Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardize
Debate Rounds (3)
Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
Ought is used to express appropriateness (Merriam Webster online). Thus any evaluation of the resolution must analyze the practical value of standardized exit exams and their appropriateness to achieve the goals of the value.
The resolution proposes a policy. Thus, like all policy decisions, standardized exit exams must be evaluated based on their empirical, real-world impact. This is true because policy decisions are not and should not be made without considering the impact on society at large. This is why policy makers, especially educators, use pilot programs before implementing changes.
I value societal welfare. The end goal of education is to make society and its members productive, healthy and competitive. The best educated societies are also the most prosperous.
In order to achieve the value of societal welfare I offer the criterion of ensuring a competitive workforce. In order for the U.S. to compete globally, we need to ensure our future workforce has the education necessary to tackle the major challenges and new technologies that will drive our economy for the next 100 years. A comprehensive education is critical for a strong workforce, a strong economy, and a prosperous society.
Contention 1: Standardized Exit exams necessarily tie the success of the student to the success of the schools, thus teachers have an incentive to teach to the test rather than teach a more comprehensive skill set. Catherine Horn explains,
"[The] important knowledge and skill set [supposedly focus on by standardized tests], often becomes myopically defined as a narrow, test-defined set of skills. Students focus on mastering only those competencies measured on the exam to the exclusion of others that may be educationally important but untested. Teachers foster those efforts by teaching to the content and tradition of the test. As empirical evidence suggests, increased high-stakes test scores do not equate to increased learning."
This is problematic because the 21st Century economy requires more than the basic skills assessed by standardized exit exams, leading to an underprepared workforce. Horn continues,
"Workers in the emerging labor market will be required to have far more than the basic skills of reading, writing, and math. The recurring skills needed for success in the new millennium also include proficiencies in technology, communication, problem-solving, and working with others. At best, the high-stakes tests are ensuring proficiency in only a subset of skills. At worst, the assessments may be leading to the under-preparation of students for the 21st century workforce. Given that research suggests content measured on high-stakes tests ultimately defines the curriculum, valuable skills may be lost because they are not tested and therefore not taught."
A well-educated workforce is key to economic competitiveness. Dennis Jones of the National Center for Higher Education Management System explains:
"The American way of life is fundamentally dependent on economic competitiveness. strong economies are characterized by an abundance of well-paying jobs; and overwhelmingly, well-paying jobs are held by individuals who have knowledge and skills obtained through education. Where physical capital drives industrial economies, human capital drives economies in the information age."
Because standardized exit exams undermine America's workforce, they ought not be required to graduate.
Contention Two: Standardized exit exams disproportionately harm minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. These poverty entrenching exams impact America's workforce, which has an overall negative impact on American societal and economic welfare.
Standardized graduation exit exams increase drop out rates, especially among poor and minority students. G.J. Paulson explains,
"One of the most consistent concerns associated with high school graduation exams is that failing the test, or even fear of failing the test, would convince some students to drop out of high school and not graduate. Performance on high stakes tests, has been found to be directly related to the socioeconomic status of students. with lower SES students earning lower scores. Lower achieving students were 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school. In addition, African American and Hispanic students consistently experience significantly higher dropout rates."
"While 82% of all White students have met the testing requirements necessary for graduation, only 41% of Hispanics and 48% of African Americans have met the same goal."
Additionally, standardized exit exams lower SAT scores, especially among lower SES students. Paulson argues:
"The requirement of a high school graduation examination had a significant negative impact on individual SAT scores. Further exploration of this effect revealed that all students without a graduation examination requirement significantly outperformed those student with the graduation requirement on the SAT. Colleges report their pools of minority applicants are being reduced by high school graduation exam requirements. High school graduation exam[s] may still be a detriment to higher education.
A nondiversified workforce harms the United States' overall competitiveness in the global marketplace, impacting directly to societal welfare. Jones furthers:
"The college attainment levels of African-Americans and Hispanics fall far below those required for the U.S. to remain competitive – and these are by far the fastest-growing groups among the country's young adult population. Without much greater success in educating students of color, the U.S. could fall into the ranks of second-class economic powers."
