The Instigator
masterzanzibar
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Mickeyrocks
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

That on balance, the NCLB act has improved academic achievement in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
masterzanzibar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,038 times Debate No: 7879
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

masterzanzibar

Pro

To begin i don't personally agree with this notion but it calls for an interesting debate.
I affirm with the following three contentions:

And do so with the following Three contentions:
I.NCLB has increased academic proficiency.
II.NCLB is reducing the achievement gap
III. NCLB has improved teacher quality
Definition
Academic achievement- " encompasses student ability and performance (Steinberger, 1993 from her book, "Improving academic achievement")

I.NCLB has increased academic proficiency.

Subpoint A- NCLB has increased test scores on state and national tests
According to The Center on Education Policy, 2007
"State test scores are the highest they've ever been"

And on the national tests
America's nine-year-olds posted the best scores in reading (since 1971) and math (since 1973). America's 13-year-olds earned the highest math scores on the test ever recorded.

Because these scores have increased, and they are a reliable assessment of academic achievement, academic achievement within the U.S. has increased due to NCLB.
Sub point B- NCLB has increased competency in reading and math leading to academic achievement in all other subjects.
According to CBS News, 2007
U.S. students are spending more time on math and reading as an apparent result of the No Child Left Behind ACT. "The vast majority of elementary schools within the United States reported increasing math and reading time since the law was passed in 2001. "
This extra emphasis has brought astronomical increases in the proficiency of American Students.

According to U.S. Department of Education, 2007
The number of fourth-graders who learned their fundamental math skills increased astronomically, and more progress has been made in reading proficiency through NCLB in the past 5 years than in the previous 20 combined.
Overall Forty-three states and the District of Columbia either improved academically or held steady in all categories
This increase is significant, because when students are more proficient in math and reading, they are clinically proven to increase their competency in all subjects in school.
According to Spellings in 2007
As students' skills in reading fluency and comprehension strengthen, so does their ability to do well in other subject areas. The fact is, when students learn these skills, the result is greater academic gains.
This notion is further substantiated by a study conducted by The Manhattan Institute in 2008
Within this study, researchers found that
"High stakes testing systems led to significant learning gains in low-stakes subjects such as history, science, social studies, and many others. Student proficiency increase[s] under high stakes sanctions primarily because the improvements that students make in math and reading enhances their ability to learn other materials"
II.NCLB is reducing the achievement gap by significantly aiding disadvantaged students.
Perhaps the biggest concern in education today is the achievement gap found between racial and socioeconomic demographics.
Most experts agree that No Child Left Behind has been effective in reducing these gaps.
According to Rocha in 08
This is because… NCLB has increased awareness surrounding the huge inequities that exist in the funding, quality, and delivery of education, particularly for minority and poor students. It has furthered education reform by promoting high expectations and accountability for student learning.
Thus far, No Child Left behind has found Extreme success in narrowing this gap.

According to The Center on Education Policy, 2007
Achievement gaps in reading and math between white and African American, and white and Hispanic students are at an all time low.
This furthers the notion that NCLB has worked, because it has leveled the playing field regardless of demographics.
III.NCLB has improved teacher quality
Because of the "High Quality Teacher Provisions" created within NCLB, teacher quality within America's schools has increased exponentially.
According to Gitomer 07 the EEET mandate within NCLB has ensured that
All teachers in the United States were not only licensed, but demonstrated competence in the subject matter that they taught. This mandate has proven to be successful, for according to Gitomer in 2007, the academic profile of the entire candidate pools have improved. Teacher improvements are consistent across gender, race/ethnicity, and licensure area.
Please Affirm, thank you.
Mickeyrocks

Con

I negate "Resolved: That, on balance, the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 has improved academic achievement in the United States" for the following contentions:

1) Improvements cannot be causally linked to No Child Left Behind
While,
2)Problems in academic achievement can be linked to the act's implementation

Contention One: Improvements cannot be causally linked to No Child Left Behind.

