The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The U.S. Federal Government Should Abolish the Department of Education

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,285 times Debate No: 70910
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




First round is for acceptance.

I would like to argue that the Department of Education should be abolished. I would like this debate to be somewhat similarly structured as Team Policy debate. I will be using stock issues and the such, and I have the burden to prove. The con simply has to refute my points and win any of these issues.
A. That the harms I present in the status quo are not significant.
B. That my plan does not solve my harms.
C. That my plan is not the only way to solve the harms.

Looking forward to a fun and educational debate!


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Seemingly since the beginning of time, we have been set on a goal: Making the world a better place for future generations. Although we have improved in many respects, and we continue to grow, one thing that hasn"t been getting better for years is the education we are giving our children. The very foundation of which this generation is growing on is cracked.
I would like now to present some evidence and key points for my case. First, I shall bring up the issue of Inherency, or the facts in the status quo, the Harms in the status quo, and the plan to fix the harms, and then the advantage. First let's look at inherency.
INHERENCY: or what"s going on in the status quo.

1.)U.S scores haven"t gotten any better
Megan Coleman, December 2013
(Megan grew up in Prairie Village, Kan. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.)
"A global education survey released Tuesday shows when it comes to math, reading and science, teens in the U.S. rank 36th in the world. Students in Shanghai are rated the best. The results come from an assessment done last year. More than half a million students from 65 countries took a two hour test as part of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. Students in East Asian countries performed the strongest with students in the Chinese city of Shanghai doing the best. Singapore came in second in math, followed by Hong Kong. The global exam, which was given to 15-year-olds around the world, is considered the worldwide benchmark for education ranking by country. The test measures standards in subjects like math, science and reading across Europe, North and South America, Australia, Asia and parts of the Middle East. This year, Tunisia in Africa also participated. U.S. performance was extremely low, doing average in reading and science and well below average in math. We failed to reach the top 20 in any of the subjects tested. America fell notably below the United Kingdom and well behind most of our Asian counterparts. Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls America's performance education stagnation. "The brutal truth...that urgent reality...must serve as a wake up call against educational complacency and low expectations," Duncan said. "The problem is not that our 15-year-olds are performing worse today than before...the problem, instead, is that they are simply not making progress. Yet, students in many other nations...are advancing, instead of standing still."

Basically, our students are at a stand still when it comes to educational development. While other countries are progressing, we are stuck in the rut of a failed education system.

2.) Unconstitutionality
Jeffrey Duncan 2011 Jeffrey D. Duncan is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for South Carolina's 3rd congressional district since 2011.
"The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Those who claim the Department of Education is Constitutional say that it promotes the general welfare of the United States. However, this "General Welfare" phrase appears in the preamble of the Constitution and does not grant or prohibit power to Congress. The preamble simply describes the Constitution and what the document itself was designed to do, and is not actually a binding decree of the Constitution. The Department of Education was founded using the preamble as the basis for its Constitutionality, but due to what"s stated above, it is clear that it is not in fact constitutional."
Should we really be endorsing and supporting the continuous destruction of our founding fathers vision for our future?


1.) Department of Education is Irresponsible
Ian Hatchett August 14, 2014 Ian Hatchett graduated from the Hillsdale College of Michigan and has been writing for for many years .
"Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) responded to allegations that he flip-flopped on Common Core, and described the federal government"s handling of Common Core as a "hijacking" of what was supposed to be a "bottom-up approach" on Wednesday"s "Laura Ingraham Show." Jindal said that he implemented standards in his state believing it would be a "bottom-up approach," but that the federal government then did a "bait and switch the federal government then came in after 2010, and said for example, "if you want Race to the Top dollars you have to do Common Core standards, if you want No Child Left Behind waivers, you have to use Common Core standards."" He described these actions as "hijacking," and "a bribe, blackmail, extortion." Jindal also accused education officials in his state of giving "no-bid contracts," under the law and selecting more expensive tests. He additionally railed against the Common Core standards, saying they were "absolutely about dictating what happens in those classrooms." And "the federal government has no role in setting local curriculum and making those decisions." He described Common Core math as making "absolutely no sense." "A majority of teachers in Louisiana [are] saying they"re not ready for this, they don"t want this," he also reported."
Basically, The Department of Education is blackmailing the states into adopting the Federal standards for Education by refusing to offer Federal funds to States that do not adopt the Common Core standards and give over all control of their curriculum to the Federal Government.

