The Instigator
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The Contender
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13 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,728 times Debate No: 9235
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




LD style

Ought: Used to indicate moral obligation or duty

Standardized exit exams: A test that if passed, graduates you from high school.

Graduate: To advance in a new level of skill, or achievement.

Observation 1: Too much government is bad.
Too much government is never good. The great society act is one example, on how government intervention, harms the systems it is trying to help. The act tried to help, education, Medicare, and Medicaid. 1) The Great society act created the public schools we have today, that are atrocious. The act gave the schools 1 billion dollars to reform, but the schools have wasted that money, and the chance of a good system. The government failed to help with education. 2) The Government lists Medicare as a "high-risk" government program in need of reform, in part because of its vulnerability to fraud and partly because of its long-term financial problems. Ronald Reagan states, "If you don't stop Medicare and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free. George H.W. Bush states, "Described Medicare in 1964 as "socialized medicine." The government made a bad system. This is why we can't have standardized tests because it all stems from the failures of the great society. So we look at the past to predict the future.

Valued Premise: Quality Education,
The only way public schools in the United States will have quality education is by keeping government standards and regulations out. They have already corrupted the public school system, and by implementing standardized test, the government is taking more control, and telling the students what is important to learn, so the students can't make choices for themselves. There are two impacts, 1), by negating the resolution you are letting the government take more control of the public schools when they have already destroyed them. 2), By setting the standardized test as the standard the government is telling the students what is important to learn, therefore not letting the students make the own choices.

Valued Criterion: Freedom from government standards, and regulations in education,
The United States government has already corrupted the public school systems, and essentially destroyed the youth of America. By voting negative the government is going to continue to make the standard and corrupt the schools more. Joe Turtel a respected writer states: "One reason public schools get away with educational failure, year after year, is because they are run by left-leaning politicians and school officials who passionately believe that government should control your children's mind, values, and future." This is saying that the public schools control the youth of America, and by adopting standardized tests, this will worsen." Also Ronald Reagan who is a much respected former president that did many things for America stated, "Governments duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."

Contention 1: Failures will continue to happen with the standardized tests.
In schools, teachers teach the students what will be on the oncoming test, if we negate, the teacher will teach the standardized test. There will be no change in failures, because the teacher has failed to teach the regular class, and why would he/she, be able to teach the standardized test adequately? There would still be many failures, and the government would eventually lower the standard of the test, making it just as easy to pass high school, thus going back to where they started. Impacts: 1), by negating we are just simply going to reduce the standard because there will be failures, just as there are now.

Sub-point A: The public school system is awful.
According to Melissa Kelly who was appointed to in 2001 to represent district 9 which covers a portion of Baltimore county, Maryland states, "In Florida, every school earns a 'grade' based not only on these test scores, but also on other issues such as attendance. Schools which make A's get extra funding. Schools which receive F's have one year to 'shape up before the school gets less funding." These public schools can cut corners to give A's to get funding. These schools are run by the government, and the government is letting this happen under their watch, and they can not run the public school systems this way any longer.

Sub-point B: NCTM
The NCTM is against the standardized testing, they are very well respected in the math, and learning world. They state, "Much class time is spent on reviewing and testing, and thus there is less time for the regular curriculum. As the number of assessments grow, the time for teaching decreases." Actually because of the standardized tests there will be less time for teaching regular curriculum, and the students will be learning less.

Contention 2: The United States needs to adopt another type of system,
According to the fair test website, the national website for open and fair testing they state," The U.S. is the only economically advanced nation to rely heavily on multiple-choice tests. Other nations use performance-based assessment where students are evaluated on the basis of real work such as essays, projects and activities. Ironically, because these nations do not focus on teaching to multiple choice tests, they even score higher than U.S. students on those kinds of tests." Other nations use these types of methods that require individual thinking and becoming independent and thinking for themselves. Finland teenagers are among the smartest in the world, and they have very little standardized testing. The public schools make sure that the teachers are well trained and responsible. And instead of pushing kids to GT, they help with the struggling students. Every teacher has a master degree, and the government gives them more freedom. The Finland dropout rate is 4% to US's 25. We need to adopt Finland's method.

Contention 3: Standardized exit exams don't add any value to high school diplomas. These tests don't promote knowledge, creativity, or the skills and habits needed for success in college and the workforce. Many college professors and employers and employers say that high school graduates 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. Exit exams do not test most of these important qualities, so colleges and employers don't have much value for test scores. This graduation requirement may deny a diploma to someone with all the skills needed in college and the workforce because they may not be able to demonstrate ability on a standardized test.


Greetings Dan1 I hope to have a good debate.

I agree with the definitions.

