The Instigator
draxxt
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
Vi_Veri
Con (against)
Losing
28 Points

Public highschool students inthe US oughtnot be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
draxxt
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,645 times Debate No: 9762
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
Votes (10)

 

draxxt

Pro

(Sorry about the resolution's sloppiness. There wasn't enough room)

I would ask that all debating begin in R2.
This debate will be in the LD format and will abide by the following rules:
1) Don't talk about fight club
2) R2 is for the case only.
3) Rs3-5 are intended for rebuttal, refutation, and extension or defense of points.
4) Instead of "My opponent" each debater will have to refer to their opponent as a nickname of their choosing (ie, I choose Thug Life... Which I do) to be established in the R1.

Thank you in advance for accepting.
Vi_Veri

Con

Alright, let's do this. As for a nickname... Francon.
Debate Round No. 1
draxxt

Pro

Because dumb people are people too, I affirm.

I define:
A standardized test, according to the Department of Education is "A test administered in accordance with explicit directions for uniform administration." Because of the 10th Amendment to the Bill of Rights, standardized exams are administered at the state level.
An exit exam is an exam taken at the end of a course, which in the case of this resolution is required to graduate.
Observation 1: Because the resolution asks us whether standardized tests should be used as a requirement to graduate from high school, the negative must not only prove that standardized tests are beneficial, but also that making them a graduation requirement has some unique benefit. Proving that students should take standardized tests upon graduation does not negate the resolution because the affirmative can require students to take the test, just not mandate that they pass it to graduate. If the negative doesn't meet this burden, you affirm.
Observation 2: Specific benefits or harms of a single test are insufficient to affirm or negate the resolution. Simply because an apple has a speck of red while the rest is green, doesn't make the apple a red apple. Rather, we would declare the apple green despite this minor discrepancy. Analogously, in the debate round we can only declare an impact to a standardized test valid at the point where it is an inherent impact, not one that is unique to a specific exam.
The value is Justice, defined as giving each his due.
The standard is Equal Academic Opportunity defined as giving each individual an equal opportunity to perform well in school and acquire academic benefits. You accept the criterion because:
1. Future differences in wealth and income cannot be just unless individuals start on an equal playing field. These inequalities are analogous to a race in which one person starts 5 meters from the finish line while the rest of the competition starts 100 meters away; even though the advantaged person finishes the race, the outcome of the race isn't just insofar as he began exceptionally close to the end.
2. There is no morally relevant distinction between individuals based on arbitrary factors such as race, class etc. There exists no logical reason why a minority student disproportionately hurt by a policy deserves to be hurt by that policy – rather, the concept of justice takes all human beings as equal entities and thus it logically follows that each human being ought to be provided the same opportunities for advancement.
3. Justifying higher opportunities for individual groups based on arbitrary factors allows social planners to label groups as "worthy" or "unworthy". These rationalizations are the justifying basis for global exterminations and rights violations on the scale of slavery.
For this reason, the thesis of the affirmative is that exit exams disproportionately hurts minorities and other groups, and thus cannot provide the ground for equal academic opportunity
Contention One: High-stakes exit exams increase the dropout rate significantly for minority and female students.
Sean Reardon explains the negative effects that high-stakes tests have on minorities:
"in a situation where an individual's performance has the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about his or her group, individuals experience performance-related stress or anxiety, leading their performance to be biased in the direction of that stereotype In other words, students may underperform (relative to their true ability) if they feel under pressure to disprove a negative stereotype about their own group, such as "girls are bad at math" or "black students are not as smart as white students." In Steele and Aronson's (1995) seminal work, black students led to believe that an exam measured innate ability performed worse than those told they were simply taking a difficult test; white students, not facing a stereotype threat (because there is no negative societal stereotype regarding white students' cognitive skill), performed the same under both conditions. "
The negative effects of stereotype threat tend to be strongest for those with the highest "domain identification"-that is, those to whom the exam is most important domain identification [may, more broadly], indicate[s] that [the] stereotype threat will be activated when it has repercussions for the at-risk student: "It therefore may be more correct to say that high motivation – a sense that something important is at stake – is the necessary factor in stereotype threat, We might expect negatively stereotyped students to underperform on [an exit exam] precisely because their own graduation status is at stake. In contrast, we would expect no (or less) underperformance on the [regular] tests, which do not carry [such] consequences for students.
Contention Two: Standardized exams hurt minorities and low performing students by providing inaccessible test prep opportunities.
As the importance of standardized testing rises, many students attempt to prepare themselves for a test, either through purchasing books designed to prepare the student for a test, or private tutoring sessions. Some parents are willing to pay thousands of dollars to prepare their children for tests, a financial barrier that may give children of more wealthy parents an advantage compared to less affluent families. As the influence of test prep spreads, the economically advantaged reap the rewards, while the less fortunate are shuffled to the back.
Bridget Terry Long explains:
As competition for college admissions heats up, students have began switching their practices away from traditional measures (e.g. studying, hours spent on homework etc) and towards practices directed more towards standardized testing. The number of students using test prep programs has increased from 60% in '72 to 75% in '04. The increased competition that currently exists for admission to a more selective college might have real benefits if it were to increase learning amongst high school students. However, our analysis suggests that there are reasons to be suspicious that this congenial outcome might not hold true. Moreover, the increased resources parents and students are able to use to improve their odds of admission at top colleges put low-income students at a disadvantage. For many students, the cost of testing is far too great. In one circumstance, a commonly used test-prep organization charges up to $4000 for 35 hours of private study. Consequently, the likelihood of students being admitted to colleges has declined rapidly. The largest declines were among "low ability" students (who are often minorities); those in the two lowest quintiles saw their odds decline by 43 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Contention Three: Standardized exams exacerbate inequalities between school districts.
School districts vary vastly in their ability to teach students and administer resources. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, some districts vary up to $6,000 spent per pupil. Because of these inequities, the ability of schools in poor districts to educate their students is far inferior to that in rich districts. One could expect a student attending school on the Upper East Side to attain a far greater education than one in rural New York. For this reason, standardized testing harms the students disproportionately who are brought up in these rural, poor districts.Because they do not have access to the necessary funding required to do well on standardized tests, their students often fall behind. Testing these diverse districts in a uniform manner hurts the districts with the lowest resources and poorest students,giving the richer, better funded students the upper hand.
So it is because standardized exit exams disproportionately allocate opportunities for academic advancement on multiple levels, that I affirm.(PS I have another Reardon but didn't have enough room. Would you like it? T
Vi_Veri

