The Instigator
EHS_Debate
Pro (for)
Tied
23 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Tied
23 Points

Resolution is to long and will be posted in first Argument: Regarding Merit Pay.

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Post Voting Period
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after 7 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,243 times Debate No: 10340
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (7)

 

EHS_Debate

Pro

Resolution: Merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.

This is my first debate. This will be a Public Forum style debate, mainly because the case I wrote is for Public Forum. I would like to provide a general judging scale for a Public Forum Debate and clarify that a Public Forum Debate is scaled on evidence that supports the competitors position. Thank you for accepting and I would like to open up first.

INTRO:

"Like the dusty blackboards still found in some school classrooms, the single-salary schedule has served its purposes and outlived its usefulness." In response to this need, the authors developed a framework for a performance-pay system that is "fair, strategic, and likely to win teacher support." Their recommendations include the following:

(1) Reward teachers who help their students make significant academic gains. The research supports plans that measure student gains over time; that recognize both individual and team performance; and that allow schools to use credible data from classroom assessments.

(2) Provide more pay for additional degrees and professional development that are relevant to school and district goals.

(3) Offer incentives to teachers in low-performing schools but only if those teachers can demonstrate that they are effective with high-needs students and will be able to address the school's specific learning needs.

My partner and I stand in affirmation that merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.

DEFINITIONS:

Student achievement- Is a term that when applied to merit pay, has various meanings. The two most commonly known are student scores based off of a state test, and the progression of student education in schools that house students that don't normally score high.

CONTENTION ONE:

Merit Pay is an improvement.

A performance pay system will tend to attract and retain individuals who are particularly good at the activity being incentivized and repel those who are not. In 1963, Hoxby and Leigh found, teachers from topnotch colleges earned significantly more than teachers from so-called safety schools. As of 2000, teachers earned the same regardless of their alma mater, the study found. Offering teachers merit pay might lure smart people to the job, Hoxby suggests.

The national union's opposition to new forms of compensation is "wrongheaded," said Brad Jupp, a former vice president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, an NEA affiliate. Mr. Jupp, now an adviser to the 72,000-student Denver district, helped design an alternative compensation program while he was the Denver union's lead negotiator in 1999. The union agreed to pilot a pay-for-performance plan. The plan, which has since been adopted districtwide, rewards teachers for improving student achievement, choosing to work in hard-to-staff schools, and earning positive appraisals from peer evaluators.

CONTENTION TWO:

Merit pay gains support from most of America.

Barack Obama wants to start a new program supporting an innovative-schools fund that his campaign says would allow districts to create "portfolios" of schools modeled after existing success stories. In short, our presidency supports this idea of merit pay.

Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Joseph I. Lieberman, IConn., and others put forth a proposal this month on major changes to the No Child Left Behind Act that includes incentives for states to look at performance-pay programs to attract teachers to underperforming schools. This shows that merit pay is being recognized at a federal level.

72 percent of respondents say they favor merit pay in general for teachers, with advanced degrees, student test scores, and administrator evaluations ranking as the top measures for assigning raises. Competition is good, not bad. And parents have a right to demand high, measurable performance from those who would teach their children. Lawmakers should listen to the public, with its common sense born of experience, not to the union bosses who want more benefits for less work. Finally, the public demonstrates that they favor merit pay for teachers.

CONTENTION THREE:

Traditional salaries are ineffective.

The chances of a high-performing student becoming a teacher fell from 21% in 1964 to just 11% in 2000, according to a University of Maryland study. Although the obvious culprit is new opportunities, fixed pay in education also contributed to the nosedive, said Caroline Hoxby, a Harvard University researcher who conducted the study with Andrew Leigh.

Supporters of merit pay plans believe that the old pay structures are outdated and don't give teachers incentive to achieve or reward good performance. "Some of our first- and second-year teachers who are at the bottom of the pay scale do brilliant work that often goes unrecognized," one younger teacher told us. "Conversely, there are teachers at the top of the pay scale who have not changed teaching methods in twenty-five years to meet the needs of the kids they work with now."

