The Instigator
JonYoo794
Con (against)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

Public high school students in u.s. ought not be rquired to pass standardized exit exam to graduate.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,295 times Debate No: 9684
Debate Rounds (3)
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JonYoo794

Con

Every year, there are students who graduate high school who lack basic skills required to succeed in life. However, because high schools lack a universal standard to determine who can and cannot graduate, we get kids who graduate from high school who can't read or do basic math. Because testing makes a standard for education, I stand in firm negation of the resolution:
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, Graduate means to grant an academic degree or diploma to. Ought is used to express obligation, advisability.
My value today is Educated Society. An Educated society is a society in which the majority of the inhabitants that have obtained basic knowledge taught in a high school.
An Educated Society would be a society that has an opportunity at a stable career, a family, and a better workforce for this complex society. If there's less educative students and citizens, the society will ultimately decline. However, with an educated society, the overall welfare of the people will improve because when intelligent people are in a society, the society is generically successful.
My standard is monitoring the education level in Public High schools. American Heritage Dictionary defines Monitoring as To check the quality or content by means of a receiver. This definition means that to check the quality or content of the American education, we NEED a method of monitoring and a standardized exit exam will successfully do that. By monitoring the education level in school, we are investing into U.S. future and stability. My value criterion is essential in achieving education, because without the close monitor of education, the education system will fall apart, thus not achieving my value. If the government just lets the education system go free without monitoring or guiding it, there will be chaos within education, and the society will fail. However we must monitor education levels in public high schools without violating personal rights of its students. The impact is that with monitoring, the government can avoid serious decreases in education level, and provide support to that branch that is failing. It promotes education. My value criterion allows everything in the school system to occur.
1. Exit testing can provide a system for accountability for both teachers and students.

When there isn't a system for evaluating externally to the school, the education system is flawed.
(1M. W. Kirst, Accountability: Implications for State and Local Policymakers, Office of
Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., July) defines1990.Accountability in education refers to the practice of holding educational systems responsible for the quality of their products—students' knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes.
Standardized exit exams is a source of feedback on how well a school is performing. It is a source of accountability because an outside force is evaluating the student's test scores and comparing it to a standard to determine if it is lacking or sufficient. From the data that they get, they can take initiatives and help the students.

[Virgil; City Educational Advisor; KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?;" 23 August 2006; http://www.cai-la.org...; retrieved 17 August 2009] explains
Well, I favor the high school exit exam because I think it really is an easy way to spotlight schools that are working and schools that are not. America is drawn to action by crisis and what the exam does is that it's really demonstrated in a very clear way the failure of a whole K-12 system of education. I think it will mobilize people to really begin to take action and make the schools accountable. If we take away the exam, then how do we know the schools aren't working?

1.) schools can see what they are lacking in, and they can adapt and adjust to be more efficient and successful. A STANDARDIZED exam will be the only way to evaluate how well the students are doing, and we can solve problematic deficiencies in the student population.

2.) We can better identify failing schools and help them

Impact 3. With standardized exit exams, and when school are accountable, quality increases- Education and standard goes up.

Bishop describes that when demand for quality in school exists that, " This is in turn is likely to lead to more spending on schools, more rigorous hiring standards for secondary school teachers and a higher priority assigned to student learning in the allocation of school budgets," which all enhance a student's education and help them succeed. One reason is because when students have better education, they have a higher chance to meet the standards of the test. Bishop continues, "Hiring better teachers and improving the school's science laboratories now yields a visible payoff - more students passing the external exams."

The schools step up their quality of the education to securitize their school's reputation. Schools do not want to be marked as a failing school, nor do they want their schools to have a bad rating, so they will compel to increase quality of education.
A following impact that will occur is that since education is enhanced and taken as a priority with higher quality, standards will ultimately increase thus slowly improving the educated society.
this all happens only if the state can monitor the education level with the standardized exit exam.

For these reasons, I strongly urge a negative ballot.
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con, for starting this debate.

INTRODUCTION:

Con's Value: Educated Society

Con begins by stating that if we do not monitor the education level in public high schools, it will have damaging and greatly detrimental effects. He insists that there will be "chaos within education" and "society will fail." This is overly dramatic; consider the reality that these mandatory tests did not exist for men like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin - in fact, they didn't even receive formal schooling as we know it today - and yet they were very intelligent and led a productive society which has not failed yet, regardless of the mandatory exit exams.

