The Instigator
mzoldos
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
countzander
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

State Standardized Tests

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
countzander
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,578 times Debate No: 39207
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

mzoldos

Con

Why do we have to take these tests? They are not necessary and do not prove a thing. Instead this little subject called Imagination and Creativity should come about. Why don't we enforce Imagination and Creativity? It is because the president of Harvard University in the early 1800s says so and that is the same system we have now. It needs to be changed. Because we already have Zombies walking around, what's next?
countzander

Pro

I shall rebut Con's criticisms of standardized tests. In so doing, I will provide reasons why standardized test are effectual via my rebuttals.



Criticism 1: The tests are not necessary.

Rebuttal 1: The tests are necessary. Test results provide a means by which to empirically compare students. Consider a quantitative comparison:“Student A understands 86% of the material; last year, he understood 80%. Student B understands 90% of the material; last year he understood only 65%. Student A has increased his comprehension by 6 percentage points; Student B has increased his understanding by 25 percentage points.” This analysis can guide teachers to help students who are most in need of help. This is better that a qualitative comparison: “Students A and B have improved.” Without a test, there's no way to know which students needs more help. Furthermore, empirical comparisons are useful in the rewarding of academic scholarships and college admission.

Criticism 2: Standardized tests do not demonstrate (i.e. prove) anything.

Rebuttal 2: Standardized tests demonstrate whether the test taker understands the material covered. In order to do well on an exam, the test taker must possess a sufficient level of understanding in order to pass the test. Otherwise, he will be unable to pass. Guessing is not sufficient.
For example, say a student needs to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly on a test in order to pass. Say also that the particular test contains 50 questions, each of which is four-answer multiple choice. Finally, assume that the test contains no “stupid” answers that are obviously false. The probability of answering at least 70% correctly by chance is

1 - sum [(50 choose n) * 0.25^n * 0.75^(50-n) from n=0 to n=34] = 0.00000000295194%

In other words, it is impossible to do well by chance. The only way to do well is to deliberately select the correct answer. This can be done only if the test taker knows the correct answer. Thus, standardized tests demonstrate that the test taker possesses a sufficient level of understanding.


Criticism 3: Creativity and imagination are more important than test-taking.

Rebuttal 3: While creativity and imagination are important, it is equally important that students demonstrate an adequate understanding of academic subjects, even if no creativity and imagination are involved. Science and mathematics, for example, are not based upon creativity and imagination. Rather, these fields are based upon a rigorous, procedural application of reason and observation. The only way to check whether a student understands these vital subjects is to ask a relevant question and check to see whether the answer is correct.
Creativity is still important. Often, the solution to a mathematical of scientific problem requires creative application of mastered material.

Criticism 4: Tests have produced zombies.

Rebuttal 4: This is demonstrably false. Some of the most productive, creative members of society are ones who have done well on standardized tests. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, average SAT score between 2090-2340, has produced 24 winners of the Nobel Prize, 44 Rhodes Scholars, 55 Marshall Scholars, and Ben Bernanke. Over 33% of astronauts are alumni of MIT. If MIT were a country, because of its entrepreneurs, the university would rank as the 11th largest in the world by GDP, ahead of Canada, Australia, and South Korea.

And that's just one high score school. Schools such as Yale and Harvard and Princeton and Cambridge and Oxford have produced countless scientists, politicians, and artists. These schools all require high performance on standardized tests, yet have not produced zombies.

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Miscellaneous point: A mention of a 19th century Harvard professor.

Response: Irrelevant. First, there's no source. Second, so what if some guy said something? If he was right, he was right.

---

References:
1. Binomial distribution
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.imf.org...=

Debate Round No. 1
mzoldos

Con

Something you may not understand "countzander" is that this so called "life form" that we call "humans" is someone's opinion. Life is full of them, there are no facts. Let me repeat that, "there are 'NO' facts".

To acquire a better understanding let's say that, Student A says that 75% of the earth is covered with water and Student B says that 25% of the Earth is covered with land. While you might be saying to yourself this is TRUE, it actually is not. We really have no clue what the exact measurements of the Earth are. There is such a thing called "human errors". "And, boy! humans have made a whole lot of them." Everything we have today is a mistake, but you know what, if we didn't have it, how would we live?
countzander

Pro

Let it be noted that Con has avoided all my points in round 1 and has also dropped his opening argument from round 1. Concerning his new argument...

---

Point 1: There are no facts.

Rebuttal 1: This is demonstratably false. There are facts. The effects of gravitation are factual; they are not opinion. If Con does not believe that gravitation is factual, he can test his claim by jumping off a building. If the attraction of masses is nothing more than opinion, he will suffer no harm.
Another example of a fact is that triangles have three sides. If this were simply an opinion, it would be possible to draw a triangle that does not have three sides.
By similar reasoning, it can be demonstrated that certain other things are true regardless of individual opinion.

