The Instigator
SquadSix
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

School Year Extension

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 997 times Debate No: 19467
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

SquadSix

Pro

The first round is just Acceptance.

I started this from seeing an argument between politicalwiz and spritle. I hated seeing politicalwiz lose 0 to 88. I am reopening this. I hope to show you all why extending it is the right thing to do. I hope to see enthusiasm from my opponent. I want this to be a good debate, or as I shall call it a Battle for Greater Education. I can't wait for it to begin.
Danielle

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for starting what I hope will be a fun and spirited debate. The first round is just for acceptance, so I won't make any arguments just yet. However I'd like to point out that while my opponent calls this debate a battle for greater education, all he's really arguing for are longer school years -- not necessarily greater education. With that said, I'll send the debate back over to Pro to begin and wish him the best of luck :)
Debate Round No. 1
SquadSix

Pro

Thank you for accepting, and ruining my title.

All right, I shall start with a regular school year, which is 180 days. This seems normal but most countries around the world have 200 days of school. Now we may think this is not that much of a difference but for the slow students this gives teachers extra time to help them, if I could have twenty extra days to practice math in school with a teachers help who knows how much better I would be. This is not even counting on the Asian system where they have maybe 240 or more days of school.

Let's keep this round only talking about 200 days though, we will get into more later, if the challenger can help it.

Let's start with European countries such as France. They run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m and have a half a day on Saturday. Is this truly bad? It may get in the way of early morning sports here in America but we can easily get around it, and some people don't even get up until 12 p.m.(say some because some are early birds). I don't think most people would get up early to see a friend here in America since most boys are playing video games late into the night and girls may have some late night parties, sleepovers or as it is here in my area talking on facebook all night. Now this isn't everyone but may be a good enough majority to stop the Saturday school day. I for one would love to get up on Saturday and go to school. It will help me be productive and I would be able to go directly to a friends house on the bus instead of going home and asking my parent or his parents to give me a ride to his place.

I think this would get some people on board with this idea. See in Europe they have it divided into sections of 7 week periods. So 7 weeks of 5 and a half days of school, with one or two weeks vacation in between them. So it is basically Christmas Vacation in every single quarter of our school years. Any one who hates this idea I say would just want to stay home instead of going. I would love this to be in America. It is efficient and gives us a break instead of having one day off here and there.

I shall go onto Russia, they are just like us but instead of just quitting school like a small to medium percentage of students from a school may do, they have 10th grade ending mandatory school but have a great alternative. They allow you to study trade skills or even study to get into a university. This is also a great alternative for America. It may not extend our years at school but with the studying trade skills or even to get into a university is great. It helps students who went out of school to prepare for life instead of going back and getting a GED, for those who don't want to go to a university the trade skills help them get a job instead of working at Burger King their entire lives!

Now for schools who have the exact same curriculum as us, such as Spain. They have almost the exact rules for school as us, go from kindergarten until your 16 then you can quit, but instead of the kids doing nothing with their 2 months of extra time in the summer they almost have to go to a summer camp whether it be for sports or practicing their English skills, but if this was in America is wouldn't be for speaking English. I have a small school that only offers German and Spanish languages. I would love to go to camp in the summer to learn Japanese, Mandarin, or French. I find if we had longer years we could possibly offer more courses.

I shall leave my arguments at this and await for your responce Danielle. I await to see your opinion of this topic.

http://www.infoplease.com...
http://pocketcultures.com...

I shall be using these sources in the later rounds so don't be confused if you see them again.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

Thus far my opponent has made 4 arguments in favor of extending the school year. I will begin by refuting those contributions, and then outlining why extending the school year would probably not be a good idea.

== Pro's Case ==

1. Other countries have longer school years.

First, you'll notice that this in itself is not a compelling reason to extend our school year. I could note that some countries have shorter school years (such as Zimbabwe), and likewise that in itself is not a reason to shorten our school year. We must look at how extending the school year has proven specifically advantageous.