For these reasons my partner and I stand in full support of the resolution.
Nails

Con

I'll simply be rebutting my opponent's case instead of presenting my own, since there is a 15 minute time limit on this debate, which is rather pressing.

====
Intro
====

His opening quote should be at best disregarded, if not turned against him:
A) It is uncited and unsourced. There is no reliable evidence that anyone of merit said this.
B) It arbitrarily stigmatizes blackboard users' techniques as outdated or antiquated. My science teacher has a blackboard!

"(2) Provide more pay for additional degrees and professional development that are relevant to school and district goals."

To clarify, this is not an example of merit pay based on student achievement.

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

He first cites 'Hoxby and Leigh' (with no link to verify his claim) with statistical evidence. However, upon closer examination, you will find that this has little to do with the conclusion that PRO makes. It simply explains the current college demographics of teachers, then concludes "Offering teachers merit pay might lure smart people to the job, Hoxby suggests." with no reliable warrant as to why it is true.

The second bit of evidence is no better. It is simply Brad Jupp (who, might I point out, has a funny name) saying that people who disagree with him on merit pay are wrong headed. I guarantee that, given more than 15 minutes, I could find a number of educators or people with scholarly credentials with quotes supporting my side also, but quotes won't cut it and that's all this contention is founded on.

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

His source says that people favor merit pay 'in general.' 2 thirds of those parts, merit pay based on college degrees and administrative reviews, are things I agree with, but are completely outside of this resolution. This resolution is only about student achievement. This is the one type of merit pay that I am deadset against, as I can already see its corruptive effects in my classes through exessive drills, reviews, and test prep in these last 2 weeks before End-of-Course-Testing (EOCTs.)

========
Contention 3
========

I'll concede that non-merit based salaries are ineffective. That's why I advocate the 2 types of merit pay above, college pay and evaluation. This solves the problems without incurring the harms of teaching to the test and falsely improving student achievement.

With that, I negate the resolution. Good luck, PRO.
Debate Round No. 1
EHS_Debate

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. I am also sorry for the 15 minute time frame.

My opening quote does not need a citation for it is a generalization promoting the affirmation of the resolution. I agree that it is not extremely relevant, but does provide a glimpse of what the PRO is advocating for.

I will refute my opponents case only, due to the shortage of time (my fault).

=Con 1=

My opponent states that Hoxby and Leigh provide statistical evidence. Several of their arguments may be found within this site http://www.centerii.org.... My opponent also suggests that, "that this has little to do with the conclusion that PRO makes" regarding the statistical evidence that I have provided. He does not disagree with the evidence but concedes to it. This evidence does support the affirmation of the resolution by advocating the effectiveness of merit pay.

Brad Jupp has taken part in a pay-by-performance plan for his school of 72,000. This plan is effective and gives even more reason to believe that merit pay is an improvement.

=Con 2=

My contention two soley regards the fact that a majority of the United States approves Merit-Pay related reforms in schools. I did not contend to define merit pay or give examples of different plans. So my opponents arguement "This is the one type of merit pay that I am deadset against, as I can already see its corruptive effects in my classes through exessive drills, reviews, and test prep in these last 2 weeks before End-of-Course-Testing (EOCTs.)" can be considered irrelevant when regarding the contention two (Merit pay gains support from most of America) because it does not sufficiently refute the tagline of this contention and what it's purpose was.

=Con 3=

My opponent states that he concedes "that non-merit based salaries are ineffective". On top of this statement he goes on to say "That's why I advocate the 2 types of merit pay above, college pay and evaluation". He essentially says that he does not agree with non-merit pay and advocates merit-pay. The resolution does not single out one or the other.

His statements contradict. I please a PRO vote.
Nails

Con

======
The Intro
======

My opponent:
1) Concedes that it is an unwarranted generalization
2) Drops the issue of it dismissing teachers who use blackboards (like my science teacher) as antiquated and archaic.

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

The evidence provided only gave info as to which colleges teachers came from. It gave nothing related to merit based pay. Now my opponent links me to a source. I don't have time to read through that whole source in a 15 minute debate and still have time for an adequate rebuttal. Further, he didn't post it in his original round. He hasn't even posted the specific parts I'm supposed to attack, or the ones that he says are directly related, in this round either, so it stands that he has no reliable evidence for "Hoxby's suggestion."