Con

My first LD debate, and I have no idea how to do it : ) so bear with me here... I assume this round is to only establish my case, so: My case (lite).

Because dumb people shouldn't be parasites, I affirm:

Standardized test definition: http://www.nde.state.ne.us...

1. a test with specified tasks and procedures so that comparable measurements may be made by testers working in different geographical areas.
2. a test for which norms on a reference group, ordinarily drawn from many schools or communities, are provided.

Just so we have a shared definition of justice in this debate, from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

JUSTICE

1 a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b : judge c : the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
2 a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1) : the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2) : conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness c : the quality of conforming to law
3 : conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness

1. Standardized testing will help set a mandatory skill level for our society, so employers and higher education don't have to waste resources and money in order to educate their employees/students. This mandatory skill level will benefit society in so that every high school graduate will have enough education in order to contribute to society properly.

2. These tests help weed out the bad schools and bad teachers. If a school is consistently having failed students, actions can be taken to help improve the school and teaching staff instead of having said students continue to preform at lower levels than the rest of society - therefore, in layman terms, keeping the dumb, dumb.

3. Standardized test can be used by teachers in order to see what they should be teaching in order to prepare their students for the real world and/or further higher education. It will set a standard for teachers to reach for their classes.

4. It help weed out "fluff" schools that just give out pointless diplomas and help maintain an informed society.

5. Standardized testing will help the government and parents see how that area is doing education wise. Government can then in tern act on lower scores and parents can see if they wish to enroll their children at that school or not.

6. They will help with comparisons across the board - to help not only with comparison from city to city, or state to state, but country to country as well, letting the USA see if they are competing academically with the rest of the world or if they are lagging behind.

