The Instigator
QT
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
BangBang-Coconut
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Students not passing all classes should be ineligible to play high school sports

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
BangBang-Coconut
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 41,581 times Debate No: 16944
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

QT

Pro

Resolved: Students not passing all classes should be ineligible to play high school sports


Definitions:

Students: Children who are enrolled in a public school

Pass: To achieve a grade of 60% or higher in a particular class

Play: To practice or compete with an athletic team


* Round one will be for acceptance only, no arguments!

BangBang-Coconut

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
QT

Pro

I will begin this round by defining one additional term:

“No Pass No Play policy” - A rule which states that students not passing all classes will be ineligible to play high school sports for a defined amount of time


A
ll public high schools should adopt No Pass No Play rules.


The primary goal of a public school is to foster a successful learning community. High schools that enforce No Pass No Play policies are fulfilling this mission by ensuring that their students obtain the skills necessary for success. These institutions realize that athletic programs should not dominate a student’s high school experience but rather supplement it.

In recent years, the United States has slipped behind foreign nations in educational ranks. Twenty years ago, the U.S. ranked first both among adults ages 25-34 who have a high school diploma and those who have a college degree. Currently the U.S. ranks ninth among adults who have a high school diploma and seventh among adults who have a college degree.

Texas and Los Angeles school districts are among the many who realize that the United States needs to focus on improving the grades of our students. They have both enacted rules such as No Pass No Play. Previously, these districts had held less demanding eligibility rules. When the No Pass No Play policies were initially implemented, a large number of students were unable to participate in high school sports. However, after two years of enforcing this rule, the number of ineligible students had decreased to the number of students ineligible before the policy was enacted (1).

Additional studies indicate that stricter eligibility rules have led to increased graduation rates. According to Dr. Fernandez at the University of Boston, “A one-subject increase in the minimum subjects standard (for example, students have to pass 4 as opposed to 3 classes in order to participate in sports) is associated with a two-percentage-point increase in the probability of graduation. In order to get a better idea of the magnitude of this effect, let us suppose that approximately 20% of students are interested in athletics, and that half of those are challenged by the requirement. Then, the implied effect for the affected students is a 10% increase in the likelihood of graduation” (2).

Dr. Melissa Sabatino also documented the benefits of stricter eligibility rules. She concluded that, "A review of the effects of [the No Pass No Play policy] in the Austin Independent School District indicated that, on balance, the provision appears to have a positive effect. More students have remained eligible for extracurriculars than in the years before the provision was enacted, with the highest increases among student athletes" (4). She also noted that
enrollment in advanced courses has increased following the enactment of stricter eligibility rules.


The evidence I have presented above clearly demonstrates that No Pass No Play rules are a successful tool for raising student athletes’ grades.

Many opposing parents and coaches complain that these controversial policies limit a student’s high school experiences and take away a major part of student athletes’ lives. However, the primary and most important duty of a school is to focus on academic success, which is a key part of all adults’ lives. Only .0002% of high school students playing a major sport will become professional athletes (4). According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who do become professional athletes will often “have short careers with little job security” (4). Therefore, all students need to develop their academic skills and prepare for careers in nonathletic fields.

Opponents of No Pass No Play policies also argue that participating in athletics actually helps students improve their grades. However, this is not necessarily the case. Which sport a student selects may affect whether there is a negative or positive effect on scholastic performance. For example, most negative links between academics and sports are found in basketball and football. The National Collegiate Athletic Association notes that incoming freshman in basketball have lower high school academic profiles than any other Division I sport, with football athletes maintaining the second lowest academic profile. These sports are most demanding and receive the most attention from the public; thus, the students are obliged to work harder. This takes time away from academics.

Conclusion:

Some students cannot be motivated in a typical classroom setting. For these students, the requirement to meet minimum academic guidelines in order to participate in sports provides the needed motivation to improve scholastic performance.