My negations:

C1. Moral obligation- My opponent has worded the resolution, and used a definition of "Ought" that holds the resolution to a moral obligation. Meaning he is arguing that we are morally obligated to remove the necessity to pass exit exams in order to graduate. Now, in order for my opponent to uphold the resolution, he must do the following:

1. Prove his system of morality that obligates us to remove the necessity to pass exit exams in order to graduate.
2. Prove that removing the necessity to pass exit exams will be beneficial.

C2: The will to learn- My opponent has suggested that if we remove the exit exams, drop-out rates and lower grades would decrease. This would seem quite obvious however, this is not necessarily a good thing. While the current rules apply, you must pass the exam to graduate. This is giving students a motive to study, and make sure that they are learning the material. Without the test, there is no will to learn the material.

My opponents arguments:

C1: Teachers teach the class, which is correlated with the test. The test tests them on things they need to know, thus the reason they teach the class that way.

Sub-point A contention: This has no bearing on whether we are morally obligated to remove the tests or not.

Sub-point B contention: Whether they are highly respected or not does not make it an obligation to do what they want, the test is based on the curriculum making that point irrelevant. Prove that they will be learning less.

C2: Maybe we should, they still have standardized testing. Thank you for conceding the debate right there.

C3: Prove it.


My opponent suggested that we adopt Finland's system which possesses standardized tests, I'm not quite sure how to take this. I await my opponents response to my arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, I need practice. :)

I wanted to debate this LD style, and my opponent does not have any values, and he does not accept mine so.


C1: His argument makes no sense, with all due respect. There are many failures in the public school system, so if they teach the kids the test, they are still going to fail. Plus the government after many failures the government will lower the standard of the test.

SBA: This is important because it shows that our system is awful, and we need to adopt Finland's method of teaching teenagers.

C2: My opponent does not understand, we are debating on exit exams, not nation required exams that Finland schools have to take. Extend this point across the board.

C3:Many college professors and employers and employers say that high school graduates 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 persistenc



Thank you for the timely response.

My opponent has disregarded my arguments. He has still not proven, nor attempted to prove that we are morally obligated to remove the exit exams. He has also not proven the system of morality in which we are required to remove the exams. Extent this argument.

He has not proven how removing the exams is any more beneficial then having them (Why would they still even try to learn if there was no exam to motivate them to learn the material) I.e argument "The will to learn"

C.1: This does not show why we are morally obligated to remove them. I must point out that my opponent predicts that we will lower the standard of the test, and this is worse then removing the test altogether? You must prove how abolishing the test is better than lowering the standard of the test.

C2: You are debating that The united states national tests should be abolished, therefore because Finland "has to take the test" does not make your case, we also "Have to take" our exit exams.

C3: This shows nothing more than that we should change the test to better accommodate the students future, which i agree with. But you are debating that we should remove it altogether.

The government's power has no bearing on this debate, if this point was accurate then the government should have no power over anything (If this is the case he must prove why) Or if it is not related like i suggest, he must prove why removing this governmental power is better than removing other governmental powers.


My opponent still has not proven why we are morally obligated to remove the tests, nor proven his system of morality. He has not mentioned why the students will want to learn the material if there is going to be nothing to prove their knowledge on. He has also not proven why it would be beneficial to remove the tests in any way.

Debate Round No. 2


dan1 forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited his last, and probably most important round of the debate.


My opponent has rambled about how to much government is bad but has not differentiated what power the government should and shouldn't have. He did not prove why we are morally obligated to remove the necessity for the test, like his resolution and definitions required. He has not proven how it would be beneficial.

Basically...All points extended. I must now thank my opponent for the debate, and hope that whatever has swayed him from completing the debate is nothing unhealthy.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by shneezers 8 years ago
i hope the aff doesn't run this in a live debate
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
"Too much government is bad."

Isn't that the definition of "too much?"
Posted by dan1 8 years ago
Finland's standardized test are not exit exams which we are debating, they are national required in the middle of the year. That doesn't matter.
Posted by ZT 8 years ago
Aff should have defined standardized test as something other than any test needed to graduate-- this allows the Neg to propose very flexible tests and steals a lot of aff ground.

Also, even if the current system sucks, Aff needs to do more to prove why this is specifically, and why testing makes these problems first. "Government fails in general" is kind of weak.
Posted by Tyunglebo 8 years ago
This topic, as presented, is not debatable in any intelligent manner, because it is rambling, unspecific, unsupported, (except by quotations of questionable value and applicability), and overall uncertain of what thesis it is trying to present.

A bunch of quotations from ultra-right wing leaders...others from those labeled as "respected authors", when no such objective criteria for that comment exists, weasel words, and endless point, sub-point, and other digressions into topics unrelated to the stated premise of this "argument" make the entire thing too poorly formed to be taken seriously in this form.

Is this about a standardized test? The Public school system? Medicare? Or Ronald Reagan worship?
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Vote Placed by numbany 7 years ago
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