2.)1.4 Trillion Dollars Wasted
Andrew J. Coulson 2007 Andrew J. Coulson is the director of Cato"s Center for Educational Freedom. Previously, he was senior fellow in Education Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He serves on the Advisory Council of the E.G. West Centre for Market Solutions in Education at the University of Newcastle, UK, and has contributed to books published by the Fraser Institute and the Hoover Institution. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics 2007, Table 162 National Assessment of Educational Progress Long Term Trend Reports
"According to the Department of Education Budget History, the Department of Education has spent $1,398,512,287,000 (One trillion, three hundred ninety-eight billion, five hundred twelve million, two hundred eighty-seven thousand) or roughly 1.4 trillion dollars, over its history. Spending by the Department of Education has skyrocketed with absolutely no effect on test scores. While spending at the federal level has increased at a frightening rate, "student test scores in math, reading and science have remained flat or declined over the past four decades." By every measure, it's been a horrific waste of money, which the United States simply can't tolerate in its current fiscal situation."
Now that we have established a firm understanding of the detrimental situation of our status quo, we would like to present to you our systematic plan to fix the harms and ultimately improve the education we are giving our children.
1.)Abolish the United States Department of Education Over a period of one year we will slowly but effectively dissolve all administrative functions and dismiss all employees, which would ultimately come to the conclusion of having no more Department of Education.
2.)Federal loans shall be privatized, and the responsibility of Pell Grants shall be given to the Administration for Children and Families.
All other responsibilities of the Department will return to the states. No funding needed. Agency and Enforcement will come from the executive office of the federal government. Affirmative plan takes place immediately after an Affirmative ballot and we reserve the right to clarify our plan as needed.

And now let"s move on to our advantage, or how we solve our harms.

Decentralize Education
Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at The University of Georgia.
I think that the students who entered school in 2000 and are graduating in 2012 will be the worst-educated cohort in the history of the United States, through no fault of their own, because they will have experienced all of their schooling under these ruinous programs that have reduced all learning to what can be measured on multiple choice tests. Imagine these young people now entering situations where they don"t get three or four reductive choices for each problem they encounter. Their education has studiously avoided complexity, thoughtfulness, reflection, engagement, stimulation, personal commitment, and everything else that makes an education worth having. The source of the poverty of their education will not be their teachers, who must teach this regime or face punishment; and it will not be themselves. Rather, the problem emerges from the policies created by those who mistaken test scores for learning and have turned tests into a vengeful machine for punishing teachers whose instruction lacks a commitment to multiple-choice tests as the epitome of a learning experience. Instead of having a highly centralized administration powered by money contributed by textbook publishers and other entrepreneurs cashing in on the lucrative enterprise of educational materials production, I would have a highly distributed approach in which most decision-making is local and relies on teachers.


Thank you for instigating this relevant and not super common debate.

My opponent has conceded that if I prove any of the following then I win:

A. That the harms he presents in the status quo are not significant,
B. That his plan do not solve his harms, or
C. That his plan is not the only way to solve the harms.

I can say honestly, that I can prove at least B and C.

So here we go.

My opponent's plan does not solve the harms:

My opponent's case, when it comes to the harms, is not actually logical.

The first harm my opponent lists is that the Department of Education is irresponsible. It is not practical to fix this problem by abolishing the Department of Education. This is something of an extreme example, but it's a proper analogy.

For the sake of argument, let's say that there's a fourteen year old boy who is completely unproductive. He doesn't focus on any sort of responsibility, and he's constantly getting into fights. Let's say that this is a harm to the people around him, because he's a bad influence, and he hurts people when he punches them. The proper solution to help this child is not capital punishment. That wouldn't remove the harms. That would just kill the boy. The proper way to solve the harms would be to rehabilitate him.

What I mean by this is that it is much harder to solve the harms of a system once you have destroyed it. If we were to destroy the department of education, every single city and every school board and every state would suddenly have the hierarchy cut. That means they'd be in a state of disorder because the order they once had no longer exists. So all of these thousands of individual parts would have to reorder themselves.

The second harm he provides is that 1.4 trillion dollars have been wasted. This is an extreme statement. That's the approximate amount of money that the Department of Education has spent. That is not how much of it was a waste of money. I'm not going to deny that they may have wasted money, but the fact that they have wasted money does not necessitate that every single dollar was wasted. Thus, my opponent has not proven at all that 14 trillion dollars have been wasted by this department.

