The Instigator
Demitri
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
LDdebaterCG
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standard e

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,905 times Debate No: 9952
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

Demitri

Pro

Shauna D'Alessandro, president of the South Hills Area School Districts Association, states that "After 13 years of class work, class participation, term papers, projects and classroom projects, [this graduation requirement] may deny a diploma to children who may not be able to demonstrate proficiency on a standardized test." Today in the United States, several states require students to pass exit exams in order to earn their diploma, but instead of actually achieving their main goal of "significantly improving student achievement", these exit exams are actually unfairly denying hard-working students from earning their right to graduate. Thus, I affirm the resolution: Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standard exit exam to graduate.
I will offer the following definitions to clarify today's debate:

Ought – Used to express moral obligation
Standardized – To compare with a standard

In today's debate, I will value justice. Justice is defined in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as the principle of right action. Moral is defined as "conforming to the standard of right behavior". And since ought is "moral obligation", my value links to the resolution because justice equals moral, so something that is just is also morally obligatory. Therefore, my value of justice links to the resolution. Education is very important in today's society, because it determines our future. So, my value criterion will then be maximizing educational equality. Educational equality links to justice because if we give students equal opportunity to achieve education, then it is morally right, because everyone is becoming equal. Therefore, it would only be just if we all had an equal chance at education.

Contention 1: Standardized exit exams do not demonstrate a student's intellectual capacity. Critics of the exit exams say that the test does not show other aspects of students' intelligence and achievements. It wouldn't be fair if a student obtained many achievements and perfect grades, but didn't pass a simple standardized test. Many students are auditory and/or physical learners, ones that are able to do better when the tests include listening and/or physical work. Standardized tests include neither one of those, which is unfair for those students. According to an article on FairTest, the national center for fair and open testing, published on May 2nd, 2008, several college professors and employers, high school students must be able to "analyze conflicting explanations, support arguments with evidence, solve complex problems that have no obvious answer, reach conclusions, conduct research, and engage in the give-and-take of ideas. Also needed are attributes such as good study skills, time management, awareness of one's performance and persistence." Many of these skills and abilities are not measured in the exit exams. The exam is also not a fair way to measure the basic skill levels of minority students, because the test requires higher skill levels, and that would make it harder for them to pass. Studies showed that minority students, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, scored lower than white students that were on the same academic levels. Since students have different talents and abilities, then they would be at a disadvantage if the test was implemented upon them, so not having exit exams will uphold my value criterion of maximizing educational equality.

Contention 2: Standardized exit exams cause more students to drop out of high school. These exit exams can seem intimidating to students, and make them naturally feel tempted to give up, because they seem to be at a dead end. This is especially true for minority groups. Exit exams are typically required in states that have higher rates of African-Americans and Hispanics, which would cause more people with those racial backgrounds to have the exit exams as a requirement. Fairtest states that in states with relatively easy exit exams, 5.2 percent more African-American male students dropped out than ones in states with no exit exam requirements. In 2003, when the tests became harder, 43 percent fewer students took the exit exams. The difficulty of the tests is determined by each state. This also suggests that there are few alternatives for students that can't pass these exams. These tests have created a two-point-one percent increase in dropouts, which means that 40,000 less high school students will receive diplomas for this reason every year. Because exit exams intimidate some students and cause them to drop out of high school, they would not be able to equally promote education.

Contention 3: Standardized exit exams are sometimes different from the curriculum being taught at a school. The tests are moving from testing the basic reading and math skills to harder, more in-depth questions on multiple other subjects. At some schools, students may see material on the test that teachers have never even taught them before. One effect this could cause is teachers being forced to be teaching to the test. This wouldn't be able to benefit the students. If teachers are focusing on teaching material on the tests, then they would arrange their teaching around material and ways to make their students score higher on the exams. Their focus would be on this, but their focus really should be on teaching as much as possible on topics important in their course. They also may be regularly giving students practice tests and old test questions to improve their scores, and this may actually heighten their score, but won't be able to teach the students more in the class. Also, school districts with low-incomes have less money to teach, so they sometimes don't always teach everything that will eventually be on the test. This wouldn't be fair for those students, because it wasn't their fault they weren't able to understand some of the material on the exams.