In a time when the US is losing ground in education, schools are only hurting themselves by letting their athletes get by with low grades. Every state should implement a No Pass No Play rule. Ideally, school districts should be able to determine the details of how they would enforce the rule and the period of time that a student would be ineligible.

References:

(1) http://www.thesportjournal.org...
(2) http://www.economics.smu.edu.sg...

(3) http://www.eric.ed.gov...

(4) http://www.bls.gov...

BangBang-Coconut

Con

I hereby negate that "Students not passing all classes should be ineligible to play high school sports"

It really would not matter if this policy where enforced or not; the problem in students not passing classes is in general apathy for the classes; my opponent proposes that by simply enforcing this "no-pass no-play" policy that students will legitimately learn more.
This is a logical fallacy.

Contention 1: Education needs major reform.
I propose that students in aesthetics, will not put forth any more of an effort to learn in order to be able to play sports. They will instead cheat to meet the bare minimum and they will be able to play their sport.
Where is my warrant?
My opponent said, "Texas and Los Angeles school districts are among the many who realize that the United States needs to focus on improving the grades of our students. They have both enacted rules such as No Pass No Play. Previously, these districts had held less demanding eligibility rules. When the No Pass No Play policies were initially implemented, a large number of students were unable to participate in high school sports. However, after two years of enforcing this rule, the number of ineligible students had decreased to the number of students ineligible before the policy was enacted"
For face value it would appear that the no-pass no-play policies had worked; until we look at standardized tests scores.
Up until the end of this last school year, Texas students where trained all year long to take the "Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skill" or TAKS. starting at the beginning of the next school year, students will instead be taking the "End Of Course exam" or EOC. The reason why? because test scores over-all for the TAKS where awful, students weren't learning anything. [1]
The simply fact is that education need a major reform; and simply stripping students of their extracurricular activities isn't going to make them learn any more. All it will do is take away student's only reason to want to do well in the first place; it will take away what inspires the students.

Contention 2: Education isn't everything-
No-pass no-play isn't specific to just sports; it includes all other school related activities.
for the future mechanic, that mean Ag Mech; for the future farmer, that mean Ag Shows; for the future lawyer, that means no forensics; for the future thespian, that means no theater.
Some subjects simply aren't relevant to every-one; and every walk of life. An actor doesn't need to know quantum physics to know how to convey emotion; an engineer doesn't need to know British literature to understand how to calibrate an engine; a Writer doesn't need Pre-Cal to be able t write a captivating novel

So now let's look at it in the log run; by enforcing no-pass no-play, we limit and even hurt the futures of many children because they're struggling with a certain subject.

Which leads me onto my next point

Contention 3: Student's shouldn't be punished for not understanding.
People are naturally proud, this is especially true for any-one outgoing enough to actually join a sports team; they're competitive and don't want to be seen as a lesser person.
And so of course, they don't want to fail a class, they don't choose to make bad grades. And while I admit that this isn't an all-inclusive argument, and that some students legitimately don't care; there are still going to be those students whom are being punished for not understanding something.

Conclusion-
Anything can look good on paper, any doctor can give an opinion or statement regarding something; but until it is seen in practical application, nothing can be known for sure. My opponent give you no hands-one proof that affirming this resolution will actually lead to students getting a better education; and beyond that they never prove that a better education is necessarily a good thing.
Therefore I urge you all to Vote Con!

=Sources=
[1] http://www.kxan.com...
Debate Round No. 2
QT

Pro

My opponent claims that, “Starting at the beginning of the next school year, students will instead be taking the "End Of Course exam" or EOC. The reason why? because test scores over-all for the TAKS where awful, students weren't learning anything.”

This argument is seriously flawed. According to the article my opponent provided, the TAKS system was replaced simply because more rigorous systems had been developed. The article never stated that student's scores on these tests were “awful”. In fact, TAKS scores have actually improved significantly in most Texas districts (1-3).


My opponent then suggested that, “Some subjects simply aren't relevant to every-one; and every walk of life. An actor doesn't need to know quantum physics to know how to convey emotion; an engineer doesn't need to know British literature to understand how to calibrate an engine; a Writer doesn't need Pre-Cal to be able t write a captivating novel.”

