The Instigator
mr_Debater1993
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rross
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Resolved: School does not prepare students enough for the future

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
rross
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,889 times Debate No: 27398
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

mr_Debater1993

Con

I will show that school does prepare students enough for the future. Should you accept this debate the rules will be as follows:

1) Acceptance
2) Arguments/Rebuttal
3) Rebuttal/Arguments
4) Rebuttal/Arguments/Conclusion.
rross

Pro

Thank you for this debate, Mr Debater1993.

I accept! What an interesting topic.
Debate Round No. 1
mr_Debater1993

Con


In order to fully understand this debate, there are some key terms in the Resolution that needs to be defined and they are: “school” “prepare” “enough” and “future”


School: an institution for educating children. http://oxforddictionaries.com...


Prepare: make (something) ready for use or consideration. http://oxforddictionaries.com...


Enough: in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire. http://dictionary.reference.com...


Future: time that is to be or come hereafter. http://dictionary.reference.com...


Now the resolution can be restated as such:


“An institution for educating children does not make students ready for use or consideration in a degree that answers a purpose or satisfy a need or desire for the time that is to be or come hereafter.”


The first point I want to look at is that educating students is more than just teaching math, science, literature, arts etc. It takes in a wide range of things such as social graces and etiquette. When one examine the future which is said to be “time that is to be,” it can be ten minutes after now, one hour after now, one day after now, one week after now, one month after now, one year after now etc. Now when we say that an institution for educating students does make students ready for use or consideration the question that we must ask is, make them ready for use how? Or make them considerable for what? Now this question is broad and I am sure that there is no narrow and/or specific answer. When we look at enough which is to a degree that answers a purpose or satisfy a need or desire the question we ask is that what kind of purpose? Satisfy what kind of need or desire? The some institution has a wide range of things on the curriculum which caters for a wide range of things. Let us say that the desire or need is to bake a cake, sing a song, play a musical instrument, etc. How can we say that the school cannot make that student ready for use to a degree to that satisfy those needs? Because if the school cannot prepare them enough then we can say the school does not prepare them enough because those two statements are directly proportional. What if the regional educational sector of an educational system says that they are going to administer a test to all the schools in a particular region to evaluate students’ knowledge? Now in that scenario the need there is for the students to pass that test. Can we say that they school cannot make the students ready for use to a degree that they are able to pass the test which is to come, which is in the future? For if the school cannot prepare them then we can safely say that the school does not prepare students to a degree to satisfy that need. The thing is that the word “future” is not relating to anything in particular, therefore once a school can make a student ready for use or consideration to a degree to satisfy any need or desire in time to come. One can safely say that school does prepare students enough for the future.


rross

Pro

Imagine, Mr Debater1993, that you and I are in the Department of Education around a meeting table with a dozen or so bureaucrats. A woman is standing by a whiteboard. “School does not prepare students enough,” she says.

“Enough for what?” we ask.

“For the future.”

Well, of course for the future. What else are you going to prepare students for? People will say “for the future” in this context if they don’t have better or more specific answer. If they mean “for college” or “for the workforce” they will say so. Above all, they will say “for the future” if they’re obliged to implement a controversial new program and they’re a bit vague about its purpose. In my day, “for the future” meant computer skills. What does it mean nowadays? Some sort of group negotiation activity, perhaps, or learning Chinese.

The resolution could be “school does not prepare students enough” without any change in meaning.

While we’re speaking of definitions, I notice that you used Oxford Dictionaries for your first two definitions but then switched to dictionary.com for the latter two. I wonder why. Especially as the Oxford Dictionary definition of “enough” is superior:

enough (adverb): to the required degree or extent http://oxforddictionaries.com...

The dictionary.com definition, which talks of a purpose, need or desire in the singular, only confuses the issue.

Yes, it’s possible to state the resolution with reference to a single purpose. Let’s take parenthood as an example, since generation after generation of students leave school, become parents and find themselves woefully ill-prepared.

School does not prepare students enough for parenthood. That seems clear enough.

“..once a school can make a student ready for use or consideration to a degree to satisfy any need or desire in time to come. One can safely say that school does prepare students enough for the future.”

But of course some schools may indeed prepare some students for their future as parents. But is that enough? Hardly. All students need to be prepared.

As you implied in your response, it’s impossible for all schools to prepare all students for all possible futures. Therefore, it will always be true that school does not prepare students enough.

Debate Round No. 2
mr_Debater1993

Con


Rebuttal


For some reason I like this debate, it requires me to really cogitate and rationalize somewhat.