Recent reports indicate a number of countries exceeding the United States in areas of math and reading, with the top two being South Korea and Finland [1]. While it's true that South Korea has a longer school year, Finnish students attend school for only 190 days -- just 10 days more than in the U.S., and at fewer days than 85% of the world's developed nations [2]. Considering Finland topped the list in education rankings, this seems to indicate that factors other than the length of time in school have played a bigger role in terms of success. I will revisit what those factors might be later on in the debate. For now, I've negated Pro's proposition that longer time spent in school necessarily leads to better results.

2. Pro writes, "So 7 weeks of 5 and a half days of school, with one or two weeks vacation in between them... It is efficient and gives us a break instead of having one day off here and there."

This is merely Pro's opinion about what he'd prefer. It offers no evidence or analysis in favor of the resolution.

3. Pro says, "They allow you to study trade skills or even study to get into a university. This is also a great alternative for America. It may not extend our years at school but with the studying trade skills or even to get into a university is great."

We already have the opportunity to attend trade school and/or a university in America. This is not something that proves extending the American school year (up until high school) would be beneficial.

4. Pro would love to attend summer camp where he can learn other languages.

If anything, this point is in favor of Con. It indicates that Pro would like to have free time to explore his own interests. Likewise, other students would like to use their free time to explore their own interests. No reason has been given as to why it should be mandatory for students to spend more time in school so they could potentially learn additional languages. Again, that is merely Pro's preference.

At this point, it should be noted that Pro has not given us any sufficient reason whatsoever to extend the school year. The only remotely relevant argument he made was that other countries tend to have longer school years, and in many instances perform better on standardized tests because of it. However, I've provided evidence that longer school years are not necessarily to thank. With that said, I'll move on to my contentions.

== Con's Case ==

1. What link is there to more time spent in school and better performance?

Looking back on the Finnish example, we see that Finnish students spend a similar amount of time in school as American students, yet have performed much better on recent tests. Educators such as Harvard professor Tony Wagner have researched possible causes, and attributed Finnish success to other factors other than length of time spent in school. Most notably, he emphasized the Finnish supplying a tremendous investment in teaching. Other contributing factors include reduced classroom size, a decreased emphasis on standardized tests, etc. [3].

In South Korea, they spend a ton of time in school, but also a much higher emphasis on education in general. For example, even though they have optional breaks, most students choose to forfeit their breaks and attend school anyway! Further, even though they already spend a great deal of time during the day at school, many seek private tutors outside of school and study well into the night [4]. This reveals a completely different cultural view on the merit of education. In other words, even with longer school years, American kids just have a different value system, upbringing and overall way of life. In fact, there's reason to believe that more time spent in school could just lead to more resentment regarding school. As it stands, Korean kids are working their butts off and wanting more, whereas American kids are complaining about the tiny bit of work they do in comparison. Extending the school year will not address this disparity in values.

2. How reliable are standardized tests anyway?

Ironically, those who scored at the top of the standardized tests (the Finnish) are the ones who place less emphasis on the importance of standardized tests. While it's true other countries may perform better on paper than Americans, we cannot ignore that there are other factors that contribute to a country or individual's success. For example, you don't need a college degree to be an entrepreneur. Some of the best businessmen and tecchies are NOT college grads, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Many jobs in this country rely on manual labor or other trades and vocations. While it's true education is very important, the most important thing is literacy - and the U.S. has a 99% literacy rate [5]. In short, American students may not perform best on multiple choice tests and whatnot, but we're still pretty savvy. Standardized tests have proven to be unreliable indicators as measures of intelligence to boot.

3. Who is going to pay for it?

A lack of funding is one of the biggest reasons the quality of education is declining. We know that investing in better teachers can help. However longer school years means paying teachers even more, and governments are already struggling to pay the teachers for the work they do now. More and more teachers are being laid off across the board in the U.S. In addition to having to pay teachers for more time worked, the government (tax payers) would also have to fund other amenities such as supplying overall more staff (lunch aids, janitors, etc.) and paying more bills (electric -- especially because of the a.c. which would be mandatory -- heat, water, etc.). Right now, we simply cannot afford this increase in cost.

4. Extending the school year takes time from families and students.

People utilize their summers to attend camp, travel, spend time with family or explore their own personal hobbies and interests. This is a good thing.