Therefore, exit exams should not be used as a graduation requirement, because they don't demonstrate a student's intellectual capacity, cause a higher rate of dropout students, and are different from the material taught at school. Without exit exams, justice would be upheld.
LDdebaterCG

Con

Resolved: public high school students in the US ought not be required to pass standardized high school exit exams to graduate.

I value Quality Education. I define Quality as having a degree of excellence. I present reasons to prefer this value.
1) The resolution inherently values quality education as it is a question of how the public school systems should be run.
2) The resolution is a question of public policy and the goal of policy regarding the education system is to provide quality education.
3) The affirmative is already inherently valuing quality education since we are debating about how exit exams effect the system.

The value criterion that best fits my value is the criterion of Accountability or an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. By remaining accountable for Students educations we can lead to quality educations because we are able to help them into their path to adult hood and help them become positive contributors to out society. This links to my value in the respect that Teachers must remain accountable if their students are to properly learn. For example if your teacher tells you to read a novel for class but fails to follow through with assignments or tests you aren't properly motivated to read it correctly, whereas if said teacher made a big test on it then you would be sure to read it. This is an example of how accountability will lead to quality education.

The first contention is that high school exit exams ensure that US public high school students meet basic educational standards. Standardized exit exams provide a measurement of how well or how poorly schools are preparing their students. These exams serve as a guide to what needs to be improved within an educational system. Nothing can be improved without a measurement that determines whether it is getting better or worse. Standardized tests are needed to provide an objective measurement. Standardized tests are imperfect, but they can be reliably used to measure the most basic skills, such as how well a student can read, do simple math, and writing skills. Educational policy should take into account how well those basic skills are taught. They are reliable in the sence of measuring whether a person is functional in moving on in life with a proper education. Jacob Chandler explains "If we are to remove exit exams from the school systems there is no way to ensure that students are being taught the basic knowledge that will allow them to progress in life. Furthermore, standardized tests and the net results for schools and districts have become more important in recent years as Richard P. Phelps explains. "Finally, it is possible to align instruction with the curriculum guide, content standards, and so forth (depending on the terminology used to describe the valuable student outcomes in a particular locale). And, it is obviously desirable that any high-stakes test be closely aligned with the curriculum or content standards it purports to assess. Thus, it would neither be a coincidence" nor inappropriate" if the well-aligned instruction and testing bore a strong resemblance to each other. This is sometimes mistakenly referred to as teaching to the test where the more accurate (and supportable) practice should probably be distinguished by use of a different descriptor, such as teaching to the standards or similar. " Thus we can see that exit exams are ensuring that teachers are instructing students on the necessities they need need to learn.

Secondly Governments are able to help schools based off of these high school exit exams. By staying with the administration of exit exams we ensure that teachers are teaching students basic skills that will help them throughout their life. Through exit exams we can monitor a schools educational system because if their score drops low enough the government can reform the system an example of this is, child left behind and many other programs. The federal law, No Child Left Behind, outlines the degree of improvement that schools should make in student achievement on standardized tests each year. This federal law also stipulates the consequences for schools and districts that do not reach annual improvement goals.
Thus you negate.

Moving On to my opponents case.

Their Value is justice however their definition is conforming to the standard of right behavior however wether or not there are exit exams do not necessarily condone right behavior. Furthermore I already applied 3 warrants as to why my value precedes theirs. Thus you must look towards my value.

My opponent does not provide a criterion thus we can never deduce when we are justice or how through what mechanism we can achieve it through thus my case precedes his.

I address and negate his contention by saying they do not measure intelligence but basic educational standards thus his argument does not stand. furthermore if a student cannot pass a measure of basic educational standards they would not have received the grades of high achievement and even if they fail they can retake the test any number of times.

Contention 2 provides no solvency no exit exams will not eliminate dropouts and as I stated before these are only basic skill tests if they cannot pass basic 8th grade English and 9th grade math they will obviously not pass the 12th grade.

contention 3 as i stated with my card by Phelps it is preferable to align standards with this test and furthermore we need the fundamental skills the exit exam test you cannot take chem without knowing basic algebraic expressions.

As i state all of his points are void and i win this debate because 1. he cannot necissarily uphold justice by using exit exams and all of his contentions are void based off of the arguments i gave him i urge an affirmative ballot.
Debate Round No. 1
Demitri

Pro

For this round, I will start by defending my case, then move onto attacking my opponent's case.

