clear that we are debating in the United States. Not in other countries. I have proven through the AC that in the US a government monopoly is inherently and pragmatically bad, thus you're affirming.

On my SP2:
1) You're not voting for the CP because it's not topical. Thus any benefits he tries to hijack from this argument are null and void.
2) He appeals to an objective standard; we need to "measure schools." However, what if that standard is bad? Standards in of themselves are not good. It is clear in the AC that government mandated standards are always bad because politics wins out over principle (extend Warren and Grodsky here again) and the standards are set too low to measure anything at all. Thus standards just can't be "magically raised" (as per his argument against my C2); this card clearly states that any time a government runs a test it will always lower the standards.

On my C2:
1) Just because my C2 isn't an independent voter doesn't mean it can just be ignored.
2) He hasn't proved how a monopoly is good; he tries to hijack my framework, but this is impossible because his case and mine are mutually exclusive.
3) I sourced this evidence. If you want a hyperlink, I can post it, but I gave author's full names and the cite of the source for credibility. He doesn't use my lack of some sort of full citation as a reason to negate anyways, so that argument can be ignored.
4) Policymakers are the ones who set the standards, and thus they always set them at point too low. If you uphold a government monopoly in the US, the standards will always be bad.
5) He can't just magically "set the bar higher" for many reasons:
a) He doesn't prove how high standards solve,
b) This isn't part of his CP,
c) This ignores the Warren and Grodsky analysis which says that politics will always win out over educational principle and even if the standards are set high initially, they will always be lowered due to high failure rates.

Onto his case:

On his first point:
A: We live in a capitalist society. Schools have the right to do that.
B: This argument is non-unique. There will be rich and poor schools regardless of which side you vote for.
C: Look to the turn I make on his framework; if students get to choose, then schools percieved as "good" will become flooded with students, leaving poorer students in the "poor" schools to suffer.

On his second point:
A: This is a self-contradiction. He claims that students who don't go to private schools due to costs get a "2nd rate" education in the public system. He is admitting government schools are bad. This turns this argument against him.
B: The fact that people are poor doesn't mean they are dehumanized. In fact, by saying that is so, my opponent is contradicting himself again.

In conclusion, this is an obvious aff ballot because:
A) My opponent is not topical
B) He has no way to evaluate impacts; he can't hijack my case as my case and his are mutually exclusive
C) I have proved that in the US (the limits set by the resolution) government monopoly of schools and exit exams are always bad.
Nails

Con

==========
His Conclusions
==========
A) "My opponent is not topical"

How does he draw the conclusion that I am off topic?

"He doesn't show how sending students to a school of their choice means they are obligated to take an exit exam."

Except, I am fairly certain that I've already said:

"[Exams] give us an objective way to measure the quality of education across school systems in order to choose the best school to go to."

The ability to choose between schools is useless if you have no means to evaluate which is better. In a world without exams, for example the one my opponent advocates, you go by the strength of their ad campaign or their reputation. The purpose of exams is to give us a means to evaluate the ability of these schools to teach, not just advertise.

===

B) "He has no way to evaluate impacts; he can't hijack my case as my case and his are mutually exclusive"

Of course our cases are mutually exclusive, and mine is clearly better. I'm not trying to "hijack" anything. Anyways, let's see how we should evaluate impacts in this round.

He gives us a value and criterion of Education through stopping government monopoly.
My argument was quite simple: stopping government monopoly leads to worse education.

This means the better he achieves his criterion of stopping the government monopoly, the worse he achieves the value of education. You simply vote for me if exams lead to more government monopoly, and his contention 2 says they do.

===

C) "I have proved that in the US (the limits set by the resolution) government monopoly of schools and exit exams are always bad."

"He fails to provide any statistics as to how this new plan will cost"

My plan is to let students go to whatever school they want. This saves the government money because they don't need to spend on verifying that the students live where they say they do.

-Contention One, Subpoint 1:

He tries to use the example of other countries to prove his point. When I show that this actually proves my point, he decides to claim that we can't use other countries as an example. An important part of debate as a competitive activity is reciprosity. Anything he can do, I can do. If he can prove his point by comparing us to other countries, so can I.