5. People who want more schooling can attend private school.

Those who want more out of their education can pay for it themselves (not expect the tax payers to fund it) by seeking out private schools with longer school years. If that's not optimal, they can invest in intellectual after-school programs or tutoring. This is even more beneficial because it allows the parents and students to customize what they want to learn about, rather than imposing it on the entire school district.

I'll leave it at that for now (I'm running out of characters anyway). The gist of my argument is that it is not the length of time that students spend in school that indicates intelligence or overall measures of success. There are ways we can reform education without extending the school year, which can both keep costs down and focus on factors that can make a substantial difference in terms of the quality of education students in the U.S. receive.

== Con's Sources ==

[1] http://www.usatoday.com...;
[2] http://www.greatschools.org...;
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;
[4] http://asiasociety.org...;
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 2
SquadSix

Pro

This will be much harder than I expected, but what else could I expect from this site.

Now I shall go right into two points you made, one arguing mine and one of your arguments. When I was talking about the 7 weeks then one or two off, and when you said that summer is good for being with family and other hobbies they may take up. Well having this one or two weeks off between quarters can give them a week of vacation, or two weeks of doing whatever they want. It is very essential in both of these forms so the kids have time to themselves, to visit their friends, and even going on vacation in any weather of the year. Say the kids wanted to go to New England in the fall to see the leaves change color, well they have to take a few days or a week to see this, but if they had this week or two to themselves in the school year they wouldn't miss any type of homework or class time. This would be very effective for families to even go to Hawaii in the winter without missing school as well, or go meet family members in a different state as well.

You say having longer school years mean nothing, but again this is not true. Everyone knows that students aren't always on the same page as the others. Some may get straight A's, B's, or lower so having more time equals more time that the teachers are able to help those lower grade students. This also helps the higher level students learn about their favorite subjects more, such as how in History books WWII may come later and the students may not even be able to cover it. Having even 10 days such as Finland can help the student and even the teachers in class and help America raise their overall skills and maybe we can be as highly rated as Finland or S. Korea.

You say we already have the opportunity to attend a trade school or university, but as in Russia it stands only 10 years of school are necessary, and as we should already know when 16 the student may drop out but in Russia they can attend the trade school or University so people like Mark or Steve could be here in America with the education to do more if they wanted.

And also, how does me saying summer camps for foreign languages help you? It is another form of education that may or may not be used by the school system. If all schools have every single language I would like to study that wouldn't be a problem but most camps we hear about are sports camps, which are fun, but not in everyone's best interests. We all know knowing another language is key in many jobs so why not offer these camps so kids may learn and study the languages over the summer so they can remember them into the next school year, whether it be for one month or the entire summer it would help us learn these languages even more and be more aware of other cultures by knowing their language.

I agree with your stand on Standardized Tests saying that they don't measure intelligence that greatly, as I have taken a PSAT, and I saw that it was easy actually. But I would have liked to see other subjects on it as some students may not be good in math as they are in history. You say literacy is the most important, which I would have to agree with, but you can't just be literate and expect to go off in life and be perfect.

Now onto, whose going to pay for it. Well now this is important and this is where I draw the line. The government is pretty stupid, sure they make good decisions from time to time but they really need to invest on natural sources of fuel instead of oil. If we could do this we wouldn't be spending millions or billions in the war on terror, which is really a last ditch effort to get oil in the Middle East, we should keep our industries in America so we can make money for us and stop buying material from foreign countries. If we are as smart as we think we are we really wouldn't have this 14 TRILLION dollar debt now would we.

I shall leave your post on Private School since those are important for some kids and I have no quarrel on your issue with that.

I shall now point out some more reasons why this is important to increase the school year.

Is our free time really in our benefit? As in the news there was a Teen Rob either this week or last week. If it was not for their FREE TIME would that have happened, possibly. But it is safe to say if we but more focus on education would all of those teens have been robbing that store, I say not. Free time is necessary but it is also has many cons. It is good in creativity but some people take creativity to a very bad extreme, such as making bombs at their house or robbing some stores. Now more school may fix this but to destroy the problem everywhere is a long shot.