Before we go any further let us start with a scenario:


Let us say that you Ross are sharing some apples between me and a friend. Now you gave my friend three apple and as you are about to give him one more he said no, for three is enough for him. Now you gave me five and I ask if I can have two more because five is not enough for me.


Now is that scenario, what you may realize is that my friend says that two apples are ENOUGH for him and I say that five apples are not ENOUGH for me. What does that tell you? It tell you my opponent that the word “ENOUGH” is a relative term, meaning what is enough for me, may not be enough for you. That is why you don’t agree with the definition of enough that I put forward because to me that is enough and to you enough is another meaning hence there is no possible way we can come to a specific and/or general conclusion as to what enough is.


Now you said that “People will say “for the future” in this context if they don’t have better or more specific answer. If they mean “for college” or “for the workforce” they will say so.If you maintain that reasoning, don’t you believe that if the meant parenthood they would also say it? Because that is a very straight-forward and specific, isn’t it? Therefore, “the future” is broad and I maintain the point that the term “future” can refer to anything. And once is a school can make a student ready for use or consideration to a degree that satisfies any a need or desire no matter what is. It can be concluded that school does prepare enough for the future.


You stated that “Yes, it’s possible to state the resolution with reference to a single purpose. Let’s take parenthood as an example, since generation after generation of students leave school, become parents and find themselves woefully ill-prepared.” And because of this statement you come to this conclusion:


School does not prepare students enough for parenthood. That seems clear enough.


In a cases of such you are being specific, narrowing down the future one specific thing. Now, by saying this: “But of course some schools may indeed prepare some students for their future as parents. But is that enough? Hardly. All students need to be prepared.” It sounds contradictory in some sense however, due to the fact that you said “is that enough” changes it somewhat. But my question is how do you measure the idea of being enough? What you consider as enough may not be what someone else considers as enough because it’s a relative term. So when you say is that enough and answers it by saying hardly how can I be assured that it is not enough?


As you implied in your response, it’s impossible for all schools to prepare all students for all possible futures.


Now my opponent, do not misrepresent the resolution. The resolutions states “school does not prepare students enough for the future.” It did not say all school, all students, and it did not say all possible futures. It says school, students and future. So whether it prepares some students, the fact is that those some students are still STUDENTS and that is what the resolution says. Whether it is some schools the fact is that those some schools are still SCHOOL and that is what the resolution says. Whether it is some futures the fact is that those some futures are still FUTURE and that is what the resolution says. Hence school does prepare students enough for the future.





rross

Pro


Newspaper headline: School doesn’t prepare students enough for the future


Underneath is a photo of two hopeless-looking teenagers. The article explains that Brandon and Kyle, despite almost four years at Garfield High School, Ohio, can barely read, are lazy and speak in rude monosyllables.


The only thing unbelievable about this story is that a newspaper would bother to run with something so commonplace.


So you see, Mr Debater1993, if we choose to interpret the resolution in a limited way: one school, two students, immediate future, it’s very easy for me to prove. If the resolution means (and indeed it can be interpreted this way) “Garfield High School does not prepare students Brandon and Kyle for any future involving employment or relationships with other people” then all I need to do is produce Brandon and Kyle and there we are. Brandon and Kyle are fictitious, of course, but nobody can doubt that there are some students somewhere (or even lots of students all over) who have been insufficiently prepared by school for the sort of future they would like.


How generous of me then to argue that this is not the most natural interpretation of your resolution. I think that most people would take it to mean school in general and students in general. This meaning allows exceptions either way. For instance, in the apple example, your friend could console you by saying in a general sense, “women don’t give enough apples,” even though I had just given him enough apples.


If the resolution had been “School doesn’t prepare students for the future,” then your argument would hold. As an absolute statement, it would require only one contrary example to show it false. However, adding “enough” changes it to a statement of degree.


Whether or not school actually prepares students for the future is a matter of opinion. If you could produce one occasion when one student had been prepared for one particular future event, and meanwhile all the other students in the US were failing standard tests and so on, it would be very hard to get people to disagree with the resolution.


On the other hand, it is possible to over-prepare students for the future too. Imagine a high school where students are kept on into adulthood to do extra subjects to prepare them for any eventuality. “School has prepared them enough!” we would shout. “They need to learn on the job now!”


I chose parenthood in the previous round because more students will grow up to be parents than will go to college or into any single occupation. School doesn’t even try to prepare students for parenthood, in my experience. Of course, it fails in other areas too.