Throughout this debate, I will demonstrate how we can uphold Con's value of maintaining an educated society while not requiring mandatory exit exams from public HS. I will also show why these tests are unfair, unnecessary and of little to no use, thereby negating Con's position in this debate. I will also deconstruct Con's arguments as well as present my own.

REBUTTAL:

Con offered accountability and identifying failing schools as his only contentions; however, these arguments are insufficient in sustaining his burden. First, there are other ways to identify failing schools (i.e. monitoring graduation rate, grade point average, teacher evaluations, hands-on administration, State certification, entrance to college, etc.). Con's insistence that this is the ONLY way to achieve the goal of an educated society is highly biased and flat-out false. I maintain that teachers and students can still be held responsible through various other means, which I will provide in my arguments section.

Moving on, you'll notice that Con wishes these standards to be applied only to public schools. However, is that to suggest that private and parochial schools are incompetent and/or irresponsible? How do THOSE students get by or THOSE students stay afloat? The reality is that they have found other ways to be successful and public schools can as well. By mandating a HS exit exam, we are forcing a test on our students in the name of knowledge; a test that actually discourages education (and instead focuses solely on passing the exam) and attempts to parent our children instead of teach our children.

ARGUMENTS:

1) Test performance.

a) Not everybody performs well on tests regardless of whether they know the material or not. Some people panic, get sick, choke, etc. These tests are very intimidating to students who sometimes obsess over the results. Therefore one's performance on the rest is really not a very accurate indicator of how each individual performs.

b) A lot of students suffer from things like dyslexia or other learning disabilities which inhibit them from performing up to par on the exam. As such, these individuals may never have a fair chance at passing the exam. On the other hand, if they're given an advantage (such as longer time to complete the test), this might not be fair to the other students who are not given more time despite their own personal (sometimes undiagnosed) need. Either way, there's hardly a way to make these exams universally fair for everyone, which goes against your very own value and criterion.

2) Learning Inhibition.

a) Preparing for these exit exams usually discourages teachers and school boards from focusing on other aspects of education. There are various types of intelligence, including mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, logical intelligence, creative intelligence, etc. By demanding that these tests be passed in order to graduate, you're promoting only certain aspects of knowledge which is unfair to the students and society as a whole.

b) Because people are intelligent in different ways, this test is discriminatory because it discredits those who have intelligence beyond what is examined on the exam.

3) Alternatives.

a) If one does not pass a standardized exam, but their grades and class performance show a considerable degree of knowledge in the expected fields, then a system ought to be set up where educators or administrators can offer or allow other ways for the student to demonstrate what they've learned. These can be discussed amongst administrators, school boards and teachers in each individual district and vary upon school, class or possibly even individual so long as they show sufficient skill in designated areas.

b) One suggestion is that colleges could require the passing or taking of several entrance exams or SAT-like exams in order to gain admission to their institution. That would mean that passing these exams wasn't necessary, but that students should opt to pass these exams if they saw fit (if it was necessary for their future endeavors, i.e. college, trade school or a particular career). Thus in this regard I have not only explained how you could measure a student's knowledge/ability (via these exams), but also provided reasoning as to why this would be an appropriate alternative and still effective. It essentially gives students a CHOICE instead of forcing this test upon them. They can make the conscientious decision to take the test to ensure the well being of their futures by taking this responsible step.

4) Usefulness/Uselessness

a) Some people need to graduate HS to accomplish goals such as entering the military or other specific fields of training. I posit that some of the knowledge required on the exams will have nothing to do with some individual's direction in life, but because they need to graduate HS in order to tend to their other options, the negation of this resolution stands in their way of success. This again seems to go against Con's value.

b) Studies show that those who are required to pass these exit exams do no better in the workforce than those who aren't required to pass these tests. As such, they don't seem to add any relative value to one's life or production in society [1].

c) While standardized tests may be useful in finding out what one knows and does not know (in terms of what they should or are expected to know), this should have nothing to do with whether or not they GRADUATE. Instead, they can be tools or guides used to determine which areas a pupil may need more help or focus in. The graduation aspect is also supported by the reality that different schools in different towns and states require different things to pass. Not all standardized tests are the same, and as such a student from a different school may also have an unfair advantage. This again does not seem to uphold Con's value.

5) Costs

a) Creating the tests, preparing for the tests, giving the tests and grading the tests all cost money. Because Con has not proven that these tests are necessary OR beneficial (or even reliable or relevant), then this cost is unnecessary and therefore an unfair tax burden.