Dr. Ladner elaborates, "The interaction of the NCLB policies has created an incentive for states to lower testing standards in order to avoid federal sanctions. Researchers have reported a pattern whereby states lower passing thresholds and otherwise "dumb down" assessments to boost proficiency scores and avoid federal sanctions under NCLB." Essentially, the standards set by No Child Left Behind require schools to lower their testing standards so that schools can still receive funding. Thus, just reading state test scores doesn't actually demonstrate an improvement in academic achievement, it demonstrates a fundamental flaw of the Act which is that it lowers the amount of achievement required to meet false-proficiency markers. John Cronin of the Thomas Fordham institute elaborates, "The primary factor explaining improvement in student proficiency rates in many states is a decline in the test's estimated cut score. Half of the reported improvement in reading, and 70 percent of the reported improvement in mathematics, appear idiosyncratic to the state test. Virginia, often praised for its leadership in education reforms such as its statewide "Standards of Learning," reported that 73 percent were at or above "proficiency" in state reading—compared with their national testing figure of just 35 percent." States that lower proficiency markers to increase federal funding are widespread. However, markers like GPA, which are not subject to fluctuation in state standards, demonstrate NCLB's inefficiency in actually improving academic achievement. Chester Finn of the Thomas Fordham institute reports, "The average grade for state standards across all subjects was a disappointing "C-minus" in 2000 and remains so today. Two-thirds of the nation's K-12 students attend schools in states with C, D, or F-rated standards." At the point where students aren't performing better in the classroom, but are only performing better on state tests (due to them being dumbed down) it does not make sense to vote Pro.

Contention Two: Problems in academic achievement can be linked to the act's implementation.

Gershon Ratner, executive director of Citizens for Effective Schools writes, "By treating increasing test scores as the end in itself, the Act pressures schools to "drill and kill" students with test preparation, narrow the curriculum, and take other steps to artificially raise test scores. This needlessly and harmfully diverts schools' attention away from doing what needs to be done: making the difficult changes necessary to dramatically improve teaching and learning. To the contrary, what NCLB has widely generated is "teaching to the test," i.e., teaching a scripted, narrowed and dumbed-down curriculum concentrated on memorization of facts and the lower-level thinking skills needed to pass the standardized tests." As a result, academic achievement has faltered in the United States. The Center on Education Policy reports, "While average NAEP scores increased in math, it was at a much slower rate than in previous years. Results for grades 4 and 8 climbed dramatically in the 1990's but essentially flat lined from 03 to 05." NCLB testing can be attributed to these losses because it forces teachers to teach test-taking skills that are irrelevant to the higher order thinking skills necessary to actually perform on national tests. The impact is clear, students are not receiving necessary teaching and so they're faltering where they should be succeeding; rates of growth have dropped due to NCLB. In fact, according to Harvard Study, growth rates have either dropped or stagnated as a result of No Child Left Behind. Finally, as a result of this "teaching to the test", The Government Accountability Office reports, "The number of schools identified for needing improvement increased from about 8,400 in school year 2004-2005 to over 10,700 in 2006-2007." So instead of helping increase school performance, NCLB has rather increased the number of schools needing improvement.

It is because testing scores in support of No Child Left Behind are inaccurate and skewed, while true measures of academic success demonstrate unfortunate problems with the teaching styles that stifle achievement that my partner and I urge you to negate.

Next, onto my opponents points:

His Contention One:

Subpoint A:
It's important to note that he quotes the Center on Education Policy, which says STATE test scores are the highest they've ever been. That EXACT same study states in the conclusions that, "increases in test scores cannot be causally linked to No Child Left Behind." moreover, the study only measured state test scores which, as I outline in my first contention, are subject to the dumbing down of state test procedures.

Next, he talks about how test scores are the highest they've ever been. This isn't because of No Child Left Behind, students have been growing since the 90's, what we need to examine is if these growth trends have slowed or sped up due to No Child Left Behind. As I discuss in my case, both Harvard and the CEP confirm that these growth rates have slowed. This simply means that No Child Left Behind has hurt achievement by causing it come at a slower rate.