While this is true, these classes help students develop skills that will be necessary in almost every career. For example, they teach students how to manage their time effectively, prioritize their responsibilities, problem solve, and accomplish tasks that may not be the most enjoyable. Students who are failing classes demonstrate a lack of these essential skills.


My opponent also stated that, “People are naturally proud, this is especially true for any-one outgoing enough to actually join a sports team; they're competitive and don't want to be seen as a lesser person. And so of course, they don't want to fail a class, they don't choose to make bad grades.”

However, this claim simply is not realistic. Students who are competitive athletically may not necessarily be competitive academically. Athletes tend to receive lots of attention from their peers. Meanwhile, those who succeed academically may be teased and labeled as “nerds”. Anyone who is outgoing enough to join a sports team probably values their social status. Therefore, student athletes may be compelled to place greater emphasis on their sport than on their scholastic performance.


My opponent then suggested that student-athletes should not be punished for failing. I would agree with this proposal if and only if these students were genuinely trying their hardest. However, this is not necessarily the case. Studies have demonstrated that academic motivation is one of the most significant factors in determining scholastic performance (4). Thus, I believe that many failing students simply lack the motivation necessary for success. This conclusion is supported by many scholarly research articles. According to Dr. Keller at the University of Maryland, student athletes tend to have better grades during the season(s) in which they play (5). As he noted, this is because students generally lack motivation during the off season. While students are playing sports, they are motivated by their coaches to obtain passing grades. This is especially true for students who are struggling scholastically. Some coaches are placed in an environment where they are under extreme pressure to produce wins on the field or court. Having some athletes academically ineligible can obviously hurt their chances to produce these wins. Thus, coaches pressure their players to pass all of their classes. Student athletes also pressure themselves to improve their grades in order to remain eligible. Thus, it’s obvious that student athletes need motivation to succeed academically. “No Pass No Play” policies can easily provide this needed motivation.

As I have noted previously, such policies have led to higher academic performance and increased graduation rates. This further demonstrates that struggling athletes need extrinsic motivation to improve their scholastic performance. Some students simply will not try their hardest in the absence of such policies.



I urge everyone to vote pro!



References:

  1. http://www.kfdm.com...
  2. http://www.brenhambanner.com...
  3. http://www.houstonisd.org...
  4. http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:0FUR0JWVG2EJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,16
  5. http://www.umbc.edu...

BangBang-Coconut

Con

I thank my opponent for her responses!

=Arguments=
So starting out with TAKS testing;
I usually don't make these kinds of arguments, but right now I feel I'm fairly qualified to do so.
And also, just as proof; -> http://www.debate.org...

I'm 17 years old, born and raised in East Texas.
when I started 5th Grade, TAKS tests where instituted as a replacement to the [1]TAAS; This last school year (my junior year) the TAKS was finished.
In fact I had to take three of the EOC tests to try them out for the kids coming up; it was just as painfully easy as the TAKS test.

None of this standardized testing has done any good, and these scores mean absolutely nothing. I received a commended on all four of my exit level TAKS tests this year; and none of them have helped me at all. The reason the EOC's are even thought to be so necessary is because of how many kids are still failing classes and dropping out in the first place [2] Texas utterly fails to graduate 3 out of every 10 students, that's just under one third! Yes the article I linked to said the EOC was going to be more rigorous, simply because there is a fallacious idea that more rigorous testing will do any sort of good.
The fact still remains however that it will not.
Teachers will still be required to stick to a strict regime of teaching what is necessary for the test; the students will in turn still suffer as this is a painfully artificial way to teach. And while test scores for these tests will be great, and continue to get better as teachers fall into the patter of continuing to teach students things they will never use after high school.

Next, my opponent agrees with me that not all classes are necessary, but goes onto claim that these classes teach students essential skills such as effective time management, problem solving, and the ability to accomplish tasks that aren't necessarily enjoyable.