6) Fostering an Appreciation for Education

If students aren't interested in the material, and instead focus solely on passing the exam, they will have a harder time of grasping or understanding the material than if they learned about it in a fun and yet educational way. If you don't spark student's interest, then they won't be encouraged to learn or develop a self-motivating passion for knowledge or natural inquisition usually necessary for success. Focusing strictly on passing tests instead of understanding the concepts behind the lessons discourages education and instead promotes just learning how to get by via passing the exams.

Source:
[1] http://hsee.umn.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
JonYoo794

Con

My opponent states that my impact of not having an educated society is "overly dramatic", and she warrants that claim stating previous characters from the revolutionary era did not receive formal schooling. I agree that they were very intellectual in that they led the society into a productive form. i will present two arguments against that argument.
1. Today's economy is not a society in which students can just not be educated, and "lead a productive society". In order to lead a productive society, students MUST receive education that is in STANDARD to the era we are in. Thus, every societal action citizens take in today's society, is evaluated on their background or the extent of their education. We grade everything on how well the person is educated.
2. She warrants it with ancient characters that comes from a different era. This different era was when many of its inhabitants were either, illiterate, or non educated. Carrying my 1st argument above, today's economy is not a society in which we can afford non-education.

Counter-Rebuttals
1. She states that there are other ways of identifying failing schools, and she gives examples such as "monitoring graduation rate, grade point average, teacher evaulation, hands on administration, etc.". The point that I am making is that YOU CAN NOT identify failing schools on a OVERALL level. What she is stating is that we can identify failing schools WITHIN schools, and that claim is nonsensical. As i stated in my intial case, we must have a national or state standard of identifying failing schools. I'll give an example. She states that we can identify failing school by looking at grade point average. That is ridiculous because a failing school, can give EVERY STUDENT, smart or not, a perfect grade point average to show the school in a good light. Thus, we need to uphold my standard of "monitoring education level in public high schools", because we NEED a standard to uphold education by.

2. Her 2nd rebuttal of private schools is completely not related to the topic, because the resolution that i am debating is "public high schools students in U.S. ought not be required to pass standardized exit exam to graduate." it specifically states "public high schools". So, as long as you have that down, this argument should be void.

3. My opponent states that we are forcing a test on students in the name of knowledge. She further claims that this discourages education and instead focuses solely on passing the exam. She never STATES A WARRANT in WHY DO THIS discourage education. I'll TURN that argument, arguing that standardized exam actually INCREASE education. The material required to pass the standardized exit exam is needed to real life, and the steps in trying to pass the Standardized exit exam, WILL educate the students.

REBUTTALs
1. a.) My opponent states that not everyone performs this test well because they "choke, or panic". Well, although my opponent does not state this, but she is implying that this "panic, or choke" is bad. Well, I will present 2 arguments against it.
1. I will turn this argument stating that "choke, or panic" is GOOD. This is preparing the students for the real life, in which panic and choking will occur frequently.
2. I consider this argument non-unique, and non important. Students have EIGHT TIMES TO PASS the Standardized exit exams!!! So, in a case where a student "choke, or panic", they can always retake it, to pass it. Thus, her argument is mitigated.
b.) My opponent states that some individuals are given a "more fair chance" at passing the Standardized exit exam.
She further claims that this goes against my value and my criterion. I will present 3 arguments against this.
1. Exend my counter argument saying that this is non-important. As I stated, students have EIGHT TIMES TO PASS THIS EXAM. And the primary purpose is to simply PASS the exam, which is not too hard. The purpose is not the perform the VERY POSSIBLE best possible. Therefore, her argument is mitigated again.
2. This argument is terribly NON UNIQE. This means that her argument of having an "unfair advantage" happens in BOTH AFFIRMATIVE WORLD AND NEGATIVE WORLD. In the AFF world, whether or not we have standardized exi exams, non-fairness will ALWAYS occur.
3. She states this goes against my value and criterion. This claim is completely untrue. She never states any WARRANTS ON WHY it goes against my value and critrion. My value isn't fairness. It's educated society. And in no way, is non-fairness going against the value of educated society. And my criterion is monitoring education level. Once again, non-fairness is not in accordance with my criterion.

