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Should School Be Mandatory?

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 93381
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
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"Should school be mandatory?" is the question today. Round 1 will be acceptance. Rounds 2-5 will be arguments and rebuttals.


I thank my opponent for instigating the debate. I accept, and look forward to an excellent debating opportunity.

I will define the terms as follows:

School: An institution where instruction is given.
Mandatory: Obligated, compulsory.

I will show, in this debate, that some form of school ought to be mandatory for all.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent of accepting my debate. School is a requirement for every child. The goal is to for everyone to have a good education. However, there are many people who just do not want to learn. According to, the percentage of high schoolers who graduated was 82% in the 2012-2013 school year in the U.S. 14.9 million people are going to high school, and 18% of that population is 2.682 million students. That really adds up. If this keeps going every year, you will have many people who never graduated from high school. That is why school should not be mandatory. It really saves teachers a lot of time and allows them to focus on the students who want to learn. Plus, if school were not mandatory, teachers probably would not be as stressed because they would not have to deal with trouble makers and they would not have to grade as much.


Compulsory education is essential to democracy. In Hong Kong, senior citizens uneducated in democracy are scammed into voting for politicians they don't support. (1) By contrast, compulsory education increased civic awareness in the US: people forced to stay longer at school are more likely to vote, discuss politics and read newspapers. (2, 3)

Compulsory schooling increases general education level so workers can join higher-valued industries (4). Rising wages nudge up consumption and saving, which favours lending and investment. Aggregate demand and national output rise. Also, rising labour productivity increases the economy's productive capacity and long-term output.

PRO assumes we waste resources by forcing future dropouts to stay at school. But one more year of forced education increased income by ~14% in Canada. Even partial education counts. (4)

Reducing class size can lessen teachers' burdens while creating jobs. Abolishing compulsory schooling will just worsen teacher unemployment.

Debate Round No. 2


If you are educated, it does not nessisarily mean that you will not be a victim of scams. Anyone can be scammed, so you just have to be careful with things. Having forced schooling does not ensure that the student will pay attention. Sure, you can force students to sit in a classroom, but the question is, are the students listening, and if they are, do they understand what is being said? CON thinks that ALL students who have forced education will help in their country's economic growth, and will be more likely to vote. In the United States, some people claim to be in the Independent Party and call themselves American Independent. WRONG. This party is not independent at all. This proves that some people do not know exactly what party they want to be part of.


The elders were trucked to voting stations from elderly homes and told to vote for the candidate number written in their palms. Point being, they fell victim because they knew nothing about political processes. Education fixes that.

Inattentiveness is a problem, but many students do listen, or there wouldn't be improvements in income or poltiical participation. Carrots and sticks also encourage listening.

I never assumed ALL students benefit from education. Forced education increases their likelihood to enter higher-valued industries, vote, etc. - amply supported by correlations in the studies I linked to, controlled for confounding factors.

Compulsory schooling increases income equality (1) and social mobility by developing students' human capital. Kids of parents forced to take more school are less likely drop out (2) - no compulsory schooling continues the poverty cycle. Mandatory education keeps poorer kids in schools, allowing them to move up the social ladder using knowledge.
Debate Round No. 3


Beating students in order to force them to learn is not a good idea. It only causes the students to fear the teacher and not have them pay attention to what is being said during class. Beating students in class is also an I humane way to give education anti personally think that it should be outlawed completely. Education should be a path for people that can be chosen, and not a path in which everyone is forced to follow. People have big dreams and ideas, and not all of them require an education.


I don't think beating is good. Stick stood for punishments in general, not necessarily corporal.

CON claims education should be optional because not all people's dreams and ideas require it. Yet he hasn't substantiated this with examples. An education can always be beneficial, regardless of goals. In a knowledge-based economy, no dream can be realised if you didn't, for example, learn formal written communication at school.

Regarding choice, I'll use Taylor's argument. (1) People have goals and desires, quitting school being one, but there are greater desires and lesser ones. One might fear public speaking (i.e. desire not to speak) at the expense of a successful career (greater goal). Someone obsessed with lower goals at the cost of higher ones is irrational. We can restrict their negative liberty to protect their positive liberty to fulfill greater dreams. Kids aren't mature enough to decide their need for education, and we should compel them to stay so they can succeed later in life.
Debate Round No. 4


There are career paths that do not require education. Careers in sports don't require you to read or do math. You just have to practice and play well if you want to be a top athlete. Movie stars don't need education either. Well sure, they need to learn something about acting, but other then that, they don't need to be fluent in math or science. It is true that some kids may have a reason regarding why they do not want to go to school, but that doesn't mean that they can't make good residing. Even adults make terrible desk ions that end up getting themselves killed, so I do not understand PRO's position on that. Thank you for a good debate. I really enjoyed it.

By the way, the reason I wanted to use 1000 characters per argument was to challenge myself and my opponent. We have to find some sort of way to get straight to the point. Again, thank you for this wonderful debate.


Even for a career in sports, you need to learn how to apply to join a team using a formal letter, or understand the usually difficult words used in your working contract. You also need maths to calculate your income and expenses, and game theory may also be relevant to sports. (1) Movie stars can learn about characterisation and capturing the inner world of different people through literature, such as classical plays and novels. Having been to school also allows them to act out school-related characters more convincingly.

My opponent responds to my argument that kids are immatre by saying that adults also make terrible decisions. This is a logical fallacy, denying the antecedent. I said kids are not mature enough to make big decisions. This does not imply that adults are mature enough. Moreover, adults are more likely to make good decisions because of their brains. (2)

I thank my opponent for such an insightful debate and for challenging me to be concise!
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by missmozart 3 months ago
Thanks :D!!
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 months ago
@bsh1: Thanks for the vote. :) I agree with your argument as well, and I would have brought it up if I had more space to elaborate the point on the poverty cycle (since parents who are less educated tend not to value their kids' education).

BTW, missmozart and I will be doing a judge debate soon (in fact, she suggested using the system), so she certainly knows what judge debates are :P
Posted by missmozart 3 months ago
I know what a judge debate is, thanks. I just didn't see it at the start :/
Posted by bsh1 3 months ago
@Mozart - A judge debate has a set panel of judges.
Posted by missmozart 3 months ago
"You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges."

What are the the voting requirements (or is there a panel of judges)?
Posted by migmag 3 months ago
it's such a joke that this site is like a communist police state, putting MILLIONS of rules and regulations on EVERYTHING, stupid
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 months ago
@missmozart and @zmike, thanks to both of you :)

@zmike, was there a severe elo limit? :O
Posted by zmikecuber 3 months ago
I read and tried to vote on this debate, but I can't. Poop.
Posted by missmozart 3 months ago
I'll vote on this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes two key arguments, as I see it: that the system shouldn't waste resources on those who don't want to learn, and that not all careers require education. On the first, Pro shows that mandatory education increases the likelihood that students will live better lives, and increasing that chance is not a waste of resources. This generates some positive offense for Pro (i.e. that he is improving lives). Pro also shows how education is always necessary, by dismantling Con's sole example to the contrary (i.e. sports); even a sports player needs education to be able to fill out forms to apply for teams, etc. The civics argument from Pro is also dropped, but it isn't really discussed much in the debate. As such, I give it only light weight. Because Pro is the only one here with any form of positive offense, I vote Pro. As feedback, Pro could've pointed out that, were school not compulsory, many kids would've been withdrawn against their will by their parents.