Subpoint B:

Actually, he says that they're increasing reading and math - which I agree on. However this means that they're taking time away from history and science, which is why the United States has fallen over 10 points on average on international science tests since the inception of No Child Left Behind. Most of this contention is on history and science, and while he gives quotes the data does not support this point.

Next, the Department of Education study actually has to do with state test scores, and I've already explained the growth in those areas.

Contention Two:

The CEP study (Which he cites) actually says that the achievement gap shrinkage in many states was due to white students performing worse than usual. Moreover, this is only a small slice of the population (minorities), when we examine growth trends on the whole it is obvious that No Child Left Behind has stifled academic achievement by stifling the academic growth of students on the whole.

Contention Three:

He says that it has improved teacher quality, but that's not true. In fact, higher quality teachers do not even go to these lower quality schools. When AYP markers label a school as "Failing" it decreases the chance a teacher will go to that school by over 50%. As a result, the divisive line between high quality teachers and low performing schools has only grown wider since No Child Left Behind.
Debate Round No. 1
masterzanzibar

Pro

okay im going NC-->AC

Con Contention One: Improvements cannot be causally linked to No Child Left Behind.

lets break down this contention for what it really is. the first part of the NC asserts that states have decreased their standards. the second part basically focuses upon the notion that GPAs have continued to be bad.

First off, I concede the fact that some states have lowered testing standards. however, if you look to the NAEP test which is a national test where standards have not lowered since the implementation, scores are at an all time high, and more progress was made on this test in the 5 years following the implementation of NCLB than in the previous twenty combined. Thus, if scores are increasing on a test where standards are not changing because of NCLB, we can conclude that NCLB has increased academic achievement in the united states.
http://www.ed.gov...

To attack the second part of this contention, we must realize what we are really debating here. we are not debating whether academic standards are good or bad in the united states, but if academic achievement has improved since the implementation of NCLB. thus when the NEG asserts that a great portion of U.S. students go to schools with bad standards, we must realize that the NEG never actually shows the impact that NCLB has had on GPA, as they only give statistics from 2000, approximately three full years before the mandate actually came into compliance. furthermore even if the NEG can show you that grades have decreased, GPA is not as reliable as standardize tests. GPA is subject to grade arbitrary grade inflation, and fluctuates from state to state. where as the national test is reliable and bars are set to be regular for all students taking the tests. National test scores have increased thus deeming the Negative's 1st contention to be flawed and void.

"Contention Two: Problems in academic achievement can be linked to the act's implementation."

I will go a little more line by line while addressing this contention
NEG STATES: " "drill and kill" students with test preparation, narrow the curriculum, and take other steps to artificially raise test scores.

test preparation is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, test preparation is key to several things within the educational process.
for example, teachers are more motivated to stay with the curriculum instead of straying away from it through teaching arbitrary lessons that really don't enhance students knowledge of the subject they are in. this is validated by the analysis of Richard P Phelps in 2005 where he states that " what teachers do in their classrooms without standards is not necessarily "broader", in fact standards keep a more uniform course, and keep teachers teaching the curriculum rather than an arbitrary course not proven to enhance one's understanding or knowledge of the subject they are in."
test preparation is used quite rigorously throughout America's education system "i.e. ACT and AP tests".

NEG STATES: "NCLB causes "teaching to the test," i.e., teaching a scripted, narrowed and dumbed-down curriculum concentrated on memorization of facts and the lower-level thinking skills needed to pass the standardized tests."

This is a common myth that overshadows NCLB tests. Logically this cannot happen because teachers do not actually k know what are on these tests. This is validated by the analysis from Mathews, covers education for The Washington Post, in 2006 where he states :
"the state test is nothing more than another useful guide and motivator, with no significant change in the way they present their lessons. Those who complain [about teaching to the test] are not really talking about teaching to the state test. Unless teachers sneak into the counseling office and steal a copy, which can get them fired, they don't know what's on the test. They are teaching not to the test but to the state standards Teacher and students work together to beat an exam that requires thought and analysis, not just memorization. If that is teaching to the test, let's have more of it."

Thus the claims made by the Negative in this avenue are inherently false.