However with the exception of problem solving, it is not the school's job to teach kids these things. And we also have to remember that blatantly punishing these kids instead of helping them, and giving them an actual education does not good for the children, and especially not for the society these kids will be going into.
Also let's talk about problem solving for a minute; we live in a type of society where a lot problems can only be solved by going out of the frying pan and into the fire. Even if I got perfect grades in all of my classes, if I studied trigonometry and rhyme schemes all day, if I knew all of the presidents and the periodic table; It wouldn't help me find my way home if I got lost while in town. It wouldn't help me fix my truck if my engine broke down while going down the road, and it wouldn't tell me how to respond to my loving wife of 23 years our only son ran off the road and killed himself because he was darned worried about making it to school on time (Purely fictional examples by the way).
But if these where really such a big issue plaguing the minds of the educational institutions, then how come classes like Home Economics, and Ag Mechanics aren't graduations requirement?

Again, the educational system needs major reforms; and simply booting these kids out of their sports, or whatever else other activity they're in will do no good on a large enough scale to warrant the good outweighing the bad. There are bigger issues at fault, so at least let the kids play their sports and at least generate some revenue for the schools

I also want to make a quick point that society works as a body; not on an individual by individual basis. not every-one needs to know how to do everything; we need to focus on our strengths and allow help from others.
However that is exactly what the current educational system tries to do. So while Billy Jones does graduate with honors and get accepted into Harvard like Joey Smith, it doesn't make their contribution to society any less valuable.

Next my opponent claims that it is unrealistic to believe that those who joins sports teams aren't necessarily going to be as competitive in the classroom
First, if they play sports for the love of competition is is incredibly likely given the right incentive. Competition.
Second, those who only play sports for recognition from their peers likely wouldn't care that they where kicked out anyway. They would find another way to get attention, it's those who have a passion for sports whom are truly going to suffer.
Third, if a person who truly cared for sports was kicked off of the team for a bad grade instead of the school system having them put more emphasis on working at this subject; it should show that they legitimately need help on that subject.
Fourth, it's exactly this attitude that causes so many kids to fail in the first place; we assume that athletes are just a bunch of big smelly jocks who can't add two plus two; When really their mind probably just doesn't work in such a way.

The problem is something that can be extended from my prior argument with TAKS testing, all of this focus on passing grades and such kills the purpose of

Second, again No-Pass No-Play isn't exclusive to only sports but includes others things as well. Debate, Number Sense, Ready Writing, all of which are academically based. Even other various extracurricular activities that aren't necessarily academic or athletic have positive effects; they even teach these problem solving skills my opponent claims are so necessary [3].

Now finally my opponent makes the claim that students don't genuinely trying their hardest; Again, Extend all of the arguments I've made about education needing some major reform. Many students do have a passion for sports, because the passion is put in them, they where given a reason to love it.
- The fact that my opponent has provided so much information on how these athletes try harder academically during the school year would prove first off, that they don't just play sports for the attention as my opponent has claimed; but that they play it for a sincere passion of the game

- Next the way these students try harder to keep their grades up to stay eligible seems to be akin cramming for a test; they keep their grades just above the red long enough to play when their sport is in season; and then they quit. However just like cramming doesn't work in the long run [4] neither does this system. They don't really learn anything; all No-Pass No-Play does is continue to keep alive this utterly fallacious idea that these standardized testing and such are doing any good.

"Some students simply will not try their hardest in the absence of such policies."

All I have to say to this is that if you need to threaten them in order to for them to get their grades up to passing; they're not going to learn anything.
Learning is a process that continues our entire lives, and throughout the entire course of it something stands out as solid; that if you're only focused on the end product (i.e. a passing grade) you gain nothing out of it.
Like I said before I made commended on all of my TAKS tests this year, in fact I made a perfect grade on my English/Language arts TAKS! But any-one who reads through my debates on here will see I makes tons of spelling mistakes, and use generally poor grammar.
Thus I gained nothing from my TAKS test preparations.