High school graduates are not prepared enough for college or for work:


“Surveys consistently show that many high school graduates do not meet employers’ standards in a variety of academic areas, as well as in employability skills such as attendance, teamwork and collaboration, and work habits.” http://betterhighschools.org...


"Inadequate and inequitable preparation for college affects remediation and persistence rates – major problems in postsecondary institutions throughout the country.” http://www.stanford.edu...


“students walk onto their college campuses needing significant remedial work in the core disciplines of reading, writing, math, and science” http://www.usnews.com...


Mr Debater1993, I like this debate too. It’s been different from the other debates I’ve had on this site. Thank you for instigating.


School doesn’t prepare students enough for the future.


Debate Round No. 3
mr_Debater1993

Con


Rebuttal


Honestly I really like this debate. I thank my opponent for her interesting arguments.


My opponent, it seems you are always narrowing down the future to one specific thing. From the beginning you did not disagree with my definition of the word “future” so assuming you agree, your statement cannot stand, and I will explain why. You stated that “If the resolution means (and indeed it can be interpreted this way) “Garfield High School does not prepare students Brandon and Kyle for any future involving employment or relationships with other people” then all I need to do is produce Brandon and Kyle and there we are.” Now remember that future means “time that is to be” and can therefore refer to anything. Notice what you said “for any future INVOLVING employment or relationships with other people,” emphasis mine. Hence you are narrowing down the future to employment and relationships and we all know that that is not the only future. I could have a statement like this “Garfield High School does prepare students Brandon and Kyle for any future involving singing and playing a musical instrument” and it can prove to be true. Why did I say that? Because the future is not limited to certain aspects of life, it relates to ALL aspects of life. The only way you could get away with this statement is if the future was only employment and relationships with others, which we all know is not so. And once a school can prepare a student enough for any aspect of life in time to come; it can be deduce that school does prepare students enough for the future.


You tend to discredit my argument by making this point “How generous of me then to argue that this is not the most natural interpretation of your resolution. I think that most people would take it to mean school in general and students in general. This meaning allows exceptions either way. For instance, in the apple example, your friend could console you by saying in a general sense, “women don’t give enough apples,” even though I had just given him enough apples.” Now in your example you stated that “women don’t give enough apples, even though I had just given him enough apples,” in terms of my friend stating it generally. But what you should understand is that being that he makes a GENERAL statement doesn’t make the statement true. Why did I say that? Because you said “even though I had just gave him ENOUGH apples.” Due to that fact it does make the statement true. I could generally say that all women are prostitutes but does that mean that my statement is true? I could generally say all pastors are thieves, but does that mean that statement is true?


You spoke about interpreting the resolution in the most general sense. Let us argue based on that interpretation, school in general, students in general. I am going to do something and I hope you understand it.


Let us say that set A represent school in general meaning all schools. Set B represent students in general meaning all students. Set C represent Future in general.


Let us take a subset from each set.


Set E = {Garfield High School, Mountain View High School,}


Set F = {Brandon, Kyle,}


Set X = {employment, parenthood, to sing a song, to bake a cake, college.}


Let us then make two statements containing one element from each set:


P: Garfield High School does not prepare Brandon enough for employment.


Q: Mountain View High School does prepare Kyle enough to sing a song.


Let us daft a truth table for the two statements:































P



Q



P ^ Q



T



T



T



T



F



F



F



T



F



F



F



F




With logics, it states that a statement can be either true or false. When you put both statements together, it will then be “Garfield High School does not prepare Brandon enough for employment and Mountain View High School does prepare Kyle enough to sing a song.” The truth table for that statement will look like what you see above.


Now what can we deduce? If statement P is true and statement Q is true then the entire thing is true. And according your argument, statement P would be true. Now we can conclude that statement Q can be also true, hence your argument does not stand. The only way you can win this debate is if you can prove that statement Q can only be false and employment was the only future and according to set X it is not so. So if we want to look at school in general or student in general please note that one exception can prove a statement false.


Now you also stated “If you could produce one occasion when one student had been prepared for one particular future event, and meanwhile all the other students in the US were failing standard tests and so on, it would be very hard to get people to disagree with the resolution.” Now the issue is not whether students are failing standards test, but whether or not a school can prepare student enough for the future. Being that all other students are falling will be the burden of people looking at only one side of it, looking at the part of it and ignoring the other part. For instance if a school prepare twenty student to pass a test and only five pass and fifteen fail they will only look at the failing and say the school did not prepare the FIFTEEN enough. But what about the other five whom the school prepares enough to pass the test? So based on that fact you statement will always be true. And there can be other factors which can contribute them failing besides them not being prepared enough.