Con also uses tautological example, citing the proportion of water on the earth's surface. He claims that because we do not know exactly how much water there is, we don't know anything at all. This is absurd and off topic.. The goal of science is to describe what appears to be reality, not to identify exactly what it is. Nothing in science is exact, but that has not prevent us from technological developments.

Point 2: Humans make mistakes.

Rebuttal 2: They do. That does not mean everything they've done is wrong. My computer works just fine.


Debate Round No. 2
mzoldos

Con

Yes, your right, gravity is factual. It does exist. However, it may be true that triangles have three sides, but what is a four-sided triangle? I bet you can't answer that because you think it doesn't exist. In reality, a four-sided triangle is a quadrilateral. You just don't know it in that form. It's just like the other day when I was in school in math class. Someone said that a pentagon was a 5-agon and that undefined was actually spelled undefigned (un-de-fig-ned).

Yes, your right, in reality these things don't exist because you don't know them in that way. But, what if they did? What I'm getting at is why did at some point in human history did we call an apple an apple and not a pear? I guess my initial question is "why did we give certain names to certain objects?"

And FYI: You don't have to pull out the points and rename your points with rebuttals. That is just awkward and annoying. Again just my opinion.
countzander

Pro

None of that has to to with the debate topic. Unless you're saying that standardized tests are useless because absolute knowledge is unobtainable. That's kinda silly though. The goal of education and science are to create models of what seems to be reality, not to understand reality exactly. Absolute knowledge is unnecessary. Rockets and computers and heart surgery work just fine without absolute knowledge.

But in order to become an astronaut or computer scientist or heart surgeon, a person needs to demonstrate that he possesses the required knowledge and is capable of obtaining more. Furthermore, because not everyone can be an astronaut or computer scientist or heart surgeon, there needs to be a means by which to compare people so that the most capable people are rewarded for their achievement. That's why standardized tests are necessary.

Anyway, my argument from the first round remains unrebutted and unrefuted.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mzoldos 3 years ago
mzoldos
"I may not always be right, but I am never wrong."
-Me
Posted by JamesClift 3 years ago
JamesClift
better luck next time, mzoldos.
Posted by countzander 3 years ago
countzander
You didn't specify any rules for you putative debate. All you did was make a claim and fail to defend it. If all you wanted was to share opinions, you should have used the forum, not the formal debate area.
Posted by mzoldos 3 years ago
mzoldos
That's just it... This is not a formal debate and this is not a war. It's my debate because I started it. If you start something it is yours. Like to say, if you buy a house, unless someone is trying to frame you, the house you bought is yours. Do you guys understand this analogy?
Posted by countzander 3 years ago
countzander
It does mean they've lost. That's how formal debates work. You're suppose to present an argument. Then, you have to defend it from criticism. You failed to do the second part. Failing to defend your position is analogous to surrendering in a war.
Posted by mzoldos 3 years ago
mzoldos
Just because someone fails to respond to their example doesn't mean that they lost. Listen people, I only am 16 years old but I have the mind of I'd say a 60 year old. Which should be a damn thing to be proud of. Albert Einstein may have been 20 years old but he was smarter compared to most people his age. And another thing, just because the train leaves the station doesn't mean you have to be on it. Think.
Posted by countzander 3 years ago
countzander
No, you're just a bad debater. Try harder next time.
Posted by mzoldos 3 years ago
mzoldos
Excuses people. What is wrong with everybody? I guess its just not one of those days.
Posted by the_arbiter 3 years ago
the_arbiter
Your argument was refuted. You argued that standardize tests create zombies. But Pro provided a counter example. You failed to respond to the example. Your failure to respond suggests that you were either unwilling or unable to respond. If you were unwilling, then your argument can be dismissed in favor of the counter argument, If you were unable, then clearly your position is untenable.

Please answer my question. Why did you fail to rebut your opponent's points?
Posted by mzoldos 3 years ago
mzoldos
Why doesn't anybody understand the big picture? I swear, check my argument out about zombies.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 3 years ago
Lordknukle
mzoldoscountzanderTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious. See comments.
Vote Placed by the_arbiter 3 years ago
the_arbiter
mzoldoscountzanderTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, spelling, and grammar were tied. Con didn't use any sources; Pro did. Pro made a strong case in the first round, rebutting Pro's introductory arguments, but Con ignored the counter case, dropped his original points, and began talking about epistemology, which was somewhat off-topic. Pro should not have followed the red herring, but he nevertheless presented a better case in the first round before the debate veered off into a different area. In the last round, Pro save himself by relating his round 2 argument to the original issue. In contrast, Con never mentions standardized tests outside the first round.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
mzoldoscountzanderTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro addresses Con's comments about standardised testing and puts forth arguments for the usage of standardised tests which are never addressed.