My opponent stated that my value of justice does not relate to the resolution, but I have clearly shown that it does in my affirmative constructive. Justice is the principle of right action. It would only be just if exit exams are not upheld, because exit exams take away some students' constitutional rights. Even IF these high stakes are "useful", we cannot allow them to take away some students' constitutional rights. Due process gives students four main rights:
1. Students have the right to expect that the test is an accurate evaluation tool.
2. Students have the right to only be tested on material that they were taught.
3. Students have the right to expect that the test and their level of preparation for the test meet professional standards.
4. The state must prove that the students have been fairly adequately prepared to take the test and have a fair chance to pass it.
An educational system should provide tests that would improve students' learning. But if we ignore how these tests disregard many students' rights, that will impact their learning, making the tests unjust. Some of this information was obtained from an article called "Due Process Rights of Grade School Students Subjected to High-Stakes Testing." by William P. Quigley, a professor at Loyola University in 2001.

My opponent states that I did not provide a value criterion, but I did, as it was mentioned in my affirmative construction. I will restate it again: maximizing educational equality.

My opponent did not address my first contention, so I assume that he agrees with it. Since he did not address it, he cannot bring this contention up again in his next speech.

In my second contention, my opponent stated that having no exit exams will not eliminate dropouts, but he did not provide any evidence and did not care to elaborate, so this argument has no weight in this round.

In my third contention, he did not directly address my argument. But even as he didn't, I will respond to his argument. He says that we need the fundamental skills from the exit exam tests. But as I showed in my affirmative construction, high school graduates need much more to be able to succeed in the "real" world. According to the article on FairTest, college professors and employers stated that high school students need to be able to "analyze conflicting explanations, support arguments with evidence, solve complex problems that have no obvious answer, reach conclusions, conduct research, and engage in the give-and-take of ideas. Also needed are attributes such as good study skills, time management, awareness of one's performance and persistence." ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THESE ARE SKILLS THAT ARE MEASURED IN EXIT EXAMS. This clearly shows that exit exams do not benefit students and help them succeed later on in life. This argument shows that even though my opponent didn't make a direct and valid argument, I can still defend my case by addressing it anyway.

Now let's move onto my opponents case:

My opponent values quality education in this round. But in order to provide quality education, you need my value of justice. Justice gives its people several inalienable rights, but also brings to the society education. So with justice, you can achieve quality education, so you need my value to achieve his value. Therefore, my value is superior to his. He states that I am "inherently valuing quality education since we are debating about how exit exams effect the system," but this isn't true. We aren't seeing how exit exams are effecting the system. We are seeing how they are effecting individual students, as they are the ones whose rights are being taken away.

Again, I should mention that we cannot provide students with exit exams if they take away their rights, no matter if they are useful. So if they are taking away students' rights, then they are not helping those students, so they are not providing them with quality education.

My opponent's value criterion is accountability, but I don't see how that relates to the resolution. If he says that exit exams will hold certain teachers accountable, but then in his example, he talks about how the tests will motivate students. These things do not relate, so his value criterion is not upheld.

In his first contention, he states that high school exit exams ensure that high school students meet basic educational standards, and that they show what needs to be improved in a school system. But you can't hold a school accountable for bad teaching based on one simple test. It wouldn't be a very accurate measurement, as one test cannot accurately show how "good" a student's school environment is. Also, he talks about the importance of having basic education. But wouldn't that be demonstrated through their GPA's and end of course exams? GPA's reflect how well a student is doing in his or her class. Classes teach basic education, and much, much more. So if they are passing, then it shows that they have acquired the basic education and more, and if they aren't passing, they haven't, so they must repeat a year. This shows that the exit exams prove to be redundant if we can use GPA's and end of course exams.

My opponent's second contention is basically the same as the first. It talks about how the government can help the schools. Again, this test isn't accurate at showing which schools are "good" and which are "bad".

For all of these reasons, I strongly urge an affirmative ballot (plus my opponent urges an affirmative ballot, which is what he said at the end of his first speech =).
LDdebaterCG

Con

OK so moving Down the Flow.

Throughout this debate my opponent misquotes me and addresses virtually none of my arguments as i will address

Ok so the four warrants my opponent placed are new arguments which should not be looked towards however to avoid dropping them I will refute them. These Warrants do not fit my opponents Definitions of justice "a principle of right action." he speaks about having rights which would infer that people are due rights, however the principle itself is what his definition infers and while giving rights may follow the principle the principle itself does not state wether or not people are due rights.

His VC Maximizing Ed Equality he cannot uphold this as he is revoking chances from special needs students by holding them to the same standard you would hold a 4.5 student with extra cirriculars this is why exit exams fail we are all different but they are all the same.

My opponent Drops my argument on his 1st contention by specifying i dropped his argument because he never looked closely at my words "I address and negate his contention by saying they do not measure intelligence but basic educational standards thus his argument does not stand. furthermore if a student cannot pass a measure of basic educational standards they would not have received the grades of high achievement and even if they fail they can retake the test any number of times." Se extend that he agrees with me by hoping that by sweeping this arguemtn under the rug he can get away with it.

On his 2nd contention i stated the IF WE REMOVE EXIT EXAMS HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS WILL NOT BE ELIMINATED. I don't have to provide evidence or elaboration it is a solvency argument he has to justify that by removing exit exams we provide solvency for dropouts

3rd contention he does not address my argument that if they cannot pass this exit exam they dont pass high school because it tests 8th grade english 9th grade math. and that furthermore these test make sure that the students meet basic educational standards not test how smart or advanced they are but that they know the basics.

Now on to my case.

He argues my Value but drops the warrants under it more specifically the warrant that states the aff already inherently vales Quality Ed. and how important a quality ed. is. Furthermore an education encompasses justice because education teaches its "principles" adopting my opponents definition.

As for my Value Criterion. It NEVER has to relate to the resolution it relates to my Value which relates to the resolution if he believes his criterion relates to the resolution he has the thought wrong and you must look to my case.

He argues my contention but fails to address my cards silence is consent he agrees that they teach educational standards and this is preferable and so forth. thus he can no longer argue my contention nor do any of his arguments apply

His argument on my second contention is Void considering he dropped Cards on the first that say the opposite. For all these reasons and more I Urge a Negative Ballot.
Debate Round No. 2
Demitri

Pro

My opponent is not very clear on what he is trying to say, so I would like to ask him politely if he could be a little clearer.

Ok, so in this round, I will begin by defending my case, then moving onto attacking my opponents.

My opponent states that I have dropped many arguments, but I have not. He is just misinterpreting everything.

My opponent basically says that people aren't due rights. But that is not true. People are born with three inalienable rights: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, stated in our own constitution. So OF COURSE we have rights.

Moving to my VC, my opponent says that my VC cannot be upheld as kids with special needs are being held to the same standard as kids with a 4.5 GPA. My opponent has clearly misinterpreted my VC. My VC is maximizing educational equality, which means allowing all students to have a more equal chance at education. This works for my side because taking out exit exams will maximize educational standards. Many students are at a disadvantage with exit exams, such as minorities, as I stated in my second contention.

My opponent says I dropped his attack on my first contention, but there WAS NO ORIGINAL ATTACK on my first contention, so he was not allowed to bring it up again. But I will still address his argument, showing that he wasn't supposed to bring it up again, but I am still able to provide arguments refuting his. He states that exit exams do not measure intelligence but basic educational standards. HE HAS NOT EVIDENCE TO BACK THIS UP. Plus, as I said earlier, we need more than just the basic educational standards to survive in the real world. I have brought this point up numorous times in the debate, but he still has not directly addressed it. As I said in my AC, we need more sophisticated skills, and the ones being measured on the exit exams just aren't enough. Therefore, they prove to be useless.

With his address on my second contention, he states that if we remove exit exams, high school dropouts will not be eliminated. I never said that high school dropouts will be eliminated. I only said that the number of dropouts will be reduced, as students are intimidated by the exit exams. He also does not have evidence to back himself up. He states that he doesn't need evidence as this is a "solvency argument", but you need evidence for any kind of argument. Clearly, my opponent does not have evidence and is just trying to avoid this.

My opponent states that I did not address his attack on my third contention, but I did. I will mention everything again, to clarify for my opponent, as he clearly did not understand. He says that "if they cannot pass this ext exam, they don't pass high school". I think by this he meant that if they don't pass the exit exams, they wouldn't have been able to pass high school anyway. Well, doesn't he just prove that the exit exams are redudant and that we don't need them. Plus, many people have trouble taking exit exams, and high stake tests in general. The exit exams create stress in students, which makes it harder for them to get higher scores. If we were just looking at regular end-of-course exams or regular tests in general, they aren't so high stake, so people get less stressed out and do better.

Now moving onto my opponent's case...

My opponent drops my argument on his value, only stating that the warrant states that the AFF side already values quality education. But in his NC, he states that the "resolution" already values quality education. I think he mis-typed it, so I will address the second one. The resolution values quality education, so in order to have quality education, you need justice to provide it. It would only be "just" if we all had an equal chance at education. Therefore, you need my value to acheive his value.

My opponent's VC is accountability. But he did not address my previous agrument, so I'm going to extend that argument across the flow. You cannot hold teachers, schools, or facilities accountable based on ONE SIMPLE TEST. This one test cannot determine if it is "good" or "bad". It's one test, and doesn't show anything.

My opponent says I do not address his cards, but I have. Again, there is no point in testing students if they have the basic skills, as they have already been taught these skills in regular classes. He states that students are being tested on 8th grade English and 9th grade math, so when they're in tenth grade and such, shouldn't they have mastered these "basic" skills, and don't they need more than that to be able to succeed in society? I do agree that exit exams teach basic eduational standards, but I never said this was "preferable". I said that this wasn't enough, and that the exit exams are useless.

My opponent does not address my attack on his second contention, saying that I "dropped" his cards on the first contention that say the opposite, but what he says in his first contention has nothing to do with what he states in his second contention. Therefore, he is avoiding my argument, so has inherently dropped it. He cannot bring it up again in his next speech.

For all these reasons, I strongly urge an affirmation in today's round. =)
LDdebaterCG

Con

OK so going down the flow.

My opponents Defn of Justice as i stated and he never addressed. Never states that these people are due rights more that the principle of giving rights in the practical worlds rights are better than the "Principle as he never addressed this argument.

On his VC we give a better interpretation as to where a student stands on the basic educational spectrum. thus it would be better to maximize education with these exams.

I stated "His contention......." in the 1st speech and again in the 2nd speech you can look at the records to confirm i never dropped his 1st contention I have several Cards to back it up as my opponent stated i didnt. Look at my speech i have cards. and evidence. In the real world we need to know standards and furthermore he dropped the argument about how someone who didnt pass this test had no way of passing the 12th grade.

2nd contention he never fully addresses solvency and buecause he cannot solve for dropouts his argument cannot be looked at. Exit exams test on basic 9th and 8th grade standards the students would not have made it to the 10th grade to take the test if they didnt know these standards

3rd contention again i have taken the test in California and the 1st Question was "What is -5+6" it is easy it doesnt create stress and it is neccisary to discren wether or not our students are learning.

Now onto my case........

My oponent NEVER addresses my THIRD WARRANT IN THE 1NC. That the AFF inherently Values Quality Ed. and Quality Ed. encompasses justice, as we teach the principle of justice in several courses.

VC key word SIMPLE my opponent uses this word. Yes they are simple he attacks none of my cards that say the net results measure schools thus by measuring schools we hold teachers and facilities accountable contrary to what my opponent says.

Again on my 1st contention he never addressed my cards so he agrees we can use exit exams to measure schools teachers. so if he says they should have "mastered these skills" then they do not contribute to dropouts.

2nd Contention my opponent needs to read a general debate handbook i addressed his arguments by using cards he dropped ignore everytime he used the word "dropped" as he cannot know the meaning of this word as he probably barely read my 1NC. so again dropped cards and warrants are proving my case true he should not have been able to debate my case last round but he did regardless. he really needs to know what the word "dropped" means.

For all these reasons and more i urge a negative ballot.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Sniperjake1994 7 years ago
Sniperjake1994
I can see you're still debating on this website Connor. This is great to try out a new case.

-A.Tang
Posted by Demitri 7 years ago
Demitri
I did. Try to use better grammer and punctuation, as I wasn't able to understand it clearly. =) And I'm a girl...
Posted by LDdebaterCG 7 years ago
LDdebaterCG
Dude read my NC more carefully.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Sniperjake1994 6 years ago
Sniperjake1994
DemitriLDdebaterCGTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by savvyboy781 6 years ago
savvyboy781
DemitriLDdebaterCGTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by LDdebaterCG 7 years ago
LDdebaterCG
DemitriLDdebaterCGTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by newguy 7 years ago
newguy
DemitriLDdebaterCGTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
DemitriLDdebaterCGTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70