HE NEVER DENIES MY ACTUAL POINT, THOUGH.
My point was, other countries do better than us and they all provide public education. If we want to succede, privatizing education wouldn't make sense.

This means that this point is still a reason to vote for me.

---

-Contention One, Subpoint Two

This is a poor argument if I ever did see one.
"government mandated standards are always bad"
"[Warren and Grodsky] clearly state that any time a government runs a test it will always lower the standards."

For clarification, his card actually says:
"politics wins out over principle and the exit exam, the passing threshold, or both are altered to increase the share of students that passes the exam"

We live in a (democratic) government run by the people. If we can easily recognize the problem (that the standards are too low), then we can fix it.

Further more, this doesn't actually say that the standards are unreliable like he claims it does, just that they are too low. It still remains that a single, national standard made with collective imput from multiple teachers, professors, and professional test makers (like the SAT is) will always win out in reliability in comparison to exams that vary by teacher or by school.

THIS IS STILL A TURN FOR ME.
A single, collective standard is much more reliable than everybody just choosing their own standard which means these exams will always be the better solution for providing accountability.

---

-Contention Two

"Policymakers are the ones who set the standards, and thus they always set them at point too low. If you uphold a government monopoly in the US, the standards will always be bad."

This is his only justification, he just restates it a bunch of times:

"He can't just magically "set the bar higher" for many reasons"
"politics will always win out over educational principle"
"even if the standards are set high initially, they will always be lowered due to high failure rates"

We are in a democracy. Elect the people who will solve the problems. If the standard isn't being raise, call up your senator and tell him so. The politicians don't control us, we control them!

======
My Case
======

"On his first point:
A: We live in a capitalist society. Schools have the right to do that."

That doesn't make it a good thing. It's certainly a problem, and you're conceding that.

"B: This argument is non-unique. There will be rich and poor schools regardless of which side you vote for."

The government can't arbitrarily kick people out of the public schools. It isn't a private enterprise. The problem is private schools simply saying "you can't be here because your low grades reflect poorly on us." The government can't do that, so it is quite "unique."

"C: Look to the turn I make on his framework; if students get to choose, then schools percieved as "good" will become flooded with students, leaving poorer students in the "poor" schools to suffer."

There is no reason why the poor students wouldn't go to the better educated schools also.

---

"On his second point:
A: This is a self-contradiction. He claims that students who don't go to private schools due to costs get a "2nd rate" education in the public system. He is admitting government schools are bad. This turns this argument against him."

1st class education = the rich private schools
2nd class education = poor private schools

I said nothing about government schools being bad.

"B: The fact that people are poor doesn't mean they are dehumanized. In fact, by saying that is so, my opponent is contradicting himself again."

I fail to see how this is me contradicting myself.

I also fail to see how either of these address my argument. What I said was: in a system where more money can buy you more education, the poor just stay poor and the rich get rich.

He never denies this, he just beats around the bush, saying things like:
"Ha, my opponent admits the government is bad!" or
"well, just because the poor stay poor doesn't necessarily mean they are dehumanized..."

The problem still remains, if we don't have a government monopoly, we'll see education divided into social classes rather quickly.

======
Summary
======

This debate really has come down to whether government monopolization is good or bad. I'm winning every argument so far for why it's good:

His subpoint 1 compares countries. This analysis clearly shows that public > private. He doesn't deny it. He just makes the absurd claim that, because the resolution says US, comparisons to other countries somehow aren't allowed.

His subpoint 2 demands accountability. One collective standard > 1,000 individual standards. We can't even compare 1 score to another if they are on 2 different tests. Having a single, standardized exam provides more accountability here.

His contention 2, he admits, isn't an independent voting issue. It operates on the assumption that government monopoly is bad. I am winning every other argument in round, so there's every reason to assume otherwise.

My contention says that the poor are stuck in poverty without the system I advocate. He makes pointless assertions like "that will happen anyway" or "that's not exactly dehumanizing" without addressing the real problem of our society being divided into social classes.