The US must remain economically competitive to ensure societal welfare, thus I affirm.
CI) standardized exit exams create effective standards.
First, national standards are necessary to avoid a race to the bottom between districts graduation records. Betts writes: Decentralization would likely lead to inefficiently low standards. Suppose each district's non-college bound graduates are pooled to some extent with graduates of other districts in the labor market. Employers do not distinguish graduates of any district that chooses a different standard. The reward to raising standards in any given district is thus attenuated. The district's graduates would be of higher quality, but would not be fully identified as such, and so would only reap some of the benefits; the rest of the gains would spill over to graduates of other districts, with whom they are pooled in the labor market. As a result of this "externality", local standard-setters have an incentive to free ride on the standards of other districts, establishing cutoffs that are too low to maximize their collective welfare. A centralized standard-setter would avoid this problem. Thus, no standards would allow for no cutoff of any educational requirements and districts ultimately cannot guarantee welfare. Also, a race to the bottom would be established because:
1.Districts would want to to maximize the amount of people they have in the work force to gain money, but individuals would ultimately not prosper because they have not been educated because the educational requirements of their districts are so minute.
2.Schools reputation or funding can be primarily based upon how many students graduate, i.e. if a school only graduated 10% of their students this would reflect negatively on the school and the school may receive lower funding. Thus, schools will lower the quality of education in favor of lowering the quality of standards.
A)The aff must specify an alternative requirement for graduation in the AC.
B)The aff did not specify an alternative
1)Clash- I have no basis to attack the aff if they don't specify an alternative because there is no stable aff world, because they never specify the type of standardized exit exam they are rejecting. Different schools have different requirements, i.e. differing numbers of years of science and days in attendance are required, so I have no world to attack absent specification. Also, without some specific advocacy, they cant prove what they are saying is comparatively better than the negative world so they are not meeting their textual burdens to affirm. This means the aff can't claim to be implicitly using the status quo minus tests because there is no distinct status quo to take tests from. The NC can't show tests provide MORE equal evaluation without an alternative to compare. Clash is key to fairness because if I can't contest arguments because of an arbitrary advantage I can never defeat my opponent, making this round infinitely unfair.
2)Moving target- if the aff does not specify an alternative they can co-opt any of my advantages to testing by advocating an alt in the 1ar that has the same benefits. By not specifying an alt they have the ability to claim that the generic notion of testing doesn't have any of the disadvantages I am claiming in my NR. Furthermore, this shifting nature allows them to co-opt all of my benefits because they never have a stable advocacy where there is a clear delineation of what their position is, meaning they can make new links and say some of my benefits are theirs in their next speech. Don't let them say I wouldn't have specified in the 1AR because I can't know that so I am forced to either invest time in theory or let myself be abused, so the potential abuse is still a voting issue. Whether or not they attend for shifting to happen, with out a specific affirmative alternative some shift is inevitable. If there is any debate on the nc, because obviously they have to test the uniqueness of the disadvantages the negative is running, then they would have to shift their advocacy because any nit is impossible to do that without shifting unless there is an alternative because any uniqueness would lead to a shift, because there would be some sort of specification for uniqueness, but to avoid that debate you need to have a specification in the ac, this is any example for why this interpretation is better for both sides. Being a moving target is unfair because I never have the ability in round to prep and create a strategy that will allow me to win because my opponent can just change what their position is rendering my in round prep and strategy useless, meaning I would not be able to form a stable advocacy against them, making the round unfair.