Why do kids in the U.S. hate school? Now every kid does not hate school, but I have to say at least 50% or more do and that is well over too much. Some students hate certain subjects and would like to have the ability to skip them and learn what they like but that is why we get more electives later in school. A main reason is that kids may stay up late and not want to be there or they may just hate learning in all manner of its being but to say all those kids will be set for life because they are going to be smart like Mark or Steve is like saying five is greater than six. You may get someone to bite for it once in awhile but it won't happen all the time. Kids today aren't disciplined enough and think they can get away with not going because they can strip a car and put it back together in two hours or that they are good in sports but without a proper education and the ones willingness to learn it won't happen. Now increasing the school year won't help this problem but it is one to address. You can't just say having 180 days will be better for the kids who do learn in the 200 or 240 days of school will help our country as a whole.

Why is America to cheap to fund school anyways? If we say the future is key to America why are we waging war and spending all this money on our military instead of our school system. It should be a known fact that if our schools are better funded then our kids will be better equipped to face today's problems. If our government funded our schools like they do the military how much could our schools accomplish? A tremendous amount more than we are now so don't go and say we can't afford it because in all entirety we could afford it and still have money left over.

My source shows you how much money military spends, pay close attention to fact number 4, it shows an interesting fact about how much teachers we could pay if it weren't for our military power. For those of you who won't look, we lost 11 billion dollars in the Iraq war, that could pay 220,000 teachers, so don't even say we can't afford it. That was only in 2007.

http://www.businessinsider.com...
Danielle

Con

Pro says that kids can use vacation time intermittedly during the school year to spend time with their family, vacation, work on hobbies, etc. While that's true, the convenience of having three months off in a row means people can attend summer camp, or vacation for a decent period of time without having to rush right back home. Also, parents know exactly when to arrange child care and other activities for their children (hence summer camp). Anyway, this comes down to a matter of preference. Again, we cannot use people's preferences to uphold the resolution. We need to see which is most beneficial. Both of these ideas can be beneficial, and as such, this isn't a contention in favor of the resolution. It's a neutral point. However, it should be noted that Pro is arguing to EXTEND the school year. This means my points about quality time with family and for hobbies still stands, because even with interim breaks, Pro wants more actual days spent in school.

Pro continues, "You say having longer school years mean nothing, but again this is not true. Everyone knows that students aren't always on the same page as the others. Some may get straight A's, B's, or lower so having more time equals more time that the teachers are able to help those lower grade students." Pro has not offered one shred of evidence that more time in school means children will have a more equal grasp of the knowledge. We can assume that a disparity in grades comes from different overall intelligence among students, more time spent studying by some students, etc. We have no reason that more time given to ALL students would mean children would suddenly all get on the same page.

Further, Pro suggests that the extra 10 days (such as having 190 like the Finnish school year) would help us reach Finnish test scores. I've negated the idea that an extra few days would significantly help in the last round. Extend those arguments pertaining to contributing factors of how students perform on standardized tests.

Pro says, "This also helps the higher level students learn about their favorite subjects more, such as how in History books WWII may come later and the students may not even be able to cover it." As I said in the last round, students can study their interests on their own time. There is no reason to demand that all students know particular students favorite subjects. This is unrealistic as students have a variety of favorite subjects. We cannot expect everyone to have the same interests; instead we should encourage students to read up on and/or pursue intellectual interests outside of school, such as they do in South Korea (where they have the #1 test scores).

Pro says, "You say we already have the opportunity to attend a trade school or university, but as in Russia it stands only 10 years of school are necessary, and as we should already know when 16 the student may drop out but in Russia they can attend the trade school or University so people like Mark or Steve could be here in America with the education to do more if they wanted." I'm not sure the point Pro is trying to make. Both in the U.S. and Russia students have the opportunity to drop out of school, and attend a trade school or university. I know plenty of HS students who are also enrolled in college classes simultaneously. There is nothing stopping a 16 year old, 18 year old, etc. from pursuing outside or higher education.