NS: "While average NAEP scores increased in math, it was at a much slower rate than in previous years. Results for grades 4 and 8 climbed dramatically in the 1990's but essentially flat lined from 03 to 05." NCLB testing can be attributed to these losses because it forces teachers to teach test-taking skills that are irrelevant to the higher order thinking skills necessary to actually perform on national tests. "

The truth to this argument is that improvement on these tests was fairly steady until the late 90's where we see a huge gain on these NAEP test scores. however, it starts to decline in the early 2000's before the actual implementation, meaning that on top of the lack of causation between this argument, there is no correlation.

NS: "The number of schools identified for needing improvement increased from about 8,400 in school year 2004-2005 to over 10,700 in 2006-2007." So instead of helping increase school performance, NCLB has rather increased the number of schools needing improvement.

doesn't this negate your argument that route memorization skills are happening? that less states are meeting AYP? furthermore, couldn't there be other erroneous factors such as local reforms or district wide reforms that are causing this? where is the inherently?

ON TO THE AFF CASE
SUBPOINT A-
First, kick the state test score debate, as national test scores are the real issue. cross apply the arguments I made earlier about why the Negative arguments about the national test scores are flawed.

SUBPOINT B- This is undoubtedly the biggest part of this debate, and the primary reason why you are going to vote affirmative. my opponent concedes that states have increased time spent on math and reading due to NCLB. this is the most inherent argument that you will find in this round, for it is directly caused by NCLB as agreed on by both sides. the Negative argues that NCLB takes time away from history and science. however, the main focus of my contention is to assert that math and reading are fundamental to every subject on the academic spectrum, and cross apply to similar gains in those subjects as well. in reference to that argument I used a study by the Manhattan institute in 2008 which empirically concluded that "
High stakes testing systems led to significant learning gains in low-stakes subjects such as history, science, social studies, and many others. Student proficiency increase[s] under high stakes sanctions primarily because the improvements that students make in math and reading enhances their ability to learn other materials"
meaning that when kids gain those math and reading skills they are better at all of the subjects that the negative discussed. in response to his International science tests, what was the methodology of this study and where was it from? furthermore we can see that kids are better readers and are better at math when more than 235,000 more children in the u.s. have gained these skills just because of the mandated focus on math and reading. http://www.ed.gov...

CONTENTION 2

Where in the CEP study does it say that specifically? I don't ever remember reading that. that will have to be something that can be cleared up in your next speech. furthermore if 80 of students have gotten better and twenty percent have gotten worse, there has still been an increase, thus there must be an affirmation.

CONTENTION 3:
The negation fails to give any evidence to substantiate this
Who is this according to? at the point where I give cited empirical evidence that because of the EET mandate teacher quality across all demographics has increased, don't the voters prefer my analysis?

Vote PRO thanks.
Mickeyrocks

Con

Two things to observe:

FIRST: when evaluating the round and the different logic my opponent and I present, it's important to observe that while quotes are a good tool for explaining analysis, statistics are always more reliable. For example, if you're buying a car the dealer says is brand new, and the odometer says that it's been driven 200,000 miles, you're obviously going to trust the odometer. This is going to be important.

SECOND: This is more for organization - just note that my opponent concedes state test scores are not the big issue. Instead, and this is what he acknowledges, the debate is going to be centered around NATIONAL test scores.

On to the cases, we'll start first with the Neg Case, and then we'll move on the Affirmative.

Contention One:

First, let's look to the point he says about NAEP testing. He drops state testing standards, and asks us to look at the national levels. I concede that national levels are at an all time high. This is irrefutable. It is important to note, however, how fast we've gotten there. To draw a parallel, say you're examining an athletic player's improvement in basketball. For the last 15 practices his accuracy has jumped 3% each practice. You implement a new shooting regiment, and now his accuracy only improves by 1% each practice. You thus conclude that your new training program has STIFLED his achievement. While he is still achieving, he's doing it slower than before, and as a result you conclude that the new program has not improved academic achievement. This is the most important point, as he never actually refutes it. National test score increases have STAGNATED since the implementation of NCLB. The website he links doesn't actually say "increased more in the last 5 years than in the previous 20 combined", it simply says test scores are at all an time high, which I've already shown is insufficient to prove achievement has been increased. The study about how test scores have increased actually talks about state proficiency markers, which he agrees are flawed.