On another note, my opponent's plan does not give funding to the state. In fact, it denies funding to the state at all. The states are all given the power of the Department of Education. That means that they need some sort of extended spending power in order to carry out those same powers. Otherwise solving this harm is just as easy as reforming the system. That leads me to the next point.

This is not the only way.

I'm going to be brief about this. It is possible to add further regulations to the system to reform its spending powers and its power distribution with the states.

Reform is a possible solution.

That means that abolition isn't the only solution.

That means that I win point C as well as point B.

I've fulfilled my burden.
Debate Round No. 2


Those were some great arguments! I'm debating this in real life, and I'm happy to admit that some of these I have not faced yet! So thank you for providing an intellectual challenge!

So now, I will be addressing my opponent's three points.

Point 1. Abolishing the Department of Education will not solve the problem.

Point 2. 1.4 Trillion dollars will not be wasted

Point 3. Reform is an option

Now, let's move to the first point. My opponent says that my case is illogical because "It is not practical to fix this problem..." (That the Department of Education is Irresponsible) "...By abolishing the Department of Education." I would like to say that what my opponent is saying is illogical. My harm was that the Department of Education is Irresponsible. I did not explicitly mention this, but you can see through my evidence that the impact of this harm is that schools are not getting to choose their curriculum and it is harming students. So if the Department of Education is causing schools to not be able to help their students in the best way possible, then how would getting rid of the Department not fix the problem?

For example, if your computer has adware that is causing ads to pop up all over your computer, the best way to get rid of the ads all over your computer is to get rid of the adware! So it is simply not true that is harder to solve the harms of a system without the system. Without the system, there are no harms! If the adware has a harmful effect on your computer getting rid of it will end the harmful effects. You can't argue with that.

I'd also like to take some space to address my opponent's last paragraph, where he states that the schools would be in disorder because the order they are in does not exist anymore. I would like my opponent to read this mandate from my plan:

Over a period of one year we will slowly but effectively dissolve all administrative functions and dismiss all employees, which would ultimately come to the conclusion of having no more Department of Education.

This mandate was put in to ensure that schools would have ample time to transition.

Now, let's move onto his 2nd argument. That 1.4 trillion dollars have not been wasted.

I would like to read to you the Department of Education's mission statement: Our mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

Now I have shown you through evidence, that the Department of Education has not furthered student achievement and has not prepared students to compete in the global economy. In fact, we have seen little to no improvement in student achievement since the Department of Education was formed. So since the Department of Education has not gotten any closer to it's goal and done absolutely nothing that has furthered student achievement, then the money it has spent has been wasted.

Now to my opponent's last argument. We should add regulations and reforms to the Department of Education in order to reform it. Many politicians have tried to reform the Department of Education with no success. So the past has proven that reforms do not work.

Also, simply "reforming" the Department of Education would not solve one of the glaring issues my opponent forgot to mention. The fact that the Department of Education is glaringly unconstitutional. My opponent has neglected to mention this at all. And the only way to ensure that our Constitution is kept valued is to abolish the Department of Education.

In review, abolishing the Department of Education shall ensure that the harms caused by it's existence shall disappear. Since the Department of Education has done nothing that has visibly impacted student success, it has failed it's mission statement, and we have spent 1.4 trillion dollars with no visible benefits. And lastly, reforming the Department of Education still does not solve for it's inherent unconstitutionality.

It is for all these reasons that I stand firmly resolved that the Department of Education should be abolished.


Thank you for reading thus far, and thank you to my opponent for providing a civil and reasonable debate.

I would like to point out that my opponent has addressed me as a man. I'm actually a woman. So there just needs to be some pronouns changed in the next round and everything will be alright.

I will now go down the list in supporting my rebuttals.

To start off, there's the issue of responsibility. The actual argument was that schools didn't have a choice, however, my opponent never said how this was a bad thing. There are a lot of schools that would make some extremely poor choices concerning curriculum if the federal government allowed them to.

The Department of Education requiring schools to act in accordance with a national standard is not a bad thing, and I can just say that without evidence, because my opponent has not provided any evidence otherwise. We are both making assertions, and as long as he has the burden of proof, I have no obligation to back up a statement that counters a statement he didn't back up.