Simply saying "He has merit pay and his plan is effective" is far from enough evidence to draw a conclusion. There can easily be confounding variables, it could simply be correlation, not causation, etc. etc. etc. Further, there is still no source for this 72k survey he claims.

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

My opponent has misunderstood my argument.

He posted a source saying America supports merit pay IN GENERAL.
The problem is that he is defending a specific type of merit pay (student achievement-based.)
Many American's, like me for example, recognize the problems with student based merit pay, but don't reject merit pay as a general concept (I, in fact, advocate it) which means him posting evidence of merit pay in general does not allow him to draw conclusions of America's opinions of his specific form of merit pay.

========
Contention 3
========

The resolution is "Merit pay BASED ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools."

I advocate multiple forms of merit pay (such as the 2 PRO listed in his original contention 2, teacher degree based and administration evaluation based.) That does not mean that I in any way support merit pay mased on student achievement, which is what Pro defends. In fact, I would say that it leads us to quite the contrary conclusion, that we should reject student based merit pay, because we have alternatives that solve the problem (teacher motivation, etc.) without the harms student based pay brings (teaching to the test, grade boosting, etc.)

=======
Conclusion
=======

My opponent confuses his burden. He is not advocating merit pay in general; he is advocating student achievement based pay in specific. He has listed other, better, types of merit based pay that will equally well (if not better) solve the problems of which he complains, not be affected by the problems he argues about in C3 (because they aren't salary based), and avoid the problems his system has, namely, teaching to the test, which I see almost on a daily basis.

We thus reach the conclusion that instead of merit pay based on student achievement, we should instead endorse merit pay based on teachers' college degrees and administrator evaluations, thus we negate the resolution and vote CON.

Good luck again to PRO in the final round, and be careful with that timer. That last round was posted with 2 seconds left and if you aren't careful, the lag time can get you.
Debate Round No. 2
EHS_Debate

Pro

Thank you again. Sorry for time frame again.

First of all there is no dropping of the issue of it dismissing teachers who use blackboards (like my science teacher) as antiquated and archaic. My opponent refers to my intro of round one and as already explained is not as relevant and acts as a guideline for my position.

=Con 1=

My contention one shows that Merit -Pay is effective, it has worked and it can work if implemented. As already stated by my opponet, non-merit by is ineffective. My opponent also provides no evidence against my contention, and as already stated, this debate is Public Forum and shall be judged according to evidence.

=Con 2=

First of all, Merit-Pay can ONLY be based on student achievement. As posted in my definition earlier, student achievement "Is a term that when applied to merit pay, has various meanings. The two most commonly known are student scores based off of a state test, and the progression of student education in schools that house students that don't normally score high." It has various meanings. Merit-Pay is essentially extra money paid for outstanding advancements. How else would a teacher be given merit-pay? Other than how well they are doing their job, which concerns the achievements of the student they are teaching. Remembering that this resolution regards K-12 teaching, not colleges as I believe he mentioned in round 2, Merit-Pay essentially incorporates a form of student achievement. So when I provide the evidence that most Americans support Merit-Pay, it is completly relevant to the resolution stated. So we can safely assume that my opponents arguements have been rebutted sufficiently regarding my contention two.

=Con 3=

Contention 3. My opponent semmingly intertwines this with contention two. He says that he advocates Merit-Pay based on teacher degrees. This however is faulty. For one, this is already implemented. Second, there have been various accounts of teachers across the nation forging their degrees to earn more cash from Merit-Pay. (I understand you want a source, but because of my fault, time frame, I wont be able to get it.) Most professions offer bonuses and salary increases to exemplary employees. Why should teaching be the exception? The fact that a sloppy teacher and a dedicated teacher earn the same salary just doesn't sit right with most people.

Conclusion.

I believe ample evidence has been provided to debunk my opponents claims against merit-pay. I plead for a PRO vote. Thank you for your time.
Nails

Con

====
Intro
====

He says the intro "acts as a guideline for my position" and also concedes that it essentially makes fun of black-boarding teachers. If that is his definition of an accurate guideline for his position, you ought to reject him right here! He is making fun of my science teacher, and he's never even met the guy!