Next, he talks about how GPA is insufficient - I'd like to observe that academic achievement can best be defined as how much students are learning. Better test scores mean better learning (at least, that's his logic) and so we could also conclude that better grades mean better learning. This isn't so. The statistics I give you actually say that the average grade in 2000 was a C-, and it remains so today (2009, I believe ;)). As a result of NCLB, there have been literally 0 improvements to GPA. So unless teacher grading has all of a sudden gotten much harsher (which doesn't make sense, as teachers actually decrease the standards they hold their kids to - look to the logic in my first contention for that) it stands to reason that GPA does assist us in evaluating the affect NCLB has had.

Contention Two:

The first two paragraphs he makes can be grouped. He misses the point entirely. The argument that I am making is that NCLB has lead to lowered testing standards on state tests. As a result, teachers teach to those lower standards - eliminating higher order thinking skills. The whole, "teachers don't know what's on the test" argument represents more misunderstanding - they have access to all previous state tests. As the tests progressively get worse, so do the classes. Moreover, these classrooms focus on "test taking strategies" which have nothing to do with the curriculum at all.

As for NAEP Stagnation, as this is the most important point in the round, let me cite several sources backing this up. He asserts a point with no evidence, so I'll cite three different sources that outline the lowering of of achievement since NCLB's inception.

First: CEP: "average NAEP scores also increased in math but at a slower rate than in previous years. Math results for grades 4 and 8 climbed dramatically in the early 1990s, leveled off in the mid-1990s, and then rose again between 2000 and 2003. Scores increased more modestly between 2003 and 2005, when the 4th grade average score increased by 3 points to 238, and the 8th grade average score rose by 1 point to 279."

Second: UC Berkeley: "the rate of improvement was faster before the law, NCLB is slowing down our progress nationwide."

Third: Different UC Berkeley Study: "Negative advances have been seen in eighth grade reading scores since the inception of NCLB in 2002."

Fourth: Harvard: "Growth rates have either slowed or stagnated since the inception of NCLB in 2002."

AFFIRMATIVE CASE:

A: he drops subpoint a.

B: Okay, he gives us this nice quote by the Manhattan Institute. That's fine, but look back to the beginning of this where I told you that statistics are better than quotes. If students should be performing better in science and history, it does not make sense that test scores in those areas are falling. http://nces.ed.gov... is the full PDF file, it's from the Dep. of Education.

Contention Two:

Sorry, that's not the CEP Study.

First: High-low achievement gap is a result of high performing students performing worse.

Tom Loveless of the Fordham Institute writes, "The narrowing of the gap during the NCLB era is largely due to smaller gains by high achievers."

Second: Black-White Achievement Gap has not shrunk.

His CEP Study talks ONLY about state testing, so that's not an accurate marker of how the achievement gap as shrunk. When we look to national testing a study by UC Berkeley reports, "long term data show that the Black-White achievement gap closed from 44 points in 1971 to 26 in 2004, yet no progress has occured since 2002 in closing the achievement gap, mean gains have slowed since 03 and progress in closing ethnic gaps has stalled."

Moreover, that same Harvard study I quote for Growth Rates also elaborates into the achievement gap. The author, Jaekyung Lee, writes, "NCLB does not appear to have an impact on improving reading or math achievement...NCLB does not seem to have helped the nation and states significantly narrow the achievement gap."

Contention Three:

Chester E. Finn, Senior Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution reports: "Lawmakers blundered when they confused "qualified" with "certified" teachers. There's no solid evidence that state certification ensures classroom effectiveness -- and the booming success of programs such as Teach for America, which sends recent college graduates into troubled schools, suggests that certification may be wholly unnecessary. By requiring certified teachers in every classroom, No Child Left Behind makes it harder for district and charter schools to attract energetic and capable people who want to teach but take a less traditional route to the classroom." Sunderman and Kim of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA Elaborate, "NCLB as worsened inqequities in the distribution of qualified teachers, skilled teachers avoid or leave low-performing schools schools that are identified as in need of improvement. Schools identified as needing improvement under NCLB are most likely to have the least qualified teachers."