I am winning offense on every contention, including his, to show that my plan is superior. He says my plan is mutually exclusive to affirming, and it is. We can't have my plan if we affirm. Every point in this debate shows why my plan is superior to affirming. With that in mind, the only logical option, then, is to negate the resolution.

Vote CON
Debate Round No. 2
Volk23

Pro

On the CP:

1) The resolution is "Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass SEE's to graduate." He does say that exams are a good thing, but that's not what his case and his framework are operating under; his case is about student vouchers, not exit exams. He can say that "exit exams are good," but all of the benefits he is purporting to claim come from vouchers, not an application of the tests. The job of the negative is to prove why students ought to be obligated to take these tests, which is the natural converse of this resolution. To negate is to, according to Princeton WordNet, "Prove the falsehood of." Saying "students deserve vouchers" does nothing to prove the fact that students should not be required to take exit exams.. At this point, you're definitely voting AFF because the neg isn't even topical.
2) Extend my turn on his CP where I tell you that his plan excacerbates the problem of rich and poor schools. He drops this; it's a clear reason to vote affirmative because now I'm impacting to my arguments and his.
3) He claims that his framework is by upholding government monopoly; while it isn't explicitly stated, I'll go ahead and attack it: extend Harrison where I say that all of the problems with the US school system are inherent within the government's running of it. Thus the idea that upholding government monopoly is good is absolutely irrelevant as I have already proven this false.

Framework:
1) The idea that his plan will save the government money is absurd. The government will have to find a way to manage a vichyssoise of students who are choosing which school they want to go to and have to find a way to make that all organized and somehow manage fluctuating school populations.. I fail to see how this saves money.
2) Even if you grant that his plan does save money, vouchers still fail to prove how upholding a government monopoly solves, which all of my analytical and empirical cards throughout the AC disprove.

Onto C1, SP1:
1) My point is not that we cannot use other countries; my point is that just because certain countries with government monopolies are performing better than the US does not mean that they have good systems; it just means they are comparatively doing better. Extend this argument as he's not actively attacking it.
2) I'm not advocating we privatize education. As I stated in my argument against his attack on my framework, this is a normative question of education, not a policy resolution. I don't have to advocate we privatize anything. All I have to prove is that students are not obligated to take a SEE, thus he can't make the claim that I have to offer an alternative.

Onto C1, SP2:
1) Look to Warren and Grodsky again...they say that the patterns of exit exams play out the same way in the number of states they have been enacted in. Thus the idea that he can magically fiat into existence politicians who want to have high standards is not empirically based; it is theoretical. I am offering empirical evidence; he merely offers the proposition that "we elect new people and fix it!" However, there is no warrant as to how this is possible and Warren and Grodsky make it clear that politics always wins out over principle and the standards will always be set too low. This is the pattern, and it will happen again.
2) Standards that are too low are by definition unreliable measures of student performance.
3) Again, since the standards are too low, the idea that "well, at least there is SOME standard" holds no weight. As I stated in my last post, objective standards in of themselves are not inherently good.

Onto C2:
1) Extend Warren and Grodsky again (as they make it clear that exit exam policy failure operates under a specific pattern) and Stossel 3 and 4 (which states that monopolies, especially the US's, never innovate). Those are clear warrants as to why standards will always be bad.
2)Look to my previous argument where "elect good politicians!" does not make sense. First, politics, according to my evidence, always wins out over principle and as such state exit exams will always suffer. Second, merely fiating good politicans into existence is infinitely regressive and offers no real negative offense.

Onto His arguments:

C1:
A: It doesn't matter if it's bad; private schools have a right to choose whom they want. My opponent don't advocate an abolition of private schools thus he obviously don't have a problem with them retaining that right.

B: It doesn't matter if we're talking about public or private schools; no matter which side you vote for, there will be rich schools and poor schools. No amount of vouchers can solve that.