My second point is regarding the 1.4 million dollars. My opponent has essentially provided a logical syllogism as follows:

P1: The Department of Education has spent 1.4 million dollars to attempt to reach its goal.
P2: The Department of Education has not reached its goal.
C: The Department of Education has wasted 1.4 million dollars.

One can accept point one and point two without accepting the conclusion. My opponent has not provided a spending plan of any sort, nor have any alternative causes been considered. I have a couple subpoints in this point of rebuttal to go over.

The first is that not all 1.4 million dollars have been wasted by necessity. While the Department of Education may not have had as great of an affect as it would've liked, that does not mean that every dollar spent was ineffective. In fact, it could've wasted 5,000 dollars out of the whole program. That would still be a logical conclusion in the syllogism adding a point 3 stating that all but 5,000 dollars went to waste in the program. Therfore, the harm is not significant.

I would also like to point out that my opponent has not addressed the fact that the states will also need some sort of similar funding overall, thus the drain of 1.4 million dollars would still be in effect.

The second point is that the failure to meet a standard is not the department's fault by necessecity. Keep in mind that the department does not actually teach children. The teachers at schools teach children. If the children aren't learning, then perhaps a majority of teachers aren't doing an ample job. It is also possible that a majority of students are lazy and prefer to party instead of do their homework.

There are two other very plausible factors that count into the failure of the Department of Education to meet a standard that do not have to do with the department.

Onto the third point. My opponent essentially says that reform won't work because it hasn't in the past. This isn't a strong argument at all. There are plenty of things that people tried to do in the past, and the goal was completed later because someone learned from the mistakes of the past. Past failures do not bar future success. If anything, they ought to aid it.

Regarding the Constitutionality, I will admit that I forgot to bring that up. I feel the solution, however, is very simple. Under my side of the resolution it is possible to make an amendment to change the way the nation works. Now, it may be said that amendments really shouldn't be made just to change the Constitution to be how the current politicians want it to be. However, the part of the constitution that my opponent is talking about is an amendment, and it was made because the politicians at the time wanted that to be the way the Constitution was. However, America was very different back then, and our Founding Fathers weren't perfect by any means.

Thank you for reading, and I wish my opponent a good final round.
Debate Round No. 3


First off, thank you to everyone for actually looking at this very interesting, though very long debate. :) I'd also like to sincerely apologize to my opponent for calling her a he, my mistake.

Now, to the arguments. As this is my last speech, I shall be refuting the negative's points and presenting to you the main voting issues in this debate. These are the things that I shall prove to you by the end of today's debate.

1. The Department of Education is irresponsible and has harmed students.
2. The Department of Education has wasted its budget.
3. The Department of Education must be abolished.

Now, my opponent says that having the Federal government choose the education for our children is a good thing. She said I did not offer evidence that Federal control over education was harmful. Well, I would like to mention my advantage in my first speech. There I did mention the horrendous effect that the Federal standards have had on our students. I will list some more evidence to prove my point.

Common Core Harms Students
Jane Robbins, a Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project and someone actively involved in the national fight to stop Common Core.

"Common Core is an attempt by private interests in Washington, DC, aided by the federal government, to standardize English language arts (ELA) and math education (and ultimately, education in other subjects as well) throughout the nation. By adopting Common Core, North Carolina has agreed to cede control over its ELA and math standards to entities outside the state. Not only does this scheme obliterate parental control over the education of their children, but it imposes mediocre standards based on questionable philosophies, constitutes a huge unfunded mandate on the state and on local districts, and requires sharing students" personal data with the federal government. In ELA, the child will be exposed to significantly less classic literature " the books and stories that instill a love of reading " and significantly more nonfiction "informational texts." The idea is not to educate him as a full citizen, but to train him for a future static job. In math, the child won"t learn the standard algorithm (the normal computational model) for addition and subtraction until grade 4, for multiplication until grade 5, and for division until grade 6. Until then, the child will be taught what we used to call "fuzzy math" " alternative offbeat ways to solve math problems. He probably won"t take algebra I until grade 9 (meaning he"s unlikely to reach calculus in high school, as expected by selective universities), and will be "taught" geometry according to an experimental method never used successfully in K-12 anywhere in the world. Even the Fordham Institute, which has been paid a lot of money by Common Core-financier the Gates Foundation to promote the standards, admitted that many states had better standards and others had standards at least as good. The Common Core website itself no longer claims that the standards are "internationally benchmarked," and the Common Core Validation Committee was never given any information on international benchmarking. And one of the drafters of the math standards admitted in 2010 that when Common Core proponents talk about "college-readiness," they"re aiming for a naive community college, not a four-year university."

Now, there is definitive proof that the standard offered by the Department of Education is harmful. Now, my opponent also said that some schools would make extremely poor choices concerning curriculum. But when education is federalized, there are programs like Common Core. When education is under local control, there are high performing homeschool groups, faith based private schools, charter schools, and school choice, and parents are taking an active role. In short, when education is localized, students win. The success of education should be rooted in free market economics. Allowing competition, demanding a better product, rewarding efficiencies and high performance are principles that work in the free market and will elevate education. Who knows what the students need more than their teachers? Allowing the Federal Government to provide the same standard for every child regardless of their individuality is a failing principle. Education is best when localized. Teachers and parents know best what each individual student needs.

"When the federal government controls the education of all of our children, they have the dangerous and illegitimate monopoly to control and influence the thought process of our citizens." - Michael Badnarik

Now, let's move on to the second point.

1.4 trillion dollars has been wasted. Now, I would like to correct my opponent's inference of my logical syllogism.

P1: The Department of Education has spent 1.4 trillion dollars to attempt to reach its goal.
P2: The Department of Education has not gotten a single bit closer to its goal since its inception.
P3: The Department of Education has wasted 1.4 trillion dollars.

Now, my opponent has gotten extremely technical and said that the Department of Education has not wasted every single of the 1.4 trillion dollars. And yes, maybe the Department has not wasted EXACTLY 1.4 trillion dollars. The point of the piece of evidence is, the Department has spent 1.4 trillion dollars over the course of its existence, and all this spending has not gotten us a single bit closer to its goal. So this money has been largely wasted. The harm is still significant.

My opponent also mentioned that the states will need some sort of funding. I'm sorry if I forgot to mention this, but the Department of Education provides 10% of the funding to the states. The states will still have enough funding. And since this Department of Education funding has done essentially nothing to improve student achievement, we've discovered that throwing money at the problem isn't the answer. Federal control is.

My opponent's second subpoint stated that the failure to meet a standard is not the department's fault. Now, I'm not saying that the problem is that schools have failed to meet the standard. I'm saying the standards are useless. The standards focus all the education on test-taking and leave little to no room for actual life applicable learning. "You"re not going to be a scientist if you can"t read," a superintendent once told me in defense of a school"s pared-down curriculum. Well, you can"t be a scientist"one of the most common career goals of Tyler Heights" graduating fifth-graders"if you never learn science either. You can"t be a lawyer if you never learn to think critically, you can"t be a computer programmer if you never learn to solve problems, you can"t be a professor if you never learn to research, and you can"t be an author if you don"t learn how to write." - Linda Perlstein

Now, the third point made by my opponent is that reform is an option. I apologize for my bluntness, but reform is not an option! This department has existed in stagnancy for 36 years with absolutely no visible effect on students. If we continue to reform useless agencies, we will get nowhere. Our country is 18 trillion dollars in debt. We aren't going to get out of this hole unless we begin to cut unnecessary, and in this case, harmful agencies from our spending. The time for reform is over. The Department of Education has had 36 years to prove to us why it should exist. And we're still waiting for an answer.

About the inherent unconstitutionality of the Department of Education, my opponent had one simple answer. Who cares? We'll just change it. That is a dangerous view to hold! If we just add amendments whenever we see fit, we are headed down a slippery slope to our destruction. The fact is, the Founding Fathers had a vision for what our country should be. And any attempt to destroy that vision must be carefully thought out. The process for creating an amendment was purposefully made difficult by our founders. 38 out of 50 states must agree in order for an amendment to be created. This was to ensure that we wouldn't recklessly be rewriting the Constitution like we are in this case.

Now, let's return to my three voting issues.

1. The Department of Education is irresponsible and has harmed students.
I have proven to you that the Department of Education has initiated standards that provide a heavy emphasis on test taking and not enough of a focus on real life learning. And that they are blackmailing schools into adopting these standards, and refusing funding to those who do.
2. The Department of Education has wasted its budget.
I proved to you in my first speech that the Department of Education has done nothing towards improving student achievement since its inception. And I would like to mention that my opponent has not challenged that point at all, and to do so in his next speech would be unfair to me as I could not refute. Yet, it has somehow spent 1.4 trillion dollars with no benefit. This money has been wasted and has done nothing to improve student achievement.
3. The Department of Education must be abolished.
The Department of Education has been around for 36 years now. You think with 36 years, and 1.4 trillion dollars that we should see major improvement right? Wrong. The Department of Education has not moved toward accomplishing its goal in any way. Reforming it will not solve the problem, it must be removed.

All these issues have one main point, the Department of Education has done nothing to make our students better adults. In fact, in many cases they have done the opposite. I must strongly urge that we abolish this useless, wasteful, agency.

Thank you, and I wish my opponent the best of luck.


I accept my opponent's apology. I understand that abbreviating my name (Jonelle) to "Jon" in my username can be fairly misleading.

Anyway, I'm excited to be finishing up my first debate since my hiatus on DDO.

I'm going to provide some short rebuttals respectively to the previous speech then go over a couple voting issues.


My opponent has presented a harm and a possible solution, however, my opponent's only support for his solution being effective is that there are a lot of schools that aren't public schools, and most of them probably do pretty well. I agree some of them do well, but I haven't seen any proof that all or even most of them do well, which means that statistically my opponent's plan could do more harm than good.


Concerning my opponent's second harm, he has readjusted my syllogism to fit into an assertion. In order for my opponent to prove the statement "the Department of Education has not gotten one bit closer to achieving its goal," he needs to provide proof that every single plan and program has been completely unsuccessful. My opponent has not done that. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that this harm is not nearly as significant as my opponent leads us on to be.


My opponent has not and cannot provide evidence that literally no possible reform will work. He can only assert that none of them will work. That means that no matter what I still have this argument. My opponent said that if there's another possible way then he loses the debate. I've given another way, and my opponent hasn't given actual evidence to prove me wrong.

Thank you all for reading this debate, and thank you to my opponent for giving me a good debate.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Some additional points:

Pro, many of your points only get weak support. If your opponent had done more to support her arguments instead of just poking holes in yours, this could very easily have been a different decision. I need to know why your impacts matter, and a lot of the time, I only get some nebulous idea of what groups should shape education, the harms of amending the Constitution, and what changes in funds will produce. It has to be clear, and that's most of what's missing from your argument.
Posted by v1nce 2 years ago
I agree with Theunkown. I'm not sure how effective abolishing the DOE would be especially in the context of American society. What would you do with rural states? They hardly have the competency to form a well-rounded and unbiased curriculum compared to larger states (California, Virginia, and New York). Although more populated states may have problematic education systems, they have some sort of structure. I don't mean to belittle rural states but I am questioning the logistics of state controlled education.
Posted by Josh_debate 2 years ago
The federal government should get out of schools, all they do is mess it up.
Posted by Theunkown 2 years ago
Perhaps you want reform not abolition.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Fundamentally, the biggest uncertainty in this debate is this: do we need to abolish, or can we reform? Neither side spends the kind of ample time on this basic point that probably should be dominated the discussion, because Con admits that the Department has problems, meaning the quiets ion becomes, what is the best way to solve? I'm given some uncertain harms by Con, and some certain benefits from Pro, albeit many of them lack warrants and support to make them as powerful as they could be. So I have to know if reform can solve too, and on that, I'm at a loss. What kind of reform are we discussing? It's extremely nebulous, and I can't nail it down. I agree that good reform is possible, but it's unclear what that reform is, and I can't just assume solvency. So long as I agree by the end of the debate that the risk of abolition is minimal and the benefit more substantial, I'm forced to side with Pro, and that's what I do... begrudgingly.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses arguments because of a lack of support for certain points, and many points that ended in ties. As the one proposing a change in the status quo, he has considerably more of a burden to meet than his opponent. So when he fails to demonstrate how A) Decentralized schooling would be any better, B) Why reform definitely can't work, C) How adding an amendment to make the DoE constitutional was a disadvantageous slippery slope, he fails to secure my vote. Admittedly, Con only presented arguments against one of these three points, but she did raise enough reasonable doubt in the reform section that I am comfortable giving her the win.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pros entire case was pretty weak, and refuted by cons main premises. The point from unconstitutionality was subsequently refuted by cons main assertion. Con was able to show that pro had to propose a counter plan for negating the status quo which he did not effectively do. Con was able to provide significant doubt and counter his main assertions and pro was left holding the ball without having a counter proposal to replace the status quo with.