To summarize:

The points to vote off of in this round are as followed:

1) NCLB has caused growth rates in areas of academics to slow. I cite four different studies to back this up, one of which he relies on heavily in his own case (the CEP). Linking back to the basketball player analogy, if the new system caused decreases in improvement, one would NOT logically conclude it has improved achievement.

2) NCLB has not shrunk the achievement gap. There are three separate studies to support this, that all discuss NAEP not the flawed state tests which his study addresses.

3) NCLB encourages good teachers to LEAVE schools that need their help the most. Again, two studies to support this. Moreover, "certified" does not mean "qualified" - if these teachers had become better, we would see improvements on NAEP tests. We do not.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
masterzanzibar

Pro

okay so ill go over a few preliminary things, go onto the NC and then AC

my opponent states that you should observe that statistics are more reliable than quotes, while this may be true in some cases, it is quite often the case that statistics are misrepresented and/or inflated in their presentation, translating into very misleading and seemingly insisputable evidence. such is the case with several of the statistics that the negative gives us today. i will elaborate on how the statistics used today by the NEG are misleading when i come upon them in my analysis and closing arguments.

furthermore, i did kick the state test score debate, but did not contend that the debate should be centered around national test scores, what i argued is simply that when it comes to test scores the national tests are the most reliable. what this debate really comes down to my subpoint b where I discuss the fundamental skills that are gained by nclb and how they generalize to all other subjects on the academic spectrum.

NC
----
it is flase to claim that i never refute the negatives "Stifled achievement argument", as i do so in R2 when i discuss what the neg statistics are really saying. the analogy that the negative uses is inherently flawed. this is because they compare the players to the test scores saying that the player has consistantly increased in accuracy for the last 15 practices, making the argument that test scores have been consistantly increasing before the implementation. however, this is not the case, as test scores were rather dysmal in the 90's all the way up until the late 90's and early 2000's where they take a giant leap and continue to grow until today. the more appropriate analogy would be a basketball player who consistantly gains 1% accuracy per practice, than for two practices gains 5 to 6 percent accuracy. afterwards he continues to increase by 3 % and is the most accurate that he has ever been.

my opponent states that the website i link to doesn't actually say what i claim. just because my opponent fails to read the source of which i provide, does not mean that it isn't actually there. i quote verbatim from that very site under the bolded section entitled "The long-term Nation's Report Card (NAEP) results" For America's nine-year-olds in reading, more progress was made in five years than in the previous 28 combined."
conclusivley, test scores on the NAEP are the highest they have ever been and continue to grow because of NCLB

next, my opponent continues to talk about GPA, however, he completley neglects to refutemy argument about how GPA is subject to inflation by teachers and other erreneous factors making it unreliable to the assesment of achievement. national standardized tests are less subjective are are not influenced by other factors when determining achievement. thus there is really no inherency between the neg's GPA argument and NCLB.

Contention 2:
the negative provies you with NO evidence oncesoever that asserts that teachers have eliminated higher order thinking skills or even lowered standards since the implementation. States have lowered their measures of AYP but there is no evidence indicating that this has had an effect on teaching standards. Teachers may have access to previous state tests, but the tests aren't the same. Just because i've taken the act before dosen't mean that i'm going to go from a 23 to a 36 because i've seen it. this furthers my argument that teachers only teach the curriculum when preparing for NCLB because they dont actually know the answers to the test, just what kind of material will be presented. thus, teachers must further student's foundational knowledge of those fundamental subjects such as math, reading, and science, as they are now all part of NCLB tests. my opponent fails to realize that the matthews in 06 card advocates what i am claiming directly, and as such it loses him this argument.

