The Instigator
StronglyOnionatedPlatypus
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
OreosAreCool
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Should Summer Vacation be Abolished?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
OreosAreCool
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,000 times Debate No: 88211
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

StronglyOnionatedPlatypus

Pro

This is a debate about whether or not summer vacation (the long school break during the summer months) should be abolished in the U.S. and possibly be replaced. I will be arguing Pro, meaning I am against Summer Vacation, and my opponent will argue Con in favor of the break.
Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: Argument
Round 3: rebuttal
Round 4: counter-rebuttal + closing statements.
Debate Round No. 1
StronglyOnionatedPlatypus

Pro

My reasons for the abolition of summer vacation are as follows: it detriments to education, it harms poor children, and it is outdated.

Firstly, it reduces the effectivity of education. A phenomenon known as the "summer slide" is experienced, in which children, especially from low income families, lose months of information over summer vacation. [1] If there were no summer vacation, and instead smaller breaks, children could gain 2-5 months worth of education per year. (2 months lost + 2-3 extra months of summer.) And education is only one of several things that are harmed by the summer slide. Obesity, hunger, and lack of adult supervisions all are made worse by the vacation, especially with poor families.

Secondly, summer vacation is especially hard on low-income students. Middle class students are able to go to summer camp or some similar program, but poor families cannot afford that. For the months of summer vacation, parents must use time and money in order to care for and supervise their kids. During the school year, the kids are provided with adult supervision, stimulation, and lunches that aren't costly. This causes the summer slide to affect lower-income families severely. Many children experience food insecurity during the summer [2], and these problems could be solved by eliminating the summer break.

Finally, it's outdated. The summer vacation was established because in the hot summer months, classrooms in America would become swelteringly hot.[3] However, since we now have air conditioning, this is no longer a problem.

In conclusion, summer vacation should be abolished, because it is outdated and needless, harms education, and hurts poor working families.

[1] http://www.summerlearning.org...
[2] http://thinkprogress.org...
[3] http://www.pbs.org...
OreosAreCool

Con

Observations

My opponent has introduced a counter-plan: That the 2-month period of the summer vacation be broken down into smaller break-periods, which should be dispersed throughout the year. I would like to mention that my opponent must elaborate on this counterplan so that I can properly analyze it in the next round. E.g. He needs to explain how long those broken up periods are going to be, and how they will be spread out in the year. If he does not do this, it cannot be considered a drop if I do not rebut the specifics of his plan.

BOP

The Burden of Proof is shared in this debate, as my opponent must prove why the Summer Vacation should be abolished, and I must give reasons for keeping it.

Contention 1 - Effects on Teachers

I would like to approach my first argument from a different perspective. If the summer break were to be abolished tomorrow (hypothetically speaking of course), there would be a considerable impact on the quality of teaching given by the teachers in the U.S. This is because, as it currently stands, teachers use time in the summer to do either one of two things:

  1. 1. Improve the structure of their teaching. [1]

  2. 2. Conduct summer-school classes. [1]

From a teacher’s perspective, the abolishment of the summer break will affect both situations by:

  1. 1. Taking away the time necessary to improve the curriculum of their classes, which will halt any improvement in the quality of education given to students.

  2. 2. Completely removing the option of a summer school class (usually used to make up for a lost credit), thereby removing the option of students to earn the course credit without using up time from the next school year. This would ultimately cause a decline in school performance.

Contention 2 - Student Volunteers

Summer is a time when students can afford to participate in events that are unrelated to school. This of course could mean a variety of things, but in this argument I would like to focus primarily on volunteering. In many countries, students are required to log a certain number of hours of volunteering before they graduate from highschool. This is especially true for America’s neighbouring country, Canada. [6] There is no better time to do this than the summer vacation. Getting rid of the summer break will introduce issues in terms of time-management for the required volunteer hours.