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

"as already stated, this debate is Public Forum and shall be judged according to evidence."

Extend the argument that he has dropped this round that all of his evidence is anecdotal. By all means, judge by evidence like he says you should, and reject him for using faulty evidence from which he can't draw a valid conclusion.

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

"First of all, Merit-Pay can ONLY be based on student achievement."

1. If that were true, then 'merit pay based on student achievement' would be redundant and unnecessary. However, we still use that term (the resolution even uses that term!) because we know there are other merit based pays.

2. This is a new argument that he didn't present last speech.

3. His original speech states "72 percent of respondents say they favor merit pay in general for teachers, with ADVANCED DEGREES, student test scores, and ADMINISTRATOR EVALUATIONS." He is now contradicting his original post.

========
Contention 3
========

His original contention was that salary based pay is ineffective.

(1) His latest rebuttal has absolutely nothing to do with that.
(2)It's a completely new, unwarranted argument anyways,
(3)not to mention it's an even worse problem in the system he advocates. Teachers can (and do) easily boost test scores to reflect better on their teaching skills, which is why the current grade average at my school was 88 last semester, whereas a C was average 30 years ago. We've made an 18 point/ 100 points jump in only 3 decades because of this merit pay based on student achievement.

=======
Conclusion
=======

In this last speech, my opponent has gone far off from his original contentions, made new arguments, and still didn't even win the points he presented.

I've given multiple rebuttals to each contention; he's never disproven the efficacy of merit pay other than student achievement; and he has NEVER ONCE REBUTTED the argument that student achievement-based merit pay leads to teaching to the test.

This leads you to conclude that we should certainly have merit pay, however based on those factors other than student achievement, and thus negate the resolution and vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
ok. see my new debate? im going against a friend.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
It's no big deal. I don't always have the link to sources I use in offline debates.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
It helped a lot, trust me. Sorry for the no citation thing. First online debate and didn't have it within my intro case. Usually during tournaments all my sources are in order.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
CHS.

1. It was 15 minutes per round. There was no way either of us could have handled fully covering 2 separate cases in 15 minutes, so I only refuted his. I stated that pretty clearly.

2. I gave offensive arguments (the points about non-achievement merit pay working better AND the arguments on dumbing down curricula to drills.) You don't necessarily need a 'case' to vote for ever, just positive impacts, which there were.

3. Pro has the burden of proof to show the resolution true. Assuming I refuted his points like you say I did, I would win anyway since that means he hasn't met his BoP.

4. Pro never once made this argument. You're voting for something that was never brought up in the round, in which case, why did we bother to debate?

5. You 'vote' does not equate to clicking Pro in all 6 boxes. I didn't have poor conduct or bad grammar, so there's no reason for him to have all 7 points.

@ EHS_Debate, Great job! I'm sure it was because of this practice round. : )
Posted by CHS 7 years ago
CHS
Nails did really well refuting EHS's point but he never actually gave any of his own reasons for not having merit pay so my vote goes to EHS
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
Thanks all. I won my public forum round. I picket-fenced 3-0.
Posted by True2GaGa 7 years ago
True2GaGa
my points go to con
Posted by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
Conduct: Con.

Pro quoted sources in the first argument without citing any of them, then later cited sources without quoting from them. He claimed that particular sources made particular statements, but didn't back up those claims. I get the impression from the comments that Pro was preparing for a live debate which probably explains why his initial argument wasn't suitable for a written format.

Convincing Arguments: Con.

Pro set the resolution for a particular kind of merit pay, but then shifted his argument to merit pay in general. He did this even after Con pointed out the error.

Reliable Sources: Tie.

Because of the citing problem I mentioned above, I can't give this point to Pro. Because Con didn't cite any sources at all, I can't give this point to Con.
Posted by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
EHS_Debate
Thank you very much.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Good luck at your tournament!
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by CHS 7 years ago
CHS
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Vote Placed by EHS_Debate 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
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