AS FOR THE NAEP
because there is so much up and down with these national test scores it goes to show that there really is not a whole lot of inherrency between NCLB and test scores. my opponent and I can obviously argue about whether or not the NAEP tests have slowed due to NCLB, but at the end of the day, there is not a whole lot of inherrency on both sides of the test scores debate. as we don't really come to a consensus on the test scores, consider this debate as a wash, no child left behind hasn't dramatically helped test scores, but it hasn't hurt them either. However, with this aside i win the debate in several other areas.

on to the AFF

A: this debate comes to a wash.

B: this is what wins me the debate. If you actually take time to look through the one hundred and twelve page report that my opponent links us to,you will see that my opponent is serverely flawed in his analysis. if you look to page 34 of the you will see the REAL international test score improvement within science. on page thirty four if you look to the fourth grade report, we can see that test scores fell drastically in the mid to late ninties however from 2003 to 2007 (THE TIME WHERE NCLB IMPLEMENTATION COMES INTO EFFECT) we can see that test scores begin to make a climb from what they were. so the claims made by the negative are inherently false when he states that international test scores have falled since the implementation. the evidence from the manhattan institute is not just some dude making a statement, it was a study done to lend empirical evidence to the notion that math and reading do generalize to all other subjects. as it was empirically proven by a study, this renders it to be the most tangible, inherent, and reliable piece of evidence in this debate round. When you have 235,000 more kids that have gained those fundamental skills just because of NCLB (Which is yet another piece of inherent evidence) those kids then generalize those skills to other subjects areas. this also negates his "teaching to the test argument" if the Matthews in 06 card didn't.

Contention 2: I will concede that since the test score debate has come down to a wash, this debate does too come down to a wash.

Contention 3: My opponent states that stats and empirical evidence are the most reliable and valid pieces of evidence in this round, however when i give evidence that states "Gitomer in 2007, the academic profile of the entire candidate pools have improved. Teacher improvements are consistent across gender, race/ethnicity, and licensure area."
why is it that my opponent uses theoretical pieces to refute it?

VOTERS
1: Subpoint B hundreds of thousands of students have gained fundamental math and reading skills which generalizes to all other subjects

2. Teacher quality has improved reguardless of demographics

3. the neg case has no inherency.
thank you and please affirm
Mickeyrocks

Con

Aside: Do you debate policy? You can answer in the comments.

This debate is poorly organized, so I'll just go over the main points in this debate... it's important to note that my opponent calling something a "wash" doesn't make it wash. (A wash being when both sides are contradicting no clear decision can be made.) Rather, the two main points in the round will be addressed, then the specific extra points that are only advocated on the negative.

FIRST: GROWTH RATES.

- The argument the Pro makes here, is basically that growth rates are higher than they were mid 90's, and as a result NCLB has improved. It is important to observe that this disregards all four studies I give you.

Note: 00-03 saw big gains in 4th grade reading and mathematics, and moderate gains in 8th grade reading and mathematics. The turn of the century saw new policies being enacted that facilitated these growth rates. In 02, with the passage of NCLB, these growth rates began to stagnate.

The CEP Reports that for 4th grade reading and mathematics, the two largest gainers in 00-03, growth rates plateaued between 03-05. (no data past that point.)

UC Berkeley confirms these findings.

Another study by UC Berkeley elaborates into the position of 8th graders, whose reading scores have DECLINED since the inception of NCLB, when they once were growing.

Finally, Jaekyung Lee of Harvard concludes that growth rates in all sectors have on the whole declined since pre-NCLB times.

None of these studies are addressed at all. Four studies to his... what, zero? This point is not a wash, this is clearly won by the negative.

SECOND: ALTERNATIVE CURRICULUM (I.E. Science and History)

The page he cites shows 8th grade science scores dropping 7 points since NCLB, with 4th grade scores rising 3 points.

7 > 3

Negative wins this point also. (I don't care about the Manhattan quote. Numbers, please?)

ALTERNATIVE POINTS THE NEGATIVE HAS CONCLUSIVELY WON:

1) Narrowing of the Achievement Gap.

In my last speech, I give you three different sources which conclude the achievement gap has not been shrunk by NCLB, and in fact the progress being made to shrink that gap is lessened. He calls "wash" in an attempt for me not to bring it back up, but it is necessary in the round. To quote my study by UC Berkeley, "long term data show that the Black-White achievement gap closed from 44 points in 1971 to 26 in 2004, yet no progress has occured since 2002 in closing the achievement gap, mean gains have slowed since 03 and progress in closing ethnic gaps has stalled."

This is on the NAEP, the test we've deemed reliable. This is not a wash, the negative has proven this point as the studies I bring up are completely unaddressed.

2) GPA.

I assert that classes are taught to the state tests. He confirms this in his rebuttal speech. This is important, because if classes are taught to the state tests, which he agrees (also in his rebuttal) are being dumbed down, then logically it follows that curriculum is being dumbed down. As a result, we see NO increases in GPA by students. He says GPA is arbitrary, but unless teachers have rapidly inflated the difficulty of their courses (which I just logically showed they have NOT done) then GPA should be increasing. As teachers are dumbing down their courses and yet GPA isn't increasing, it makes sense that NCLB has rather lowered academic achievement.

3) Teacher Quality.

Again, you may cross-apply the argument I just gave you about how teachers are dumbing down their curriculum. He doesn't really attack this logic. The only thing he says is "if i've taken the ACT once that doesn't mean I'll perform better the second time", but if you study, then chances are you will. Insofar as once you take a test you know what's on the test, you know how to prep yourself for future tests.

Moreover, he disregards the fact that teachers are not going to low performing schools.

Thus, you have five voters in this round:

1) GROWTH RATES HAVE STAGNATED SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NCLB.

CEP, UC Berkeley (x2), and Harvard all confirm this fact, as opposed to his nothing.

2) STUDENTS ARE PERFORMING WORSE ON INTERNATIONAL TESTING.

7 > 3, Con wins.

3) NARROWING OF THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP HAS BEEN STIFLED BY NCLB.

UC Berkeley, Harvard and the Fordham Institute all confirm. He declares this point a wash, but truly that's a copout in an attempt for the negative not to extend the point.

4) GPA HAS NOT INCREASED.

You can look to the logic I present. Teachers are dumbing down their courses (logically this follows from his own concessions) and yet GPA is not increasing. From that we conclude that NCLB has not taught our students better.

5) TEACHERS ARE DUMBING DOWN COURSES.

The logic I give to you thoroughly provides the reasoning behind why teachers are dumbing down their courses, he never really proves that they aren't rather that they are better certified. Certification =/= qualification, as we have seen. Moreover, teachers aren't going to problem areas where they are needed.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
public forum but i know the ins and outs of all three pretty much. i guess you could say i'm a progressive pfer if there is such a thing. which i dont think there is ha ha.
Posted by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
okay sweet.
Posted by Mickeyrocks 8 years ago
Mickeyrocks
If not Policy then LD, for sure, haha.
Posted by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
yeah i dont have a case because i dont have to debate this topic so challenge me on whatever side you would like.
Posted by Mickeyrocks 8 years ago
Mickeyrocks
If you have a case for April challenge me with whatever side you prefer.
Posted by Mickeyrocks 8 years ago
Mickeyrocks
North Carolina
Posted by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
yeah i wouldn't mind doing a debate on that. i didn't have to prep for april because we already had state and nat quals in march. where do you live?
Posted by Mickeyrocks 8 years ago
Mickeyrocks
I normally do LD, this is a borrowed P.F. case from a friend.

I do have cases for April PF though because I'm competing at the state tournament. I don't know how good they are =/
Posted by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
ha ha maybe, are you a pf debater?
Posted by Mickeyrocks 8 years ago
Mickeyrocks
Feel like debating the April topic?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Lazy 8 years ago
Lazy
masterzanzibarMickeyrocksTied
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Vote Placed by philosphical 8 years ago
philosphical
masterzanzibarMickeyrocksTied
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Vote Placed by masterzanzibar 8 years ago
masterzanzibar
masterzanzibarMickeyrocksTied
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