We can see that the aforementioned effects on volunteering, would it turn have adverse effects on the sustainability of the many not-for-profit organizations that exist in the U.S today. There are currently about 1.5 million of such organizations, a little over 1 million of them being public charities. [2] Seeing that these charities rely heavily on the service of volunteers [3], we must accommodate them by providing the volunteers with time to assist these charities, which is done by keeping the summer break.

This is of course not to mention the overall benefits of volunteering on society and individuals that would be largely taken away through the abolishment of the summer break, such as: building of a cohesive society, improving the social quality of communities, or the fact that volunteers are 27% more likely to land a job than those who don’t volunteer. [5]

Contention 3 - The Role of Academics in the Lives of Students

To keep this debate about summer vacation, I’ll keep my summary about the effects of academics on students brief. I must point out that “there is growing awareness that many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent that it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior.” [4] The abolishment of summer vacation comes with two obvious things:

  1. 1. Mandatory schooling during the summer. (not mandatory in the literal sense, but as mandatory as it is to attend school during a normal day)

  2. 2. More stress.

It shouldn’t come off as a surprise when I say that situation #1 leads to situation #2. To elaborate, the abolishment of the summer break in this case, can be considered as an extension of a semester. Of course, because a year is a finite amount of time, this means that there is little to no break between school years. This almost immediate jump from one school year to the next promotes the increased role of schools in the lives of students, dissuading them from pursuing unrelated interests such as travelling, music, sports, or a subject of interest that may not be available at school. The end result is, that the stress accumulated from the constant flow of work at school will eventually become counterproductive to the point of abolishing the summer vacation.

Conclusion

There is sufficient reasoning for preserving the summer vacation, and I have included reasoning for all of the factors involved, not just limiting the reasons to a specific group of people. The abolition of the summer vacation would provide a net negative result because of the reasons I have listed above.

Sources

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com... (pg. 11)
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 2
StronglyOnionatedPlatypus

Pro

StronglyOnionatedPlatypus forfeited this round.
OreosAreCool

Con

I don't have a lot of time, but I'll just quickly rebut Pro's arguments.


To begin, my opponent brings up the argument that the summer break causes students to lose the information they learned. This is a good argument in theory, but the fact is that it is not the school's responsibility to ensure that the information taught is retained by the students throughout the years. Rather, their role is to ensure that students are properly taught the information during class. I mean if this is the argument, why doesn't the Government pass a law that forces everyone to study and do their homework? This is because such a thing would be a violation of our basic right to freedom. It's essentially the same thing with an extended school year: students are forced to give up some freedom just to retain information learned in class.

In his second argument, my opponent says that obesity, hunger, and lack of adult supervision are problems especially for poor children. This is a bare assertion, no sources given. In fact, it contradicts his following arguments about lack of food available to these children during the summer.

His third argument states that because poor families cannot afford to go to all the camps and programs that other families can, then measures should be taken to lessen that issue (by abolishing the summer break). This is absurd. It's sort of like a "if I can't have this, no one can!!!" type of reasoning. My opponent doesn't explain why this is how things should be, but rather assumes that it everybody knows how "unfair" this is. How is it fair to the child who's parents worked hard for a high-paying job, to have any possible advantages that may come from their parents hard work, taken away?

The fourth argument, which is just an extension of his original "food-insecurity" argument, states that food issues would be largely solved through the abolition of the summer break. How is this so? My opponent doesn't explain why he assumes that schools can afford to continue operation during the summer.

Continued operation during the summer break implies higher costs and expenses for the schools: Homeroom teachers would demand higher salaries for extended operation, A/C costs would occur, caretaking staff would also need to be paid, additional programs specific to the summer would need to be paid for. These are just some of the things my opponent doesn't consider when he implies that schools can continue to operate like they do without any repercussions.