3)Ground: the aff can always run generic disads but I cannot challenge the uniqueness of the disads because they do not have a specific aff world to check uniqueness against, for example it is unfair because kids have met other requirements to graduate but standardized tests arbitrarily stop graduation, but that could be true of any individual requirement, meaning I cannot question the uniqueness of the disads unless they have specified what the requirements look like. Thus in order to have fair ground I must have other arguments to be able to make to test the uniqueness of their claims. I cant have this ground when they don't specify this nc because I don't know what other requirements that are put on the children look like. Ground is key to fairness, because in order for debaters to equally be able to make arguments, they must have arguments to choose from. By limiting my ground my opponent is skewing my ability to make arguments thus creating an unequal playing field making the round unfair because he has an arbitrary advantage over myself. Furthermore, the text of the resolution evaluates graduation requirements, meaning high schools need some way to determine graduation. Though, requirements are comparative. Certain tests are adopted because certain schools felt certain requirements didn't ensure students knew the material as well, thus to prove the res true the aff must compare an alt to testing.
4)Fairness precedes substance because if the substantive debate is unfair it cant be evaluated as one side is advantaged. And is a voting issue because debate is a competitive activity premised on equal opportunity to win so rules ensuring that must be enforced.
Before starting the 1AR, I will give a brief prelude. Firstly, when there is an EXTEND phrase at the end of certain segments of the speech, that means to basically give me a point for winning on that argument, or part of the round.
My opponent values education and presents a criterion of establishing effective standards. While I respect my opponent's pair of value/criterion, I will now prove why he cannot use effective standards to achieve this by refuting his first and only contention.
C1) Tests create effective standards
Firstly, he claims that national standards are essential to avoid a race to the bottom between the graduation rates of various districts. After that, he presents evidence by Betts to warrant his claim. The warrant is analytical in describing atrocities of not having exit exams. The warrant essentially says that through some odd circular system, 2 things will happen. 1. Districts would bring people into the workforce for monetary goals but non-educated workers would not prosper. 2. School funding can be based upon how qualitative graduation rates are.
To rebut this entire argument, what he says in his first and only contention entirely helps me. His claim that exit exams set effective standards is not true by his criteria of creating the effective standards in the first place. Grubb writes:
"Overall, states are caught in an inescapable dilemma. If they set exit exam standards high, incorporating 11th and 12th grade material, then pass rates will be low and states will have to confront the expensive and difficult challenge of helping all students meet high standards, throughout the middle and even elementary school years. If they set standards low, then most students will pass, and states can hope that short remedial programs at the last minute will pull most of the remaining students through. But this tactic defeats the purpose of exit exams, since it neither maintains high standards nor provides low-performing students with powerful educational experiences."
In other words, his first contention is completely scratched out and irrelevant because although he tries to set effective, or high, standards, his plan fires back in reverse. If we try to set effective standards, the standards are always going to be either really high or really low. Therefore, he cannot use his criteria to achieve his value of education. (EXTEND Contention and Value/Criterion Rebuttal)
A) Aff needs alt.
I do not understand why the Affirmative needs to provide an alt. requirement to graduation. My opponent has yet to prove why I need to do this. My job is simply to prove the resolution true and say why public high school students in the united states ought not be required to pass exit exams to graduate. If there was any reason I had to provide an alternative, then he should have said why.
However, just for the sake of constructing rebuttals, I will provide an alternative. The alternative would be to judge graduation based on grades, rather than exams. All students simply need to do is pass all their classes and they will be able to graduate. However, this does not necessarily mean they are bound to attend college the next year. (EXTEND)
B) Aff didn't give an alternative.