2. She states this this will discourage teachers from focusing on other aspects. I will present one arguments
She also states that people are intelligent in different ways. Once again, she never states why those with "other intelligence" is important, and she fails to explain why that matters. So far in this round, i have explained what the standardized exit exam is beneficial to overall society, in that it will promote a "overall education." I defined my value of educated society as "MOST of inhabitants". Thus, if as the Negative says, we take away the standardized exam, we are not giving education to the MAJORITY and "giving education to those that has intelligence that is beyond what is examined on exam"

3. She states that as long as grade or class performance shows considerable knowledge, they should be given an alternative to graduate. I will present 2 arguments
1. If they do show a considerable knowledge, there's no reason to ASSUME that these students will fail the exam. If they DO SHOW a considerable knowledge, then they should def. pass the exam, because the exam is completely reasonable, in which it tests the students ON BASIC KNOWLEDGE.
2. She states that college require passing or taking several entrance exams like SAT. She never explains WHY SAT should be valued over Standardized exam, nor does she actually state why material on SAT is more beneficial to overall society.
3. Then she states that this gives a choice to students. This debate is not argued over choice of the students. An exam MUST be emplaced to correctly give A DIPLOMA and right to graduate, evaulating them on an external form of evaluation, which is the standardized exit exam.

4. My opponent states that the exam is not useful.
1. She once again, mishandles my value. Whether or not "military training students" will go in another direction does not impact my value.
2. The studies are misinterpreted, because it doesnt correctly display ALL states, nor does it state HOW it was conducted.
3. As i stated, THE STANDARDIZED EXAM IS NECCERAY TO EVALUATE STUDENTS ON WHETHER THEY DESERVE THE EXAM OR NOT. WE NEED THIS EXAM TO EVALUATE THE STUDENTS. It's a mean of a "evaluation" She misinterpreted this, because she wasn't looking at my case enough. So, as long as you have this down, all her arguments on whether or not "material" is important is non-topical.
5 She states that this will give unncessary money. I present ONE IMPORTANT argument.
1. This doesn't matter, becaue the government has an obligation to provide education to the students. Education outweighs Cost benefits. Education is the most important.
6. She states that if students aren't interested, they shouldnt have to focus on learning this material. I give two argument
1. Once again, refer back to my other rebuttals in which that material on standardized exit exam is important and it is needed to real life.
2. This exam is a method of evaluation on whether or not students are READY for the real life.

Thus, you should definitely negate because my opponent argument doesn't meet my value or criterion, and she doesn't even HAVE a value or a value criterion, so all her impacts impact to nothing. She has no grounds to state arguments.
Danielle

Pro

INTRODUCTION:

1) Con states that today's economy necessitates one to receive an education. He forgot to take into consideration athletes, musicians, actors, hair dressers, food workers, retail, designers, chefs, etc. whose typical grade school education has absolutely nothing to do with their careers. Further, we live in a capitalistic society meaning jobs and wages are determined by supply and demand - not grades. If an employer chooses to hire someone with the most education and best grades, then that is his right since he is after all the employer. However, technically the employer could just as easily hire someone with little to no education, or, that person could theoretically start a business of their own.

My point is that while a formal education is beneficial, it's not necessary (except for the specific things mandated by law) - none of which include passing standardized tests in order to graduate HS. One can still receive amazing grades, graduate from Yale, and still succeed in the real world without ever having passed this standardized test. Con's argument that today's economy can afford non-education is therefore completely irrelevant to the resolution, as I haven't argued for no education, but rather not a mandated standardized test in order to graduate.

2) Con writes, "We must have a national or state standard of identifying failing schools..." I never said that I was opposed to standardized tests to ensure that every school was up to par. I said that passing these tests shouldn't be mandatory for graduation. So, Con has failed to make a substantial argument here.

3) Con writes that my argument relating private to public schools is invalid, because this resolution specifically discusses private schools My point was that Con wishes these standards to be applied only to public schools; however, that is to suggest that private and parochial schools are incompetent and/or irresponsible. How do THOSE students get by or THOSE students stay afloat? The reality is that they have found other ways to be successful and public schools can as well. In this example, I'm making a comparison and explaining how these standardized tests aren't necessary, and thus this is a perfectly legitimate and relevant argument on my behalf.

3A) "She never STATES A WARRANT in WHY DO THESE EXAMS discourage education."

What I said in the last round was that if students aren't interested in the material, they will have a harder time of grasping or understanding the material than if they learned about it in a fun and yet educational way. If you don't spark student's interest, then they won't be encouraged to learn or develop a self-motivating passion for knowledge or natural inquisition usually necessary for success. Focusing strictly on passing tests instead of understanding the concepts behind the lessons discourages education, and instead promotes just learning how to get by via passing the exams.

3B) "The material required to pass the standardized exit exam is needed to real life."

Please explain specifically what material on this test is necessary to know in "real life." Also, note that we haven't agreed on any specific type of exam, so this will be harder for the Con then it seems. In fact, in the last round, I provided a cited source detailing why the exams now don't seem to add any relative value to one's life or production in society. Con completely ignored this point.

COUNTER-REBUTTAL:

1) Con says that if students choke/panic on the exam causing them to fail, it's a good thing because this happens to people in "real life." That's like saying, "Well, if a killer gets caught and goes to jail, on the bright side the killer's off the streets." Well, just because there's a 'bright side' (which there usually is in any situation) doesn't mean that it is the correct thing; it would still be bad for the killer to take someone's life in the first place. Now, I'm not comparing these exams to killers; however, my point is that if someone fails the exam, it's ultimately to their detriment and thus hardly beneficial. As such, Con has the burden of proving that these tests are still worth it, despite the damage they can do to one's future, interest or self-esteem.

2) Con next says that students have 8x to pass the exams. You'll note that there were never any specific tests cited in the opening of the debate, meaning for all I know, students might only have ONE chance to pass the exams on any particular test.

3) Just because one MIGHT have more than 1 chance to pass the test, my argument that the test is still unfair to certain people still stands. For instance, if the test was geared towards students who know mostly math, and I know mostly science, then the kid who knows mostly math has a better chance of passing. Meanwhile, I may take the test more than once (even 8 times) and still not be able to pass the test. Now apply various handicaps and learning disabilities in this regard; it strengthens my argument.

4) Next Con says, "In the AFF world, whether or not we have standardized exit exams, non-fairness will ALWAYS occur." Unless Con can prove that in the NEG world, fairness will always occur, then this is a moot point that fails to establish anything. All it says is that nothing will ever be fair, and in that case, then it doesn't matter whether or not we have exams at all. Our points cancel each other out on this one.

5) To continue about fairness, Con says that it doesn't matter whether or not the test is fair, because his value is education - not fairness. I've already explained how these exams discourage real education. Moreover, Con has the burden of proving that implementing an unfair test is the right thing to do. The reality is that failing these tests and not graduating would have negative impacts on one's life. As such, if a test is specifically designed that isn't fair to a certain group, then people will protest its legitimacy.

6) "Once again, she never states why those with "other intelligence" is important, and she fails to explain why that matters."

There are various types of intelligence, including mathematical intelligence, logical intelligence, creative intelligence, etc. By demanding that these tests be passed in order to graduate, you're promoting only certain aspects of knowledge which is unfair to the students and society as a whole. All types of intelligence are useful and beneficial to society. Without artistic knowledge, there'd be no art. Without musicians, no music. Without mathematicians, no math, etc.

7) "If they do show a considerable knowledge, there's no reason to ASSUME that these students will fail the exam."

I never assumed that they would.

8) "She states that college require passing or taking several entrance exams like SAT. She never explains WHY SAT should be valued over Standardized exam, nor does she actually state why material on SAT is more beneficial to overall society."

SATs measure one's knowledge (or rather test taking abilities) to some degree, i.e. in the fields of mathematics, comprehension, etc. That would mean that passing these exams wasn't necessary, but that students should opt to pass these exams if they saw fit (if it was necessary for their future endeavors). Thus in this regard I have not only explained how you could measure a student's knowledge/ability (via these exams), but also provided reasoning as to why this would be an appropriate alternative and still effective.

9) Con says that the cost of these tests doesn't matter, because the government is responsible for providing an education. I'll have to disagree on this one. I believe that the individuals (parents and older kids) are responsible for ensuring that kids get a decent education - not the government.

CONCLUSION:

I'm out of characters for now; however, note that I never agreed to debate this LD style, meaning I don't need a value or criterion. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
JonYoo794

Con

JonYoo794 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Con has forfeited and thus not responded to any of my final arguments. Please extend those through this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by Udel 11 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro explained there are many jobs that do not require a degree. Pro pointed out some students might choke on the exam, but still be good students, and the exam isnt a good reflection of their abilities. Con basically says "too bad" which isnt a good point when Pro is showing not passing can have harmful effects that are unwarranted. Pro claims the tests arent fair and standardized tests are not a good measure of intellect or measurable success. Pro also gives alternatives to graduating requirements and explains why they are better than tests. Con says we need a system of evaluation but Pro presents alternatives. Con says tests promote accountability but pro says they are problematic and accountability can be established in other ways. Con does not meet his burden, Pro negates his arguments and presents better options.
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