Pro continues to say that it would be a good thing if students went to camp of sorts to learn foreign languages. He says a lot of camps focus on sports, which is not useful. Once again, it should be completely up to the individual if they want to learn multiple languages. If they and their parents would rather invest in a camp for sports, that is their prerogative. Again Pro is trying to impose his own ideals and preferences on everybody. While it's true learning multiple languages can be useful in the workforce, that is up to each individual to capitalize on and invest on learning in their own time. As it stands, the purpose of school isn't to teach students everything about everything. Instead it is about teaching a little bit of everything (because there's a heck of a lot to learn -- far too much to include everything, obviously!) and have individuals decide for themselves what else they want to learn more about, either for their own knowledge and/or for their career. That is why in college you have general education requirements, but also the opportunity to major or minor in particular subjects.

In terms of how to fund extending the school year, Pro suggests the government ought to shift their interests, but this is not a likely endavor. Pro has not provided an explanation as to how we could fund these school extensions under our current budget and in our current recession. Pro has given his opinion on what he thinks the government ought to focus on, but that doesn't mean they will. Further, remember that this will still be a burden on the tax payer any way you slice it. Even if the government stopped spending money in other areas as Pro suggests, that money could always go back to the tax payer (instead of the government finding other ways to spend it). That way, as I suggested, the tax payer (parent) can invest that money in schooling and/or intellectual or other interests for their child outside of school. I've explained why this is practical, useful and more beneficial to extending the school year in the last round. Extend those arguments.

Pro agrees with my suggestion that instead of extending the school year for everyone, parents could always choose to invest in a private school that offers longer school years. For those who can't afford that, I would suggest people utilizing free education resources or other tools to offer similar advantages.

Pro suggests that people having free time is actually a bad thing, because in that free time they may do stupid things. Likewise I could easily point out that kids sometimes do POSITIVE things in their spare time, such as volunteer work, community service or learning particular hobbies (sports, instruments, etc.). This point of Pro's has therefore been negated.

Pro concludes that American students today lack discipline and an overall positive view of the education system (the majority do). We have no reason to assume that extending the school year would address this in any way whatsoever, and in fact in the last round I pointed out why this might cause even more resentment of the school process.


Pro hasn't really addressed my point that standardized tests aren't the best measures of intelligence and success. While he agrees with me on these matters, what he doesn't realize is that I've proven my point that American students are plenty intelligent and successful as it is. Even though we could be smarter, extending the school year isn't necessarily the best way to go about it. Instead we could focus on investing in better teachers, trying to implement better teaching methods and standards, teaching different subjects, changing the emphasis in schools from testing to specializations (as one example, though there are many more), etc.

In this round, Pro really has not made any compeling argument to extend the school year. I've negated all of his points in the last round, and nothing he's said in this round has really given his points any more leverage. All of my points currently still stand:

1. No link has been proven (only suggested) that more time spent in school leads to more successful students.
2. Standardized tests indicating that American students are falling behind are not reliable (Pro agrees).
3. We cannot afford extending the school year (Pro provides an idealistic solution; I've given a better suggestion).
4. Extending the school year takes time away from family, hobbies, etc.
5. People who want more education can attend private school and/or seek outside intellectual interests.
Debate Round No. 3
SquadSix

Pro

I am not saying that with more days of school kids will have the same knowledge, I am not saying that the kids will be on the same page I am saying that teachers will be able to teach the students with that extra time. That is irrefutable evidence because with more time that automatically means for teaching time, or will I need to provide more evidence for that as well because that is what you are saying. Everything needs evidence even when most of this information is common knowledge.
Let's take this analogy, I am running one mile. I get 5 minutes to do it. How many people can run a mile in 5 minutes? I would have to say the physically fit students and adults only. If you aren't physically fit you will be struggling to get there, just like in school. If you were to have 15 or 30 minutes this will be an easy task. If you have more time to cover parts you just don't get, for instance me at math, I am not terrible but I can do bad but if I had extra time I could easily get these subjects down and move on to the next section with ease.