=Conclusion=
Education needs some serious reform, and not allowing students to play sports because they're failing will not help anything in the long run.
Even worse It could even encourage cheating, and false expectations later in life.

We must instead focus on improving education as whole, not blame the students who in the end are the real victims of a poor education.

Vote Con!
=Sources=
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.idra.org...
[3] http://sitemaker.umich.edu...
[4] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
Debate Round No. 3
QT

Pro

My opponent continues to insist that students who are competitive athletically will also be competitive academically. However, as I have demonstrated previously, this is not necessarily the case. A student athlete’s competitive nature results from his or her passion for sports. This competition is further fueled by the attention an athlete receives from other students (1).

Nevertheless, not all athletes have the motivation necessary to succeed in the classroom. According to the University of Michigan, “For students with poor academic performance, a reoccurring problem appears to be a lack of motivation. Some students just cannot be motivated by academic goals or teachers” (1).


My opponent even acknowledged that, “The problem in students not passing classes is in general apathy for the classes.” However, he seemed to retract this statement later in the debate. Towards the end of round two, my opponent claimed that most student athletes are genuinely trying their hardest. He then suggested that some students struggle simply because they have difficulty grasping certain subjects.

If my opponent’s second suggestion were correct, No Pass No Play policies would be entirely ineffective. Students would already be putting forth their best effort, and the new policies would not encourage them to work much harder. However, this has not been observed in reality. Research articles have established a direct connection between No Pass No Play policies and significant improvements in academic performance. This proves that many struggling students are not trying their hardest. It also demonstrates that extrinsic motivation can help students to succeed academically.


Despite this compelling evidence, my opponent still claims that No Pass No Play policies are not effective in the long term. As he stated in round three, “Next the way these students try harder to keep their grades up to stay eligible seems to be akin cramming for a test; they keep their grades just above the red long enough to play when their sport is in season; and then they quit...just like cramming doesn't work in the long run neither does this system.”


However, this analogy is seriously flawed. During their season, struggling student-athletes put forth extra effort to remain eligible. While they might not try as hard during the off season, No Pass No Play policies are still effective in the long term. Dr. Fernandez at the University of Boston demonstrated empirically that, “A one-subject increase in the minimum subjects standard (for example, students have to pass 4 as opposed to 3 classes in order to participate in sports) is associated with a two-percentage-point increase in the probability of graduation.” This increase may not seem large. However, as Dr. Fernandez stated, "In order to get a better idea of the magnitude of this effect, let us suppose that approximately 20% of students are interested in athletics, and that half of those are challenged by the requirement. Then, the implied effect for the affected students is a 10% increase in the likelihood of graduation” (2).

The long term benefits of No Pass No Play policies have also been observed at the college level. In 1986, the National Collegiate Athletic Association adopted Proposition 48 which reformed initial-eligibility rules for student athletes. Under this proposition, athletes must receive a high school GPA of 2.0 and an SAT score of 700 to be eligible for college athletics during their first year.

To meet these requirements, high school athletes must put forth additional effort throughout the entire school year. Thus, students who want to play sports in college have an incentive to focus on their long term academic success. As it turns out, many have done so. When Proposition 48 was initially enacted, a large number of incoming African-American freshman were ineligible to play. However, after only two years of enforcing this rule, significantly more African-American freshman met the criteria I described above (3). This demonstrates that No Pass No Play policies encourage college bound students to place an emphasis on long-term learning.

My opponent may argue that this conclusion contradicts Dr. Keller’s research. As I mentioned in round two, Dr. Keller found that high school students tend to have better grades during the seasons in which they play. However, only 55% of the United States’s population will ever attend college (4). Therefore, many student athletes have little reason to keep up their grades during the off season. Had Dr. Keller examined only college bound athletes he probably would have arrived at a different result.