There's not much to rebut in his last argument. He just says it's outdated, but I have given arguments that prove that the summer has a net benefit to society, and should remain as part of the year.
Debate Round No. 3
StronglyOnionatedPlatypus

Pro

StronglyOnionatedPlatypus forfeited this round.
OreosAreCool

Con

extend.

hopefully things are alright with my opponent
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by OreosAreCool 1 year ago
OreosAreCool
thanks for the RFD! I appreciate the feedback, I'll remember these tips for my next debates.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RFD 1/5

This is an objective win for OreosAreCool but due to the fact that he is my former mentee I will give some additional and extensive feedback.

The only debate framework that I am presented with in the debate is from Con that states that the burden of proof is shared. Ergo, I will be viewing the debate as such since Pro offered no rebuttal to this framework.

Pro begins by analyzing the harms of summer vacation. He argues that the information lost from having summer vacation is detrimental as 2 - 5 months of education and information is lost. The problem that I find with this contention is that it"s impact is minimal due to the lack of explanation. Impact is key when forming a debate. Pro made multiple assertions. He implied that the loss of information is bad but never really expanded upon this. This left open many potential points of attack from Con. Con could have argued that the fact that they have a bit of time of less information is beneficial because it allows their minds to rest (for example). Without an explanation as to why this period of time without information is bad the argument"s impact is severely mitigated. In the same contention Pro asserts "Obesity, hunger, and lack of adult supervisions all are made worse by the vacation, especially with poor families." This is not backed up by a source and therefore I view this as assertion and their is no weight on these particular additional claims. Con"s rebuttal regards freedom. He provides the homework analogy which I don"t find convincing. Banning summer vacation is not the same as forcing children to do homework and study. One would make children learn to the extent permissible. One would prevent children from doing what they want which IS a violation of freedom. As a result I do not find this argument particularly convincing. However as a judge I cannot refute the argument for myself, I have to allow Pro to refute which they are unfortunately unable to do due to the forfeitures.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RFD 2/5

Consequently, this goes in Con"s favor however it could have easily gone the other way if Pro had responded.

Pro"s second argument is his strongest. He manages to successfully prove that low income families receive negative repercussions as a result of summer vacations. Unfortunately the forfeitures again lead to Con winning this argument. Con"s response simply references to the lack of impact explanation in the sense that it isn"t made especially clear how this is the fault of the summer holidays. There were a number of ways in which Pro could have responded and his source specifically explained this issue so Pro"s forfeitures again create an unfortunate circumstance.

Pro"s final argument regards the fact that it is outdated and that it"s only purpose was because the summers were unbearable. He then introduces a weak counterplan (it had potential to be stronger if explained further). He introduces the notion of air conditioning but doesn"t talk about feasibility, costs and provides no sources to show that school do actually have air conditioning. These fatal points that Pro fails to consider are detrimental since Con correctly picks up on them (cost in particular). Since Pro forfeits there is no response and thus this also goes in Con"s favor.

I do not buy Con"s observation that Pro has introduced a counterplan suggesting that the school break be split up across the year. This wasn"t phrased in the way that a counterplan would be phrased. I view this more as a comparison than I do as a counterplan. Pro seemed to be saying that if we split it up it would be better but he never directly said that we should, which is a crucial element when distinguishing a counterplan. Showing that one system is better than the current one does not mean that he supports the better system of the two because he is ultimately advocating the abolition of summer vacation, which under the contention of information
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RFD 3/5

(where the supposed counterplan was stated, a full ban on the summer holidays would be better than splitting it up across the year).

Con"s first contention is simple but effective. He lays it out clearly and is very clear and concise with the point and the impacts. He talks about the two things that teachers primarily do during summer vacation and then explains the impact (which is something that Pro needed to work on). Since Pro forfeited the rebuttals round this ultimately works in Con"s favor.