Now don't take this as, HE IS ONLY WANTING EXTRA TIME FOR HIMSELF! That is not true. I know several students just in my class who are the smartest and average students who would like extra time in school to get those tough subjects down. And I want you to tell me what teacher, whose job it is to get these students ready for life, who wants a student to now know something. Even if it is evil history such as the racism of the 1800's and 1900's or even the dreadful holocaust which can make people sick to their stomachs at the facts and pictures that may go along with it. It is a major part of history and if a teacher has to graze over any subject is bad.

You say students learn their favorite subjects on their own time? This is true like I knew a lot about ancient history such as mythology and ancient Greece but I learned more than I even knew about them both this year in school than my entire 3-5 years of studying it. I even made new questions about them as well so even though a student may want to learn about something that isn't in the school program for that year they can learn more about them with the help of maybe 15+ students in a class who already know about that subject and will help you narrow down your research by helping you learn something you want. The metaphor 2 heads is better than 1 is right in this case and with 15+ heads all pooling in on 1 subject a few of them may know by heart is very good. It is good to do at home research but having the help of an adult who may have gone through the even such as the Vietnam War would be better than just reading up on it. Now not all teachers are war veterans but in case they are that can be a help.

All right you seem to not be getting my point on DROPPING OUT. As we all should know without a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA you can't go to college. It is a simple fact! I already know you can take college courses in high school. I know if you drop out you can get a GED but in Russia at age 16 you can study for a university and go to learn trade skills. In America you need 4 English courses, 2 science and 3 maths. If this checks out you need at least 4 years of High School to get 4 English courses.

You are saying I am forcing my ways on this debate with saying sports camps are useless but isn't it you who said they should learn on their own time! It is called Physical Education so learning sports is just like learning Math. The can get together with their friends and play baseball, basketball, football, ect. This is much easier than getting together and learn a new language. This is again a fact. I can learn basketball and how to shoot in a day than learn how to speak for 5 minutes with someone in France and sound smart or at least mediocre for them.

We can afford this and if you are calling this a recession well you are wrong. The recession was over early last year. We just thought it was still on because we were still "low". We were considered growing over the last 3 years in 2010 and growing higher than before. The only thing that could have been considered a recession would be the house market.

Now I will give more reasons why we can afford this. Again the main reason about how we spend almost all of our money, not just government, TAX PAYER money of our military. I don't know about you but how would you like to have 27 percent of our tax payer money on this miltary, 21 percent on our health(which is good), but a measly 5 percent on our Education. We have 9 percent on Military debt for crying out loud. Our military debt is more important than our EDUCATION. How is that reflecting out ways of life!
Not blaming Obama on this but it is his budget that is doing this. He increased our education budget by 7.5 percent. YAH, this is amazing. Sure, it is only 3.5 billion dollars. We are still spending 708 billion on military.
Now here is something not military related. Our prisons are secure right. I wonder why? In California they spend 15.7 billion on their prisons. Lets see their Education spending. 15.3 billion. Yeah, this is again showing our great support for our education! Why are we doing this too our country!

You say I haven't been proving while longer school years are better but I have. I have said this in almost every round. Longer school years are better for teachers and student. They help them learn more. If we learn more we are better suited for life. I will give you a video about how stupid an American woman is. She was on a game show and she knew it. She had multiple choice answers and she actually completed High School and she got this question wrong, what animal shoots ink when threatened. She said owl and octopus was the correct answer. I am giving multiple videos so we know it isn't a one time incident. The last one truly shows how stupid some people are.

I agree standardized tests don't show the overall I.Q. of a person because they don't ask you how to fix a car or how to make a plane but they do see how smart you are in major subjects that are used in almost every field of work, especially Math and English. If someone doesn't know Math or English they aren't making it far in life. I know that for a fact.

You are saying that again we can't pay for it, and I said it was Obama who put the little 7.5 percent in the Education budget but it is he who wants to extend the school year and says it is money well spent. If the president wants it done that is a good reason. I mean people voted for him so they must like his ideas right? I guess so because he is still a good candidate for 2012. It is just that people hate him for what the Bush Administration did to put us in the hole we were in.