Throughout this debate, my opponent has claimed that academic success isn’t important, as most information taught in high school isn’t applicable to everyday life. However, most required high school classes are actually very practical. This is especially true for struggling students who aren’t likely to obtain a four year degree. For example, Algebra and Geometry are frequently used by carpenters, electricians, and plumbers (5-7). A carpenter might employ his or her knowledge of basic trigonometry and linear equations when calculating the angle of a roof. The carpenter would first need to calculate the pitch of the roof using basic algebra skills. Then, he or she would need to determine the inverse tangent of this value to find the roof’s angle.

Skills obtained in English classes are also useful in most careers. All employees need to be able to communicate effectively with customers, coworkers, and management personnel. Reading comprehension skills are also a necessity. Industrial and technical workers must be able to read written instructions, blue prints, safety regulations, etc. Core science classes may also have applications in some careers. According to the College Board, knowledge of basic physics may be useful for electricians (6).

Once students have completed the required classes in core subjects, they can select courses which would be even more practical. Under the Texas graduation requirements, a student who has successfully completed Geometry does not necessarily have to enroll in Algebra II the next year. Instead, this student could choose to take a course such as Mathematical Applications in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (8).

High school students also have the opportunity to select electives which relate directly to their areas of interest. In fact, students must earn 5 elective credits to graduate in Texas (8). A few examples of elective courses include Art, Drama, Fashion Merchandising, Construction, Business Law, etc.

In round three, my opponent claimed that, “Society works as a body...Not everyone needs to know how to do everything; we need to focus on our strengths and allow help from others. However that is exactly what the current educational system tries to do.”

This is not true. As I have demonstrated above, students have opportunities to select classes that are applicable to the careers they wish to pursue.

Conclusion:

No Pass No Play policies are highly effective. In a time when the US is losing ground in education schools are only hurting themselves by letting their athletes get by with low grades.

I encourage everyone to vote pro, as I've backed up my claims with highly credible sources.



References

  1. http://sitemaker.umich.edu...
  2. http://www.economics.smu.edu.sg...
  3. http://eric.ed.gov...
  4. http://www.census.gov...
  5. http://www.collegeboard.com...
  6. http://www.collegeboard.com...
  7. http://www.collegeboard.com...
  8. http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us...
BangBang-Coconut

Con

Quite frankly, I don' feel I have much to say; so I'll be brief.

- My opponent never addressed my argument that schools utterly fail to graduate 1/3 of their students.
- My opponent never refutes the fact that education needs major reform in the first place.
- My opponent never shows us that no-pass no-play gives athletes anything substantial in regards to education, only that they'll learn just enough to pass while needed.

=Conclusion=
Ultimately what Pro advocates is a facade; when they don't contradict themselves, they still end up not advocating and long-term success for no-pass no-play. She only shows it's topical success throughout the duration of the student's school life.
If you vote for my opponent, all you will be doing is inflating the fallacious idea that out education system is working as well as it should. No-Pass No-Play is a cop-out to hide the fact that education is failing, and punishing students for a faulty system is unfair to them.

If you've ever been cheated out because of something beyond your control, then I urge you to vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
Apparently, nobody likes to read long debates! =(
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
Low graduation rates are just another reason WHY schools should implement No Pass No Play policies.
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
Thanks for the tip =)
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
You should use bitly or some other URL shortener to make your sources take up less space.
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
I hate that 8,000 character limit!
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
I strongly encourage voters to read the entire debate!
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
Darn it! I was hoping for some hard statistics.
Posted by QT 5 years ago
QT
Can't wait for it!
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Ooooh, you're going to love my argument on TAKS for the next round XD.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Okie dokie :)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
Dimmitri.C
QTBangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never responded to either claims, 'My opponent never addressed my argument that schools utterly fail to graduate 1/3 of their students. - My opponent never refutes the fact that education needs major reform in the first place.'
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
QTBangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: While Con made a number of points concerning issues with education, they could not clearly refute that NP-NP rules do increase graduation statistics and that is a non-trivial point. 3:2 Pro
Vote Placed by Spartan 5 years ago
Spartan
QTBangBang-CoconutTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: TL;DR, read round 5, con sounded better.