C: He doesn't attack the original turn I make, but on this argument, there has to be some limit as to how many students can attend a school; the idea that through vouchers we can allow all poor students to go to the best schools is nonsensical. Again, perceptions are important; while hundreds flood to the "rich" schools due to free choice, the "poor schools" will be left to suffer. Extend this turn as this turns his CP and contentions against each other.

C2:
1. The fact that my opponent is stating that private schools are better a) upholds the Stossel cards in my AC, which you can extend, and b) shows that there is some problem with government schools. Thus this argument is still a self-contradiction.

2: This is a turn for a specific reason; saying that "because they are poor, they are treated as less than human" is simply not true and is in fact a dehumanizing view of poor people. Another self contradiction.

Onto his summary:

1) Again, I'm not saying country comparisons are bad, although our primary focus here is the US. Even if he proves that government monopolies work elsewhere, that doesn't mean the US ought to adopt those policies...Harrison, which has been extended throughout the debate, shows that in the US, specifically, government monopoly causes inherent damage to schools. Second, my argument is not that we cannot use comparisons; I'm saying that just because Government Monopoly X is doing better than Monopoly Y does not mean X is a great system; it just means it is doing comparatively better than monopoly Y.

2) First, note I don't have to advocate an alternative standard. Second, there are clear standards: it's called passing for years of courses. Education is normatively true per each state; the Pythagorean theorem will always state that a squared plus b squared equals c squared, no matter where one goes. Third, part of high school is college preperation; in college, the idea that there is one standard for every student is absurd. Colleges have teachers who will flunk you for arbitrary reasons.

3) As I've proven that government monopolies are always bad, you're still looking to my C2.

At this point, the AFF is winning the debate.

1) His CP still is not topical; he may say that "SEE's are good," but this is not what his plan is operating under; he doesn't show how a) vouchers prove that students should take SEE's (his inherent burden by negating the resolution) or b) how using vouchers shows some improvement in exit exams. Topicality comes before all else; since I'm the only one debating the resolution, you're affirming.

2) I've turned his CP against him; he actually exacerbates the rich/poor school dichotomy, thus you'll vote affirmative; there will always be rich schools and poor schools, but if you negate the problem becomes worse.

2) Government monopoly, throughout my case and my opponent's, has proven to be bad. Nowhere in his NC offense does he show how a government monopoly brings forth any benefits. Extend Harrison and Warren and Grodsky; both prove that in the US, government monopoly in education always causes SEE's to fail and thus requiring students to take them is antithetical to education.

3) I'm the only one impacting to both case structures; I solve better for education,
Nails

Con

========
Counterplan
========

1. The counterplan requires exams. Without exams, the ability to switch schools is pointless because there is no way to measure which is better at educating.

2. That isn't a 'framework' argument. It isn't an argument at all... I addressed it under my case.

3. He says to 'extend' an argument that I've already rebutted. Extend my rebuttal here as well.

We run the government, it doesn't run us. "Harrison says so" doesn't do much to prove otherwise. Also, he is completely misrepresenting what Mark Harrison says. The quote reads:

"The politicians do not have the strong incentives to innovate or encourage good teaching."
This doesn't mean that the government is "inherently bad" like he says. It just means we need stronger incentives. The CP provides stronger incentives in the form of parents moving their kids to different schools.

It doesn't matter anyway, because if the problem is with the politicians, like I said before, we vote for new politicians, ones who will fix the problem. Or get active. Protest, send your senator an email, anything. In a democracy, we have the power over the government.

=======
Framework
=======

1. It takes a ton of time and effort to be sure that each student is in the 'correct' district currently. We no longer have to collect water bills/electric bills/etc to verify residency. I fail to see how he fails to see how this saves money.

2. This isn't an argument. He is pretty much saying "it's wrong because of all my other arguments." I'll address those as I come to them.

=======
Subpoint 1
=======
1. And my point is that we are entitled to reciprocity in debate. PRO clearly makes claims such as,
"For a country so advanced, the U.S.'s numbers shouldn't be so low."
which certainly entail comparing other countries to reach a conclusion. If he can do that, he can't say that I can't!