Now for free time, unless the students truly try to learn during the summer they will retain all their knowledge which is what maybe 10 or a little more of the students actually do. In Sylvan commercials students lose too much during the summer. I have little room left so this is it. If summer vacation was a month or two shorter kids would be able to do better on No Child Left Behind and all Standardized tests since they will REMEMBER ALMOST EVERYTHING. That is my case in a nutshell. With less vacation time in the summer will equal more time to retain the knowledge so that is the best point in this entire round for me. It is a proven fact as shown in other nations and they have out of school programs for this so it must be true.
I hope you will all see reason and vote for education.

http://www.thedailybeast.com...

http://www.wsws.org...

http://education-portal.com...

http://www.economist.com...

http://www.pactinc.org...
Danielle

Con

Again, I'd like to thank my opponent for engaging with me in this discussion.

Now onto the debate...

Pro begins, "I am not saying that with more days of school kids will have the same knowledge, I am not saying that the kids will be on the same page I am saying that teachers will be able to teach the students with that extra time." I see no reason why the teachers cannot just teach the kids after school if that's what their parents want (educational after school programs already exist; I attended one) or teach the information to them the following year - especially if the length of time added to the school year is not significant.

Pro reiterates that he and some classmates want more time in school to learn. Once again, that is his preference and he and others are free to pursue intellectual interests outside of a classroom context. The public school system is not, should not and was never intended to be the only place to learn. I am not arguing that knowledge is bad. I am encouraging it being taught in other ways.

I believe that one of life's best teachers is experience. There is a lot you can learn outside of a classroom. Pro neglects to consider this. For instance, playing baseball after school might seem frivolous to Pro; it is just a sport after all. However the social intereaction and experience gained from that opportunity might teach one about team work, dedication, practice, leadership and more. These are invaluable life lessons for both one's professional and personal life, which are undoubtedly equally important.

Pro continues to say that school has been greatly beneficial to his education and I will not deny the importance and merit of a good education. However, that is not a contention in favor of supporting the resolution. Learning is good does not translate to school years should be extended, given the other problems and effects of such a change.

Now at this point, I'd like to call Pro out for exhibiting rude conduct. Hilariously, while attempting to make me appear silly he has actually asserted completely inaccurate facts. He writes, "All right you seem to not be getting my point on DROPPING OUT. As we all should know without a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA you can't go to college. It is a simple fact!" Actually, it is entirely possible to attend college - both public and private - without a HS diploma [6].

Pro continues, "...but in Russia at age 16 you can study for a university and go to learn trade skills. In America you need 4 English courses, 2 science and 3 maths. If this checks out you need at least 4 years of High School to get 4 English courses." First of all, Pro is again wrong with the facts about requirements. More importantly, this has absolutely nothing to do with extending the school year, so this contention ought to be dropped entirely. Even if we encouraged students to seek out trade school at 16 like in Russia, that doesn't argue in favor of making the school year longer.

My opponent suggests that a certain amount of time is already devoted to athletics (for example), such as Phys Ed class. Therefore, we should encourage students to spend more times studying other things that are harder to learn such as languages. Once again, Pro completely misses the point that he keeps trying to force what he thinks is important for everyone to learn. While I mentioned outside sports hobbies, what if people wanted to spend their free time learning a particular trade or skill, volunteering, having an outside job or something else they pursued outside of the current school year? Pro is in no position to say what students should be learning based on his own perceptions or interests. Language might be hard for him to learn but come easily to other people. Some learn languages on their own (Rosetta Stone, anyone?).

In terms of whether or not we can afford to extend the school year, Pro simply asserts that I am wrong and says we can absolutely afford to do this. First, we see that he does not dispute the reality that this would indeed place a financial burden on us. Next, we must see that Pro did not explain or prove in any way whatsoever that we had money to invest in this unnecessary and perhaps even non-beneficial measure to extend the school year. A quick look at the U.S. National Debt Clock shows that we currently do not have extra money to fiddle around with [7]. Even if politicians spend money elsewhere in useless or futile endeavors (which is absolutely true), that is not a good enough reason to add to the problem and continue it here.