Once again, the point is that I did not need an alternative because he has not basis to present such a claim. (EXTEND Alternative Rebuttal)
1) Clash: My opponent now claims that I have to provide an alternative because my world is not stable. He claims that my world is unstable because I do not specify the type of standardized exit exam that I am arguing in favor of. However, I suggest to the voters and to my opponent to look at the resolution. It says that standardized exit exams should not be required for graduation. Because the resolution does not specify that a certain type of exit exams must be discussd, I do not have to give an example of an exit exam, but rather talk about exit exams in general. (EXTEND Clash Rebuttal)
2) Moving Target: Once again, my opponent criticizes that I do not have an alternative and therefore, it is unfair. However, the problem this time with not having an alternative is that I can claim that any of the disadvantages he presents of testing are actually nonexistent. However, since he believes that he is presenting disadvantages of testing, he is actually agreeing with my side of the round since I am arguing that testing via exit exams is bad. Since he agrees with my point, is therefore supporting my side of the resolution. (EXTEND Moving Target Rebuttal)
3) Ground: This part of his theory off case is absolutely useless. He says that he is unable to challenge the uniqueness of possible disadvantages that I present. He backs this up by saying that I have not clearly defined what the requirements of children are to graduate. However, this claim does not at all fully say why uniqueness cannot be challenged in Affirmative disadvantages. If he wants to challenge uniqueness, he should provide his own requirements and therefore, we can debate back and forth about those. Instead, my opponent is simply giving up on trying to rebuttal. (EXTEND Ground Rebuttal)
4) Fairness: This is fully redundant as I have already proven why I am not advantaged. (EXTEND Fairness Rebuttal/Entire OFF Case)
My opponent, in his NC/1NR did not at all say anything about my case. Instead, he decided to simply run theory arguments to say that I was being abusive. During his speech on theory, he did not exclusively bring up any of my arguments whether they be claims, warrants, or impacts. Since I have successfully rebutted his theory arguments, he has essentially dropped my whole AC which means he agrees with all my arguments. As we can see, this round is already over since I have scratched out all of his points. And if he tries to bring up new arguments in his next speech, the 2NR, those arguments do not count. He is merely allowed to defend his case. (EXTEND Aff Case)
Thanks and I wish him good luck in his next round in trying to get voters.
A) My opponent claims that I give no reason why he needs an alternative to testing. However, this is very false. I explain that he needs to specify an alternative to create clash, prevent him from being a moving target, and prevent him from skewing ground. My opponent then continues to provide an alternative, however he needed to do so in the AR, because the abuse had already happened. Had he specified an alternative in the AC, I wouldn't have had to invest so much time in theory.
B) It is still true that my opponent provided no alternative in the AC.
1) Clash: The main point of this argument is that my opponent must provide an alternative in order for there to be clash. "Without some specific advocacy, they cant prove what they are saying is comparatively better than the negative world so they are not meeting their textual burdens to affirm. This means the aff can't claim to be implicitly using the status quo minus tests because there is no distinct status quo to take tests from. The NC can't show tests provide MORE equal evaluation without an alternative to compare." This explains that in order for the Aff to win the Aff world must be comparatively better that the neg world.
In the Neg world we have exit exams to measure student learning. However, in the Aff world we don't know how we are measuring students learning, thus we can't actually know if it is better than exit exams (Remember the alt specified in the 1AR doesn't count because it was not originally presented in the AC)
2) Moving Target: Here, my opponent claims that I am presenting a disadvantage of testing and am agreeing with the AFF. However, I present a disadvantage of a world WITHOUT testing. The problem is that without specifying in the AC, my opponent can claim (In the 1AR) that disadvantages won't occur because an alternative is in place that solves for them. This means that no matter what argument I make, my opponent would be able to make a response to my arguments by simply specifying an Alt. that I can't refute without making a new argument. As I said before, even if he never intended to do this, potential abuse is still a voter, because i have to run theory to prevent it from happening.
3) Ground: This part of my theory is not useless. First, for clarification, uniqueness is when an advantage or disadvantage only occurs on one side of the debate. If an argument is non-unique, then it occurs in both worlds. Without an alternative, I can't know whether or not the disadvantages my opponent claims of exit exams are unique to the negative world. Further, my opponent claims that I should state the requirements to graduate. What my opponent is saying is that it is the negative's job to come up with an alternative to replace exit exams in the aff world (In other words I have to do work for the aff). What my opponent fails to understand is that the requirement in the Neg world is Exit Exams and that as the AFF he must provide his own requirements in the AC so that we can see the unique advantages and disadvantages to each side of the debate and compare them. Thus, the debate is unfair because i cannot see the advantages and disadvantages of the aff world, but my opponent knows the advantages and disadvantages of the neg world.
4) Fairness: Fairness precedes substance because if the substantive debate is unfair it cant be evaluated as one side is advantaged. And is a voting issue because debate is a competitive activity premised on equal opportunity to win so rules ensuring that must be enforced. It is clear that my opponent is being unfair by not specifying an alt, thus you will negate. (Reminder in LD theory comes before all other args, thus if I win theory i win the debate regardless of who wins the substance debate.)
Standards- Extend my value and criterion, my opponent doesn't show why his value/criterion are better, nor does he prove why my value/criterion are flawed with respect to the resolution. Merely claiming that I don't meet my value/criterion doesn't prove that it is not the proper value/criterion for the round. Because my opponent doesn't link his contentions into my standards (the standards in this round) he can gain no offense from the AC; disregard all of my opponents contention level arguments.
C1) My opponent completely misunderstands and mishandles my contention. The argument in the Betts card is that without a standardized exit exam, any each school will set its own standards for graduation. However, employers will only see students as graduates or non-graduates. If one school has a lower graduation rate than another, then that reflects poorly on the school. To raise the graduation rate the school will lower its standards. Thus creating a race to the bottom. With exit exams, all schools have the same standards to reach and thus have to raise there own standards in order to increase the graduation rate.
The flaw in the Grubb card is that it only gives two options really high standards or really low standards for the exam. However, it is only logical that there is a point somewhere between where the standard is neither too high nor too low.
So here are the voters:
1) Theory- my opponent is undermining the fairness of debate by preventing clash, being a moving target, and skewing ground.
2) Exit exams prevent a race to the bottom
3) Betts provides offense off the NC, while the AC has no offense because he concedes my standard and drops his own.
A. My opponent claims that I made a false accusation that he did not say why I needed to provide an alternative. I urge the voters to keep in mind throughout this speech that my objective is simply to affirm the resolution and say that students should not take exit exams for graduation. The resolution's analysis does not call for an alternative, only to prove that the exit exams are bad.
He goes on to say that although, "My opponent then continues to provide an alternative, however he needed to do so in the AR." Essentially, he concedes this point by saying that I had to provide an alternative in the 1AR which I did and agrees it is perfectly permissible. For reference, please look at the A point of the 2NR. (EXTEND)
B. I did not provide an alternative argument in the 1AR but this is redundant as he already said it was okay to give an alternative in the 1AR.
1. Clash: Here, my opponent once again makes the assumption that I need to provide an alternative for the purpose of having the ability to compare the Affirmative world to the Negative World. He now makes the claim that I could only provide an alternative in the AC. However, you can disregard this because he already said in Point A that I needed to specify in the 1AR and you can find this reference in the previous speech. Also, he said that I need to provide this alternative to be comparatively better. However, we can still look to other factors in the round as to which side is better, such as who better upholds their value and criterion or structure of argumentation (or any other categories of evaluation).
2. Moving Target: It is true that I provided an alternative, once again, in the 1AR. He already claimed in the beginning of his speech that this was permissible. He also addressed the issue that if he presented disadvantages, I could simply repudiate the disadvantages because I could provide an alternative. Once again, even if I did not provide an alternative to graduation, keep in mind that I would still be winning because I am still affirming what the resolution says, regardless of whether I provide an alternative to graduation.
3. Ground: What my opponent said in his 2NR speech is a complete misinterpretation. He believes that I am telling him to do my work for me by providing an alternative. However, that is not what I said at all. Refer back to the 1AR about Ground. I said that he should provide his own REQUIREMENTS, not alternatives, for the standardized exit exams. So you should completely disregard what he said in the 2NR.
4. Fairness: Fairness does not come into play anymore. The debate round was fair from the beginning because he could have just simply argued in favor of exit exams and why they are better than a world without exit exams. I did not need to provide an alternative so that he could accomplish that objective.