7. Over the years great improvements have been made with regards to test bias, which has led to more accurate assessments and comparisons. Therefore, race, sex, religion, etc, will be/and are playing a very minute role in testing.

8. Standardized tests can be made to encompass not just "right brain" tasks, but "left brain" tasks as well. The definition of a standardized test does not exclude anything that could be put into a test. A standardized test, therefore, will be an exam which can test an aspect of education that is needed in order for a student to function properly in society, higher education, and the job market.

9. Standardized tests will help set a standard for basic knowledge a citizen should possess in order to run a better informed, better functioning society.

10. Students being passed without the proper knowledge required - schools not performing at appropriate levels - is doing the students and community a huge injustice. Standardized tests will help re-structure eduction and schools.

11. Standardized testing will help the USA compete with other countries. If we can figure out the flaws in our education system and see how we are behind the rest of the world, we can reform and compete better.

12. Standardized test will help the government not waste money on scholarships, grants, etc. to get students into colleges that aren't prepared to do well in college - failing, and thus indebting the government.

Good luck to my opponent - and also, I ask: can my opponent please clarify what the people he is quoting's qualifications are? Just a first and last name will not suffice.

I look forward to the actual debate in R3!
Debate Round No. 2
draxxt

Pro

Thank you for your response (close though you may have cut it haha). I look forward to this debate.

I accept the definition of justice as only the 1A which falls under my definition as giving each his due. You accept my definition of a standardized test due to credibility. Mine stems directly from the department of education whereas Francon's definition is specific only to the department of education in Nebraska, not the overall department of education. My definition surpasses her definition in authority and, therefore, must be given the authority over her's.

Point by point (I'll reiterate my points and why you accept them in the R4 once my opponent has given an attack on them):

1) You reject this point because my Reardon card specifically states that merely doing well on a test does not gauge how well you know a subject, but how many resources you have on tap
(My opponent asked for credentials involving my card and I shall give it to her. Reardon is the Associate Professor of Education and Sociology at Stanford University, 2009 who wrote Effects of the California High School Exit Exam on Student Persistence, Achievement and Graduation)
2) Simply because a student does not grasp a subject or cannot pass a test does not mean that the teacher has failed. My Long card (Bridget Terry Long, Researcher at Harvard University, author of Playing the Admissions Game: Student Reactions to Increasing College Competition, 2009) outlines that some schools are simply not given the same budget and resources as other schools. Does this mean the teachers have failed their students? Certainly not! A standardized test does not gauge the ability of a student who has not been taught by the same standards of other schools. This does not mean the student has failed to learn, they have simply failed to learn a test and cannot receive the full benefits of passing a test. They may very well have learned the subject but they haven't learned how the test expects them to answer questions regarding the subject.
3) An end of course test at the standard high school level does not show how well a person has learned something. There are sixty questions in the average EOC that are meant to sum up a semester long course. This, of course, does not accurately tell how well a student grasps a subject. Again, Steele and Aronson's proves that minorities feel cornered into a certain stereotype and accept it because it is popular. This may lead to the lack of test-taking skills insofar as stereotypes like "black students are not as smart as white students" will cause the average minority to believe and, therefore, underperform.
4) I don't understand what you mean. Can you give me an example of a "fluff" school? Furthermore, what constitutes a fluff school?
5)See my Long card again. The government may hold each school by the same standards but different funding opportunities will invariably effect the final outcome per school.
6) You're forgetting that when you compare apples in schools, you must also compare oranges. You are comparing achievement without comparing how many opportunities each school gets which can effect achievement. If you want to debate how funding effects schools we can. It is, after all, one of my points. However, until you prove that governments are justified in comparing schools of different qualities, this point falls.
7)The test itself is not biased towards any one race or sex as far as I can see. Stereotypes concerning these races and sexes will lead to underperformance. You reject this point because it is not really relevant insofar as it offers no negative or positive outcomes should you choose to accept it.
8) As stated in my observation two, any minor discrepancies involving a test should be discarded as relevant. Just because there is a possibility that a test may, in the future, involve both types of tasks does not make you any less apt to vote in the Affirmative or to consider the negative. It merely means what tests can become more diverse. I don't see how this fits into the scope of the debate.
9) How so? An exit exam merely tests what you have learned in a course. Why should passing a course involving the information on the exit exams not be the standard over the test itself? It shouldn't. The exam tests a structured and finite amount of information whereas the course teaches on a more subjective but effective level. Just because information isn't on a test does not mean we should ignore it. For example, I wanted to know what year John Locke was born in my AP US History course. My teacher responded, "that won't be on the test."
10) Talk to George Bush about that. The reason students who don't understand a course pass isn't due to a lack of tests but is due to things like the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools have always had exit exams. The reason students pass who don't deserve to pass does not hinge on the test itself rather the outside factors effecting schools (such as the NBLA).
11) (I'm sorry. In Lincoln-Douglas, there is no specific country under speculation. You may use instances where a country did something that may benefit your case but you cannot use it as the foundation for the resolution) Helping the USA does not effect this resolution. I'm sorry. I did not specify "In the United States, public high school...". This point falls.
12) Governments allocate scholarships based on merit. Tests do not gauge merit accurately. Furthermore, there are a multitude of scholarships used for different cases. There are scholarships for essays, for art, for service, etc. Tests actually play a very small role in the scholarship process. The grant process is based on need, not merit.