I guess that concludes it for me and I think you may win over me to fact you have reliable source and I have none. However it was a good debate.







rross

Pro

Hello Mr Debater1993. Thank you for your final post and your wonderfully convoluted arguments.

You claim that one counter example would be enough to prove the resolution false. As I explained in the previous round, this is not the case because of the word "enough" and because the sense is general.

"All women are prostitutes," you shout. (You had all the phrases of the world and you chose this as your example. I'm sensing you're not quite as humble and holy as you claim in your profile.) Yes, this statement is not true, and it can be falsified with one example to the contrary. That's because of the word "all". In contrast, the statement "women are prostitutes" is true and cannot be falsified by example. Similarly, the resolution "school does not prepare students enough for the future" does not contain the word "all" and cannot be falsified by example.

I'm glad you think I will win because of my reliable sources. There was really nothing to stop you popping your own sources in except, ahem, lack of evidence. My personal view is that we will tie because this is a very long debate and people may not bother to read it to vote. Never mind! It's been delightful. Thank you for the debate, Mr Debater1993.



Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by mr_Debater1993 4 years ago
mr_Debater1993
I realized when i was thinking about it... i should have said that women are prostitutes but not all women are prostitutes...
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
CON - you seem to have some familiarity with formal logic, so your careless insertion of the word "all" is a near-unforgivable mistake:

"I could generally say that all women are prostitutes but does that mean that my statement is true? I could generally say all pastors are thieves, but does that mean that statement is true?"

I applaud your attempt to define the argument in round #1, but it has several problems:

1) As PRO pointed out, "enough" is subjective. Extremely difficult to win or lose the debate arguing over "enough".

2) "the future" vs. "a future". I sided with PRO here because "the future" implies ALL POSSIBLE OUTCOMES, whereas "a future" implies a specific outcome. I believe you were attempting to argue for "a future", but the argument was phrased as "the future". PRO tried to dismiss it altogether, but when she came back to it it really hurt your (CON's) argument. This is what won the debate for PRO, IMHO.

I recognize PRO as a formidable debater. I'm not sure if I look forward to challenging her in the future, as I tend to get a bit too competitive over things like this. Regardless, bravo.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
"Imagine, Mr Debater1993, that you and I are in the Department of Education around a meeting table with a dozen or so bureaucrats. A woman is standing by a whiteboard. "School does not prepare students enough," she says.

"Enough for what?" we ask.

"For the future."

Well, of course for the future. What else are you going to prepare students for?"

I LOL'ed pretty hard when I read this. Well done, PRO.
Posted by mr_Debater1993 4 years ago
mr_Debater1993
true :) okay good debate am happy to have fun you know
Posted by rross 4 years ago
rross
Of course you could, but I might not be able to refute your refutation which would leave you with an extra round which would be unfair. So it's better as it is. :-)
Posted by mr_Debater1993 4 years ago
mr_Debater1993
Ross i could easily refute that
Posted by LaL36 4 years ago
LaL36
Does college count?
Posted by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
What level of schooling? K-8? 9-12?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
mr_Debater1993rrossTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con merely loses due to not setting up the debate properly. For example, he is con to "school does NOT prepare..." (double negative. Plus the round 1 setup is too vague. I don't even know what exactly to agree or disagree with!
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
mr_Debater1993rrossTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. Unfortunately I had a lot of problems following CON's line of thinking due to format and grammar issues. Conduct was excellent on both sides. For CON, I recommend using paragraphs, especially in your opening statement. First impressions are very important.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
mr_Debater1993rrossTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: this debate was kind of tricky to read since pro was all over the place with his arguments and since con spent almost all of his first round asking questions......... In round 2 pro argued that "All students need to be prepared" in order for schools to be preparing people enough for the future, which con quickly shot down. Pro's examples of kids not meeting certain standards for college courses and the workforce were his best arguments, which con struggled to refute......... I give arguments to the pro, but only reluctantly. If con had shown stats showing how a good majority of kids get jobs after high school or get into college, or that kids who drop out of school do much worse then those who graduate (indicating school helped their chances in life) then con would have easily won the debate. Unfortunately he didnt bring any of that up, so I give arguments to the pro, along with sources since he used them the most.........Really hard debate to understand, I give it 2 out of 4 stars...