Pro says he has proven in every round that longer school years are better. I will dissect every one of his claims. He says, "Longer school years are better for teachers and student. They help them learn more. If we learn more we are better suited for life." Again, I have proven (a) that students can learn the same information outside of school, (b) that the benefits of more knowledge might not outweigh the potential cost - not only monetary but also in turning students OFF from school -- a contention I've repeated throughout the debate but which Pro completely ignored -- (c) students can learn different information outside of school, and explore other opportunities they may not have the time to if they are in school longer.

Pro's videos do not prove how stupid the average American is in any way whatsoever. Nevertheless, I could easily show stupid people from other parts of the world. This is not a strong contention in favor of the resolution. These people spent the same amount of time in school as my parents (who did not attend college; in fact my father dropped out of HS at age 16). However both of my parents know more than the people in his videos seem to. What does this prove? That the amount of time spent in school does not necessarily translate to more knowledge. We see this because some people have spent far more time in school than my parents yet are not anywhere near as intelligence. Throughout this debate, Pro completely failed to make a case against this.

Anyway, Pro actually argues in my favor without knowing it. Regarding the woman from the game show, he points out, "She had multiple choice answers and she actually completed High School and she got this question wrong." Assuming a grade school student got it right, we can once again see that more education does NOT necessarily mean greater intellignce, or more importantly, retained knowledge. This is a significant contention in my favor. Pro's videos actually helped me out, so thank you.

Next, Pro tries to validate standardized tests. He says, "If someone doesn't know Math or English they aren't making it far in life. I know that for a fact." This is not true at all. Some of the most intelligent and successful people I know have absolutely no grasp of basic algebra concepts (from middle school). These tests are known to be inaccurate and insufficient measures of intelligence. Nonetheless, this was never meant to be an argument in Pro's favor to begin with. I was pointing out that just because students might achieve a certain score doesn't mean that they are smarter and more successful than one with a lower score. It only shows some students are better test takers and/or were more prepared for the test. There are innumerable prep courses for standardized tests that an teach one how to get a great score, even if they are completely incompetent in real life.

Pro appeals to authority when he says, "If the president wants it done that is a good reason." That is like saying it was a good reason to kill the Jews because Hitler wanted it and Hitler was the chosen leader of his country.

All of Pro's points have been successfully negated.

Please extend all of my points that Pro failed to address.

SquadSix, it's been fun debating you. Good luck :)


[6] http://www.nytimes.com...
[7] http://www.usdebtclock.org...
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by hunglikeamoose 7 months ago
hunglikeamoose
im reporting your crude language
Posted by danthebigdman 7 months ago
danthebigdman
millimeter suck my d hoe
Posted by hunglikeamoose 7 months ago
hunglikeamoose
millimeter peter
Posted by danthebigdman 7 months ago
danthebigdman
NO its HUGE
Posted by hunglikeamoose 7 months ago
hunglikeamoose
dan has a small weewee
Posted by danthebigdman 7 months ago
danthebigdman
I think that you should suck my d to think that school should last longer. gawd dayuuumm
Posted by hunglikeamoose 7 months ago
hunglikeamoose
No.
Posted by AREKKUSU 1 year ago
AREKKUSU
I think that a debate based on this topic should be won by Pro, although he did have poor arguments, so it's easy to see why he lost.
Posted by 000ike 2 years ago
000ike
Did any of you watch the CNN report with Fareed Zakaria, where they compared the educational approaches of Finland and Korea?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 2 years ago
Greyparrot
SquadSixDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not prove more time means a better education. Some people take very short trips abroad and have a lifetime of experiences in only a week.
Vote Placed by JakeBoatman96 2 years ago
JakeBoatman96
SquadSixDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Though I'm a student, this is not biased based on that fact.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 2 years ago
Willoweed
SquadSixDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: um most of Cons pints were in favor of pros
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
SquadSixDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: what the heck happened in round 4? anyways con had better arguments even though my heart still agrees with the pro, so i gave him spelling
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 2 years ago
Buckethead31594
SquadSixDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument's lacked lucidity. Con's arguments were straightforward and easy to understand. Pro seemed to lose focus in Round four. Nonetheless, both sides did well to explain their case.