Since my opponent did not understand... or rectify the mistake by studying... that this is an LD debate, I'll be nice and ask that the judges and my opponent consider my VC but not make it the deciding factor in this debate.

Thank you. I await a surely exciting debate.
Vi_Veri

Con

Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
draxxt

Pro

You extend everything.
Vi_Veri

Con

Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
draxxt

Pro

Too bad.

Reasons to affirm stand. Reasons to negate have been put in question. You default PRO because all of the affirmative points are the most credible points thusfar. I'm very disappointed. I was excited to debate this resolution.

Again, vote PRO
~EG
Vi_Veri

Con

Vi_Veri forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 4 years ago
studentathletechristian8
L, it really is bad when you give Vi seven-points on both accounts when she clearly forfeited the debate by missing three rounds.

Nothing against Vi, but seriously, L, shouldn't you separate personal alliances from debate tactics on this site?
Posted by Flyinglow 5 years ago
Flyinglow
lol, random 1st rule.
Posted by draxxt 5 years ago
draxxt
It's all good. I'm very sleepy so I'll give you an example in the morning to satisfy your curiosity.
Night, Francon! Until we meet again...
Posted by Vi_Veri 5 years ago
Vi_Veri
Well, I still have no idea, and I've got other things to do than familiarize myself with a debate style... (lots of homework and such) - so, can you just explain to me what a criterion consists of so I can just whip one up for you? Sorry, I wouldn't have taken this if I knew it was an LD style... guess I didn't really read the rules fully as I assumed it was like every other debate. My mistake.
Posted by draxxt 5 years ago
draxxt
Can we limit justice to the afore mentioned and agreed upon definition? Giving each his due sums up both of our previous definitions.

It is but you need a criterion
Posted by Vi_Veri 5 years ago
Vi_Veri
Justice is my value: defined as fairness, conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness

Standardized tests help a society find where the education system has crumbled and fix it in order to give everyone a correct and fair education. Without standardized testing, students will not be given a fair entrance requirement to universities or have a fair system of judging who meets qualifications. Standardized testing allows Americans to have the most progressive and well balanced education system - to fairly and correctly show who knows material and is reasonably prepared for the job market and/or higher education.

I hope that's good enough.
Posted by draxxt 5 years ago
draxxt
The values may coincide in this case. If you use my criterion, however, you'd be at a sore disadvantage.
Posted by Vi_Veri 5 years ago
Vi_Veri
Can I not use the same value?
Posted by draxxt 5 years ago
draxxt
I'll have to postpone my response. Research LD in the meantime and post your Value and Value Criterion while I'm out and why we should accept them. Otherwise, I go straight to your case and we automatically accept my V and VC.

And both, LM. In debate camp, the counselors put their headphones in while CX was going on. It's only important if something funny is said.
Posted by Vi_Veri 5 years ago
Vi_Veri
Double post on accident.... -- btw, you two have almost identical profile pictures - thought draxxt was talking to himself for a second o.O
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