In all, my opponent, I believe, has essentially argued throughout this debate round that we should entirely not debate this resolution. This is true because if another Affirmative speaker went against my current opponent in a different round and did not provide an alternative, then he would run theory again. But because I have once again proven why his theory arguments are not sufficient, I win on the theory part of this round.
My opponent says that even though the criterion does not achieve the value, it is not good enough to say that the pair is not suitable for the round. Once more, my opponent corners himself in the round. If you cannot achieve you value using the criterion, it is most definitely not suitable for the round because there is no longer purpose to having the value if you cannot achieve it with the criterion.
He goes on to say that I cannot link my contentions into his, so I cannot gain offense. However, this is a new argument in the second rebuttal. This is against LD rules so completely disregard this rebuttal and penalize him for it. He did not respond to my case in the first rebuttal and can therefore, not respond in the second.
C1: My opponent clarifies the Betts card and then says that my newest card, by Grubbs, is flawed because it sets the standards either high or low. He then addresses that it is only logical that there is a place in the middle where the standard is not too high or too low. But I ask my opponent now as to how does he know this? When has there been an empirical example to justify this point there the standards are downright straight in the middle. Because he cannot justify this, disregard his first contention.
Once again, my opponent has dropped my whole case and has not made any rebuttals to it. Although he tried to argue against my contention arguments in the last speech, that was a new argument which was against LD Rules. Because I have shot down all of the theory arguments that he has made, he has no more offense to gain with his Theory or NC. In addition, he did not respond at all to my case and so it is clear who the winner of the round is.
1. Theory: I have already proven why my opponent has lost in theory. If you need clarification for the theory debate, look at the top of the speech under theory and in any other of my speeches or his.
2. Preventing a race to the bottom: I have already responded to this as well. See under NC in this speech or any other ones that I made.
3. Betts: I have rebutted against this argument already in this speech and the 1AR and it still stands. He says I conceded his standard and I have dropped my own, however that is also a new argument so you can disregard that. Either way, I never dropped his standard if you look at the 1AR and there is no way I can drop my own standard in LD.
Overall, because I have successfully justified my own positions and that my opponent has not provided enough argumentation to win this round, I see no other reason to not vote Affirmative. And for all these reasons, I strongly urge that you vote Affirmative. Thank you and I wish my opponent good luck in getting votes. :-)
1) "My opponent then continues to provide an alternative, however he needed to do so in the AR, because the abuse had already happened. Had he specified an alternative in the AC, I wouldn't have had to invest so much time in theory." It is obvious that where a wrote AR it the first sentence, I meant AC. If you read my last argument, I later state "(Remember the alt specified in the 1AR doesn't count because it was not originally presented in the AC)." As well as other parts of my theory relying on this distinction. I had actually made that typo (AR instead of AC) a few times and must have missed that one when revising. I'm asking voters not to kill me on that, we've all made typos.
2) For those who don't know what theory is:
A theory argument is an argument that explains how one debater is violating a rule of debate or making the debate unfair in some way. This type of debate had four parts as seen in my off case.
a) interpretation -here all a debater does is give an interpretation of the rules or the resolution
b) violation- this is where a debater tell the judge (or voters) what his/her opponent has done wrong
c) standards- in this section the debater explains why the interpretation is necessary to have a fair debate and how it has been violated by his/her opponent
d) voters- here the debater tells the judge (or voters) why they should vote on theory. Usually this is either Fairness or Education.
3)For those unfamiliar with LD:
When evaluating in LD round it should be done in this order (it would be in the arguments if you don't see the term there it wasn't in this debate)- Theory, A priori/pre-standards arguments, then decide which value and which criterion to use for the round (the don't have to be from the same side of the debate you can mix and match), pick which debater better upholds the value through the criterion (using the value and criterion you chose)
I hope this was helpful, I know LD can get confusing. If you don't understand this or don't agree with it, feel free to vote as you would had I not posted this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by savvyboy781 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by LaLaLa 6 years ago
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