2. The affirmative's burden is to prove the resolution true, i.e. we ought not have exams. You can't advocate nothing. Even regardless of that, this argument doesn't make sense. Your criterion is ending government monopoly. You can't say "I don't have to advocate ending monopoly" and still win by your own criterion.

=======
Subpoint 2
=======

1.

A. "he can magically fiat into existence politicians who want to have high standards" = Elections
B. There is always some amount of 'fiat' anyway in debates. His side relies on it more than mine does! It's FAR more reasonable that congress would agree to raising the standards on exit exams than ending government education.
C. "politics always wins out over principle" except that my CP forces the politicians to act. There's an incentive now.
D. This is just pessimism. Imagine a pre-Civil War northerner saying "well, the government's just gonna allow slavery forever; I guess it's inevitable..."

2. No. Low standards simply means that we are only ensuring the basics. This is irrelevant, since we'll raise standards.

3. Objective standards (CON) > no standards (PRO). Knowing whether kids can do the basics > knowing nothing.

========
Contention 2
========

1. He's basically saying: If we could negate, that's fine, but my evidence says that our government won't.
My argument, then is: We can't affirm even if we want to, because the government likes power too much to give it up.

We're not debating whether the government will pass our plans. We are debating which plan is more desirable for the government to pass. Either way, mine is much more likely than his, anyway, so you can turn this argument. Is the government more likely to make the test a little harder or give up control of education? You decide.

2. "politics wins out over principle"

Politics = catering to voters
Voters want exam standards raised
Politics wins out over principle
Thus, exam standards are raised

----------
My Case
----------

========
Contention 1
========

1. My entire argument is that we should continue gov't monopoly, yet here my opponent concludes "My opponent don't advocate an abolition of private schools thus he obviously don't have a problem with them retaining that right."

2. Not sure what he means by "vouchers."
In private schools, you have to pay the most to get into the best schools.
In public schools, you don't.
I don't see how PRO can conclude that the problem is there either way.

3. I'm not sure why he calls this a turn, because what he describes is a good thing. The teachers and schools that don't perform are let go. We only keep the ones that work. This not only solves the problem of students getting inadequate education at bad schools by shutting bad schools down, but creates competition that makes good schools do better. Schools need to improve their methods or face the consequences. If schools are systematically failing to adequately educate their kids, they deserve to be shut down. This isn't a problem, it's the solution. My opponent has been so kind as to articulate it for me.

========
Contention 2
========

1. He says "my opponent is stating that private schools are better"

In my last speech I thought I made it clear: "I said nothing about government schools being bad."
If that wasn't clear enough, I'll say it again. I have not, and will not, state that private schools are better.

2.
A. Treating someone inferior because they are poor as private schools do (he doesn't actually argue this!) denies that they are just as human and deserving of education as anyone else.
B. This is just his scapegoat to avoid the actual issue. This is the 2nd time he has failed to address that the poor are treated worse under his system. THIS IS A CLEAR VOTER FOR ME.

=======
Summary
=======

PRO says that he isn't advocating anything. BoP is on him. He's gotta end gov't monopoly somehow. He isn't saying how

He ignores the fact that ending gov't monopoly will lead to the poor being harmed.

These exams are a better way to assess school performance relative to other schools than anything PRO provides.

PRO's only arguments center around the fact that some guy thinks that the government is inherently bad and incapable of changing, even though it is run by the people.
Debate Round No. 3
Volk23

Pro

Ok, I don't have a ton of time, so I'm just going to crystallize voter issues.

On the negative case....

The first voter is that the CP is not topical. At the beginning of the debate, when he outlined his plan, he merely stated:

"The should government continue to maintain it's monopoly on public schools, and allow students to attend whichever public school they choose, provided their grades warrant it."

This has nothing to do with exit exams, nor is it proving why students are obligated to take these tests, which is the whole point of the resolution. He might try to make the argument that "grades warrant it" means "test exam scores," but I would consider that abusive; "grades" most commonly refers to grades in school courses, not test exam scores. Thus even if he shows that vouchers are good does not prove the converse of the resolution (the negative position) that students should be or ought to be required to take exit exams. His argument is that exit exams are good (even though his CP has nothing to do with it) but that says nothing about student obligations. At this point it's a clear affirmative vote.

The second is that the negative CP causes the rich/poor dichotomy to be excacerbated. He states in his last argument that if all students flock to good schools, bad schools will be shut down. However, this response is problematic for two issues: a) this isn't responding to my argument that those who are left at the "bad" or "poor" schools (there will obviously have to be some left) are made worse off. B), look to my Stossel 1 analysis in my AC which tells you that under a government monopoly (the negative position) no school is ever shut down, regardless of whether it is good or bad. Thus his CP won't solve.

Onto the affirmative case:

The first voter issue here is that all of the problems in the government schools currently (which he doesn't negate; he states that a monopoly is good, but doesn't attack any of my examples showing how the current system is bad) are inherent within the system. In his last argument, he tries to attack my Harrison analysis in saying that Harrison isn't saying government is inherently bad. For clarification, here's Harrison's words, with emphasis added:

"The U.S. public school monopoly is guilty of seven deadly sins: It wastes resources, discourages good teaching, inhibits parental involvement, suppresses information, stifles innovation, creates conflict and harms the poor.
Just as the seven deadly sins correspond to weaknesses in human nature, THE SINS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ARE INHERENT IN THE NATURE OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM -- THAT IT IS CONTROLLED, OPERATED AND FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT. The politicians and bureaucrats who control government-owned schools do not have the strong incentives or the information necessary to satisfy consumers, control costs, innovate or encourage good teaching."

Insofar as he fatally mishandles my Harrison analysis, this argument extends across, meaning that all of the problems with public schooling will only become worse if you negate. If you affirm, you reject the monopoly and thus there will be room for improvement. Another mishandled area of analysis is the Warren and Grodsky evidence. In his last argument, my opponent tries to make a syllogism by deconstructing "politics wins out over principle," but he's not looking to the context in which it is stated; he's defining the words out of context. Warren and Grodsky note a consistent pattern in exit exam policy that plays out the same way every time; standards are always set too low and thus cannot measure anything. This is because this is inherent of the monopoly. Because of these reasons, the affirmative is clearly winning here because upholding the monopoly at all causes more problems for schools. Insofar as I've proven all of the problems inherent within the monopoly, you can uphold the entire AC in this debate.

The second voter is the issue of alternatives. I'm not saying that I don't have to offer an advocacy; I do: get rid of the government monopoly. I'm saying I don't have to advocate a PLAN, i.e. the government backs off and nonprofits take control, or something like that. My only burden is this debate is to affirm why students should not be obligated to take a test. I have proven this through the evils of the government monopoly. My opponent states that "PRO says that he isn't advocating anything. BoP is on him. He's gotta end gov't monopoly somehow. He isn't saying how." Again, I don't have to prove this.

He then says that it's more realistic that the government would raise standards than give up some of its power. This is problematic for two reasons: first, Warren and Grodsky disprove this, second, this is a direct contradiction and turns the NC against him; when his voucher plan (vouchers is allowing people which public school to go to, i.e. his CP) is enacted, the government LOSES control because now people have a say in their education and are not forced by the government to go to a certain school. If that is true, then you must reject his CP (if you aren't already for its lack of topicality) as he has directly contradicted himself.

What the Con is doing, in this debate, however, is infinitely regressive. In his last argument, he states, in response to my argument,

"he can't magically fiat into existence politicians who want to have high standards" = Elections

A: He provides no clear evidence if there are politicians who want to do tho this, thus this can be ignored, B: He has not proved or shown at all that the public wants higher test standards, and C: Warren and Grodsky defeat this because they note that even though standards are set high initially, they will always decrease too low due to fear of high failure rates. Electing someone conclusively proves nothing about the policies they will enact.

Overall impacts

If you vote affirmative, you get a system where students are measured fairly by four years of coursework, not a single test. My opponent drops the argument I make in the last speech where I note that education is normative between the states; the pythagorean theorem always states a squared plus b squared equals c squared, no matter which state you are in. He tries to pigeonhole me into a system with no standards, but I offered a very specific one (even though, again, I don't have to offer an alternative); measure a student by their grades over four years of coursework. If you vote negative, you get a system where students aren't measured at all (extend Warren and Grodsky here again...) because they are not getting "the basics;" they are getting BELOW the basics.

If you vote affirmative, there will be rich and poor schools. Same thing if you vote negative. However, if you vote negative this becomes worse because students will flood to the "rich schools" and leave the poor schools in the dust.

If you vote pro, you get a system that is not damaged by an intrusive, corrosive government monopoly. If you vote con, you get a system where ALL of the problems INHERENT within the monopoly remain. At this point, it's a pretty easy vote for the pro.

I'm clearly winning all of the key arguments in this debate. I urge a vote in the pro, and I thank my opponent for the debate.
Nails

Con

I'll cover some faulty logic in PRO's case, then summarize.

======
Topicality
======

1. "when he outlined his plan, he merely stated:
'The should government continue to maintain it's monopoly on public schools, and allow students to attend whichever public school they choose, provided their grades warrant it.'
This has nothing to do with exit exams"

We can't compare grades to see if they 'warrant it' without a single standard by which to score, ergo, standardized exit exams. Even if I didn't make that clear in that sentence, it's pretty obvious reading the 7,900 other characters accompanying it what the value of the exams is. I've stated it, and I've reiterated it (multiple times.)

==============
Rich/ Poor Dichotomy
==============

A. My opponent says that the students who don't switch schools will now be worse off. He has given no reason to believe this claim. At minimum, they are receiving the same education they would have gotten otherwise. However, I posit that my plan actually HELPS those students. Read the multiple arguments I've made (which he seemingly forgot about in his last speech) that say allowing students to switch schools creates competition. This means the bad schools have to work hard to get better, as opposed to the current system where their low education level remains stagnant. This benefits the students in those schools, because now those schools will have to improve or be shut down, which means you can take my opponent's point and vote for me on it.

B.
i. This is a flat out lie. His 'stossel card' doesn't say anything about schools not being shut down. Read it for yourself.
ii. I know of a school in my area that was disaccredited[1] last year by the school board. It's not too uncommon.
iii. Under my counterplan, they will have to shut down underperforming schools because of the low attendance.

======
My Case
======

=========
Inherently Bad
=========

My opponent just re-posts a bunch of quotes from some professors (I think they're professors, at least,) who are apparently infallible. My arguments on this area of the debate were:

a. If the government is inherently bad, it doesn't make sense that every single country that outperforms us has a government monopoly on education also.

b. The ability of parents to send their children to different schools if the current school is failing gives the politicians, now, an incentive to actually care.

c. His sources all criticize the status quo. I'm not advocating the status quo.

d. Even if there were a problem. We could easily fix it. Just tell the politicians to fix it or vote news ones to office.

Rather than give any substantive argument to any of these, he just states that these people he is citing have allegedly claimed that the government is inherently bad and can't be fixed. He can't explain why that this is so, except that some dude says it is. He doesn't address any of the arguments I make, except that "they're wrong because Harrison has to be right!" He has no logical reason why the government is inherently bad, so you can drop this argument right here.

=============
Blatant Contradiction
=============

In Round 3, my opponent says:
"I'm not advocating we privatize education."
"I don't have to advocate we privatize anything."
"I don't have to advocate an alternative."

In Round 4, he says:
"I'm not saying that I don't have to offer an advocacy; I do"

PRO made it pretty clear that he wasn't advocating anything in particular last round. I'd say it's more than a little unfair for him to now turn around in the last round and say "Oh, I've been advocating this all along; he just misunderstood."

===
Fiat
===

Fiat is Latin for 'let it be done.' [2]

He seems to be arguing that "Well, even if he's got the better plan, the politicians won't go through with it."

1. If you buy that, what are we debating about? Which our plans is more likely to make it through congress? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the resolution asks what we 'ought' to do, not what we are more likely to do.