The second contention wasn"t as strong. It lacked impact analysis which is crucial. Con failed to tell me why volunteering is a good thing. He failed to tell me why students should be allowed to get away from school to do volunteering. Judging by Con"s first contention he evidently believes that school is a good place for students and improving schools is a good thing. So what he needs to do is to explain why some time for students to volunteer is good as opposed to going to school in this period because all Pro needed to do (if he were hypothetically to respond), is say that volunteering is good but students gaining information that will affect their future is more important. So in order to avoid this kind of rebuttal Con needed to explain the impact more effectively. Other than that the contention was really strong. Again, the contention goes in Con"s favor due to the fact that Pro forfeited the rebuttals round.

The third contention strong. He uses a strong source from NYU and uses a basic syllogism to clearly and concisely demonstrate his argument. The impact is explained here which is good because this means that the contention is strong and bares significant weight upon the resolution. Since Pro forfeited the rebuttals round this automatically goes in Con"s favor again.

Just to finish off this RFD I"ll point out the strengths and weaknesses of both Pro and Con hopefully these will help.

Pro, your sources were relevant and reliable which i
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RFD 4/5

only used them when necessary which is helpful for me as a reader as many people get carried away and use 20+ sources for one round which is sometimes necessary but most of the time not. You"re also good at making your point clear. To improve I would suggest that you explain the impact of your contentions and maybe add more detail to some of your more important arguments, in this instance, your AC counterplan. I don"t know why you forfeited but if it was because you were unable to refute your opponent"s arguments then I believe that you should always try and give it a go. I"ve been in two debates with the site president (both of which I lost) and 2 with the site vice president (1 I lost, 1 I tied). In some of those debates I knew that I had lost at around half way into the debate but I never forfeited or tried to give up and those debates are some of the most beneficial debates that I"ve done on the site because they really helped to improve, particularly on researching and refuting skills as I had to do extensive work to refute their arguments. Those skills really pay off as since I did those debates (around 4 or 5 months ago) I"ve won the 2 site tournaments, beaten one of the best debaters on the site, won every single team debate that I"ve done (12) and won many extremely difficult debates. So trust me when I say that trying always helps.

Con, your arguments are really, really concise which is a valuable skill since it means that you can go into more detail than most people can do in the set character limit. Your sources are well chosen. They"re reliable and strong which wasn"t necessarily that important in this debate as you had no conflicting statistics but once you start taking on some of the harder members on the site you start have source challenges in terms of statistics and other various data. I"ve lost and won many debates solely due to sources and source reliability issues so it"s good that Con"s got into the habit of using strong sources
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RFD 5/5

To improve I think that Con needs to remember to always use impact analysis. On the most part he did use it but he occasionally forgot to use it. I think I"ve already told him this but I"ll just reiterate. The best structure to abide by (most of the time) is CWI - Claim, Warrant, Impact. I also think that your rebuttals could have used some work (though I think the fact that they were weaker than your arguments is mainly because of the time restraints that you mentioned). I don"t know what the character limit for this debate was but if it was 8 - 10k then I think that you could have included a bit more detail or another contention because logically, the more arguments that you have (provided that they are all strong - don"t try to fit in loads of small, unexplained arguments), the better since your burden is more likely to be fulfilled. So I don"t think that you should solely focus on quantity or quality. I think that they should both be equally considered.

Due to the double forfeitures ultimately meaning that all of Con"s arguments stand and his rebuttals negate Pro"s arguments the arguments points evidently go in Con"s favor. Good debate guys. I am, however, disappointed by the forfeitures. I think that if Pro had kept to the standard that he presented his first round at then I think that the debate would be much closer and it would have also been a lot more beneficial for him (as I described in more detail in my feedback for pro).
Posted by OreosAreCool 1 year ago
OreosAreCool
thanks xD
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
It looks like there isn't any useful feedback on this debate. That's disappointing. I'll have an RFD written out for the arguments on this debate in a bit.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
StronglyOnionatedPlatypusOreosAreCoolTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by illegalcombat 1 year ago
illegalcombat
StronglyOnionatedPlatypusOreosAreCoolTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits 2 from 4 rounds.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 1 year ago
fire_wings
StronglyOnionatedPlatypusOreosAreCoolTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff