The Instigator
sleepiB
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
cooljpk
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The US education system needs drastic reform.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,716 times Debate No: 3812
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

sleepiB

Pro

I recognize that education is an investment that has a huge impact on the potential of individuals, and of communities. In the US, our education is almost enforced mediocrity, with a huge opportunity cost for those with no interest in education, with wasted resources everywhere, and with far too much wasted time with students that want to pursue higher education.

How can current K-12 education be improved? Can we shave 3-4 years off with no loss of utility? We can. Currently, the classrooms of younger students are notorious for babysitting and attention problems. The best way to learn a concept is to learn something that requires an understanding of that concept. If we use math as an example, the best way to raise a mathematician, scientist or engineer is to teach too quickly, force the student to fill in the blanks, while moving on to something new and interesting, something that requires a full understanding of the previous lesson. The jobs most of our high school math students are qualified for is more along the lines of 'cashier', a skill level most attain in elementary school. If students learned how to count cash in the third grade, what were they doing for the next 9 years? We do not expect skilled technicians, engineers, scientists, and businessmen to come straight out of high-school. We should.

What about the children that do not understand the significance of education? After elementary school, attendance should not be compulsory if students want to work. The sooner you treat someone like an adult, the sooner they will act like one, as such, the children that do not want to go to school, can get a taste of the alternative, flipping burgers, and can change their minds about that career choice while they still have the option of continuing their education, before they have the obligations that typically prevent higher education.

The two most important things to address, the most prevalent limiting factors in the education of all ages is the expectation of failure or arbitrary limitation, and the motivation of the student to learn.
cooljpk

Con

For this debate i will be arguing one word in the resolution.
Drastic...
1 : acting rapidly or violently.
2 : extreme in effect or action.(www.merriam-webster.com)

thus i will present the plan to counter your DRASTIC plan... the US education system needs to get rid of no child left behind and drop the text book curriculum.

I will make my case short. the no child left behind act is having negative affects nation wide. day in and day out I hear every one of my teachers and administration complain about this act. instead of keeping "everyone" on course it is not allowing those who want to learn or in other word want to be "over achievers" (i know we all heat them for making us look bad but they keep the world on task and always manage to become our bosses) from learning to there capability's. The NCLB act has not pushed people over the status quo ante, which was the standard for the world, but instead drop the bar so every one can get over it. The idea of a free country is to use competition to push people to work hard instead of forcing them to through military force. Competition is no longer as present in our school because of a standard that keeps dropping instead of raising. For example the High Jump in track and field if you never raise the bad how will you ever know how high you can jump.

I also brought of the plan to slowly drop the textbook curriculum. A textbook curriculum is were the teacher bases lesson on the textbook instead of life. This curriculum may work for the first 5-6 years of school but after that students do the work because the have to and miss the concept of learning from it. The " life" curriculum is often used with the textbook curriculum in classes of foreign languages and in some math courses. I have recently been educating my self with the idea of government brain washing. For example in history class the text book is always comparing ancient forms of government "BAD" to our democracy "good" not saying democracy is bad but it has it flaws.

The current system is of the government and can't yet be seen as a good education system. The first years of school a crucial for early leaning and social skills which will help them learn the more important thing later on. Drastic has very seldom brought forth the wanted results. Minor but well thought out change can take us back to the top of the education pole of the world.
Debate Round No. 1
sleepiB

Pro

It is absolutely true that NCLB is harmful, and that textbook based tests are not a good measure of utility. You seem to suggest that competition is most important on an individual level - pushing students to compete with their old records, and with those near them, but this is not enough, not only should students be encouraged to compete with each other, but teachers and administrators as well.

The impact of our education system reaches far beyond each student's resum´┐Ż, at least it should(considering all the resources poured into education). The education system has a direct impact on the cost of labor(at all skill levels), and therefore on our trade deficit, the people in this country are already up to their eyeballs in debt, many of them because they suck at math, the country as a whole is up to it's eyeballs in debt, mainly because the citizens don't know history and critical thinking, not to mention the condition of science in the general population. Education is an investment in our future, and if conditions continue as they have, our children won't be making enough money to cover our debts. If there is a course of action available that does not have extreme consequences, I haven't heard it.

As far as curriculum goes, the problem isn't that it is based on textbooks, but that it focuses on facts instead of utility.
cooljpk

Con

My opponent and I have the same basic idea on what is needed to be changed in the U.S. educational system and there their is no debate...

BUT the debate lies in the timing and extent of the CHANGE my opponent believes in *"quick" and *"extreme" action. while my action is less forceful and less extreme. the rational behind this is to change the education system you have to start with the teachers and administration education and that takes time and can take up to 5 to 8 years and not just a quick summer training.

I also believe that any extreme action will throw the majority of the students in to chaos. It hast to start in the early years of education some where between 1-5 grade.

*definition of drastic
**text book curriculum is based on fact and not utility
Debate Round No. 2
sleepiB

Pro

I absolutely agree that you must start in elementary school, and that you can not re-train elementary and secondary school teachers properly in 1 summer, perhaps even at all, because those teachers specialize in behavior and communication, not in the subjects they are teaching.

As far as the definition of drastic I am using: Extreme in consequence, definitely. As far as 'quick' goes, we should start immediately, but I expect a long term impact.

You said, "Text book curriculum is based on fact and not utility."

I do not agree on this point text books are based on curriculum and, the bigger problem is the teachers' lack of specialized understanding of the material. Current curricula are often set by a committee of politicians and administrators on a state level, and are rife with factoids and benchmarks because these peoples' lives revolve around politics and communication, they never have to use science math or history, and those subjects suffer as a result, and the reason textbooks suck so much is because it is these committees that the textbooks are written to impress.

(Off topic for a second- elementary school science teachers can typically tell you that the electrons of an atom surround the nucleus, but the significance is lost on them, they know neither how the presence of a nucleus was inferred, nor how the theory of atoms affects chemistry and electricity. They teach factoids that can be specified in a curriculum, but theory must be understood for the facts to have any utility.)

Finally to suggest a plan: Start with one private school, then a school district geopolitically close to the first school, simultaneously start additional pilot schools in as many other states as possible. Estimated time:3-5 years per major scope enlargement(individual school, local district, state, nation). $5M estimated investment to set up first school, $250M for the first scope enlargement($5M per state). Assuming the system works, and politicians have some sense of integrity when it comes to education, public funds should cover the rest, we can start foreign pilot programs at any time.

Shameless appeal to emotion:

I fully expect an ugly transition, considering the entrenchment in the current scheme, but do our children deserve anything less than our full effort?
cooljpk

Con

"If we use math as an example, the best way to raise a mathematician, scientist or engineer is to teach too quickly, force the student to fill in the blanks, while moving on to something new and interesting, something that requires a full understanding of the previous lesson." Can we really have engineers filling in blanks with a wrong formulas because they never learned the real one? Can you see a bridge collapse, killing hundreds and wasting millions of dollars?

My plan has Extreme consequences (in a good way) but it is not a drastic reform.
My definition was never refuted until now thus it stands. My plan is not drastic according to Merriam-webster. A drastic reform will shock the students, teachers and administration. Drastic is not the answer.

I presented two small but significant reforms to the education system in the U.S.

Kid are our most important asset lets help them with out shocking them or skipping important information. Lets take the time and planning to make these change meaningful!!!
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
THE COMMUNISTS DID INFILTRATE OUR SCHOOLS IN THE 50S
"
The communists ran the schools all along. That's why they say the pledge of allegiance (written by a christian socialist in the 19th century.)

"
RESIST CHILDREN
"

This seems to contradict your stance on children disobeying parents.
Posted by Solarman1969 8 years ago
Solarman1969
We need to eliminate the GUVMINT the NEA and LIBERALS from the school systems - they are SCREWING UP KIDS

SCHOOL CHOICE

SCIENCE
MATH
LITERATURE
READING
WRITING
GEOGRAPHY

THIS IS WHAT KIDS NEED TO LEARN

NOT

HOMOSEXUALITY AND PROMISCUITY
EXPERIMENTATION WITH DRUGS
IGNORING AND DISOBEYING PARENTS

I SWEAR

THE COMMUNISTS DID INFILTRATE OUR SCHOOLS IN THE 50S

THE RESULTS ARE NOW COMING FORTH

RESIST CHILDREN

RESIST!

- sOLARman
Posted by cooljpk 8 years ago
cooljpk
I try to put a personal spin on my debates.
Posted by sleepiB 8 years ago
sleepiB
Thank you for the debate, it is one of the better ones on this site.
Posted by zakkuchan 8 years ago
zakkuchan
Yeah, the wording of the resolution is just too vague. It's impossible to prove that the education system doesn't need reform ANYWHERE, and you can always pull a list of things that need to change out.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
No, not rationally. It is possible to argue rationally against your specific reform, but not against the resolution, because the current education system is driven by inconsistent motives. Any one rational person has to have consistent motives, and therefore must see some area for reform.
Posted by sleepiB 8 years ago
sleepiB
Yes, it is possible to argue against this, both on premise and execution.
Posted by JBpixie 8 years ago
JBpixie
Is it even possible to argument against this topic?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by commcomm 8 years ago
commcomm
sleepiBcooljpkTied
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Vote Placed by matthewleebrown14 8 years ago
matthewleebrown14
sleepiBcooljpkTied
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Vote Placed by Ineffablesquirrel 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by cooljpk 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by sleepiB 8 years ago
sleepiB
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