2. Raising the difficulty of an exit exam isn't a particularly controversial issue. There's no reason why Congress would oppose it, rather, evidence has proven the opposite. The number of exit exams has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. [3]

3. He conveniently doesn't mention what he's been advocating here. If raising the standard is too big of a request to get through Congress, what hope does his plan of abolishing the government school system have of being passed? Absolutely none! Going by his own logic, you'd vote for me here anyway, because his evidence shows that the status quo stinks, and my solution is the only one that Congress would pass.

============
Abusive Argument
============

"I offered a very specific standard; measure a student by their grades over four years of coursework."

1. He didn't so much as mention this in Round 1 or 2. This was an entirely new argument hidden in 1 sentence in the middle of a paragraph in Round 3.

2. That does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. My original argument here was that we need a way to compare schools based on education, not advertisement. His idea of coursework doesn't do this. Every school, every class, has different coursework. There is no way to compare one student's 'coursework' grade to another.

======
Summary
======

1. You vote on him not having a standard. At one point PRO said he was getting rid of government monopoly. When I defeated that argument, he turned around and said "I don't have to advocate a standard." In this last speech, he first says that he has been advocating a standard all along, then changes the standard to requiring students to complete coursework.

His position has changed at least 4 times, and he's losing on every position anyway. He is PRO and instigator. He hasn't even advocated anything, so there's no way he can win this debate!

2. The only disadvantage he gives to these tests comes from his faulty logic.
Two people said the government works poorly.
Schools are run by the government.
These school exams will work poorly.

He hasn't been able to justify 'why' the government works poorly at all, or why those problems will continue to happen, or why they can't be fixed by my counterplan, just that "Harrison says so." Absent that, he has no case.

3. He never tries to argue that his system doesn't make the rich richer and the poor poorer. That's a clear vote CON.

4. His only solution for comparing the educational standards of different schools is given halfway through the debate, in no more than a short paragraph. It doesn't even work, though, because this 'coursework' varies by teacher!

5. Yet another argument he has missed in his last speech is that my counterplan, which allows students to choose their own school, fosters competition and forces public schools to keep high standards.

6. He has taken this debate so far off track, that he seems to forget what his standard was, which is preventing government monopoly. I've certainly won the argument that government monopoly is good (in his last 2 speeches, he even says that he doesn't advocate privatization) so the fact that exams strengthen government monopoly wins me the vote by his standards!

This debate has a clear-cut victor: CON

=====
Sources
=====
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

This has been quite a good debate, even if this topic is already through. I actually have 260 characters left, 250 more than usual.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
"My burden is to prove why students ought not take exit exams"

It is until you set 'ending government monopoly' as the criterion. Then your burden is to end government monopoly.
Posted by Volk23 7 years ago
Volk23
My advocacy is that we reject a government monopoly.

The argument I'm making in the round is that I don't have to offer an ALTERNATIVE. Of course I advocate something; I advocate the abolition of monopoly. What I'm saying is that I don't have to offer the alternative to that, i.e. privatizing education. My burden is to prove why students ought not take exit exams; nothing else. I know that argument got a little confusing, and I apologise, but it's a bit hard for me to debate in this structure; I'm just getting used to it.

No, the neg doesn't always have to be topical, but my argument was that the negative must prove the converse of the resolution (that students ought to be required to take exit exams) and that vouchers have nothing to do with that.
Posted by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
Negate=to nullify. So theoretically Neg doesn't even need to talk about the resolution so long as they can disprove it.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
He's right, though. My case certainly doesn't affirm the resolution well enough... I guess that means you should vote CON.
Posted by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
Did Aff just say Neg wasn't topical? Since when did Neg need to be topical?
*goes off in corner to think
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Volk, could I get a clarification of what your advocacy is?
I assumed it was that we should privatize education, as that's a case I've seen commonly.
Your last round seems to indicate otherwise, which is fine; I just want to make sure I don't misconstrue your arguments.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Metz 7 years ago
Metz
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Vote Placed by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
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