The Instigator
midnightJZ
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The required subjects for public schools need to be reworked.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,239 times Debate No: 22746
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

midnightJZ

Pro

I'm a little new to the site and the debate arena in general, so this is just a trial run so to speak. I'm not following UIL or Forensic rules or anything, this is just a friendly match to see where I stand. If you want to push me (as in using real facts and statistics that I'd have to counter) you can, but banter works too…

The required subjects for public schools need to be reworked.

1.Many of the subjects that are enforced after middle school are career specific and useless to the majority of people. Learning how to use sine, cosine, and tangent and calculate logs aren't really going to help someone who wants to be a banker nor will having to memorize all the equations for all laws of physics and motion help someone who wants to be a doctor or a Pre-K teacher. I'm not saying that all these classes need to be dropped completely, but we really need to reconsider who is forced to take them. For example, we all need to have a basic understanding of history, but maybe only the kids interested in politics should be required to take government.

2.Kids are put into the real world not knowing how to do important things. The only thing I can – barely – remember learning in Algebra that had a real life application was how to calculate percent interest rates. No one taught us how to write checks or do taxes which, though it doesn't sound very fun, are things we'll have to do and could use help learning. And it doesn't even have to just be math either; learning first aid would be more advantageous than taking a health class, and basic cooking classes (though I do understand how that could get expensive) would be covering the long term health aspects of it while letting high-schoolers go to college with out having to worry about living off Ramen Noodles and peanut butter every day....

3.The time spent in school could be greatly reduced if teenagers didn't have such strict graduation credits. You're required to take a fine arts, physical education, and foreign language class in order to graduate. I understand how taking foreign language has practical applications as well as physical education, but saying that you can't graduate unless you're considered at least moderately fluent in Spanish and can run a mile in less than 8 minutes is unfair. Just as an example, I've taken 4 years of Spanish and I can hardly hold a conversation and though I'm a healthy weight (something commonly drawn on as a justification for gym class) and I took gym class twice, I can't run a mile at all. Also, some people just aren't musically inclined, and have no real desire to be involved in fine arts. Forcing them to take these classes is detrimental to their success.

I realized that I've left a lot of holes as to how exactly these suggestions would be implemented, but this debate is more about whether or not required subjects need to be reworked and why, not so much how to do it. With that said, I stand ready to be countered.
imabench

Con

Pro's arguments first and then ill introduce my own

1) "1.Many of the subjects that are enforced after middle school are career specific and useless to the majority of people."

The four required fields to study all four years are Math (which applies to just about everything) English (which applies to everything), Science (which applies to a lot of things) and then there is History/Geography/Government (which applies to a nice handful of careers)

From that point on the electives you take are ones that you can choose and most of them are only required for 1 semester, meaning they are classes that allow you to find out if you have a feel for something and wish to pursue it or if it simply not for you. College is more designed to gear your career choice, high school though is meant to be broad enough to allow people to find something that could be their career choice, and it is very broad and not career specific.

"Learning how to use sine, cosine, and tangent and calculate logs aren't really going to help someone who wants to be a banker nor will having to memorize all the equations for all laws of physics and motion help someone who wants to be a doctor or a Pre-K teacher."

Yeah but those are both parts of a much larger subject which applies to each of those careers. Bankers still need to learn math and Doctors still need to learn science. Both of these examples only cite very narrow examples of all the different information taught in public high schools which allow people to find their passion.

" but maybe only the kids interested in politics should be required to take government."
That would require having kids make up their mind about their career at the age of 17 or 18. High school serves to give a broad field of stuff to maybe build a career off of but it also serves to give people basic background knowledge of anything in case they change their career. Lyndon B Johnson was once a Social Studies teacher but he ended up being a politician. There are many other people who changed their career choices and it would be best that we give everyone basic background knowledge for people who end up changing their career choices rather than have everyone at an early age pick a career and then make them stick to it at the risk of having them change their career to something they know nothing about.

2) "Kids are put into the real world not knowing how to do important things."
Schools can only teach children so much, parents often teach their kids a fair amount of stuff to and they are always there for when the students have questions.

"learning first aid would be more advantageous than taking a health class"
Health goes into how everything can affect the body, which muscles are where, and all kinds of stuff whereas first aid is a very narrow subject to study for months and months.

3) "The time spent in school could be greatly reduced if teenagers didn't have such strict graduation credits. You're required to take a fine arts, physical education, and foreign language class in order to graduate"

It is required that students take 3 to 4 years of the main subjects (English, Math, Science, History/Politics/Government) everything else meanwhile is made up of many other classes that a student can pick if they find that class more appealing then the others in that category.

"but saying that you can't graduate unless you're considered at least moderately fluent in Spanish and can run a mile in less than 8 minutes is unfair"
It doesnt have to be spanish though, its any language you are interested in, Spanish is just the primary choice. Meanwhile running a mile a minute is something I dont know is actually required to graduate since you can take PE classes online now....

"Just as an example, I've taken 4 years of Spanish and I can hardly hold a conversation"
Same here, but I knew enough to pass and I still hold a rough translation of words enough that it could pay off in the future.

"Also, some people just aren't musically inclined, and have no real desire to be involved in fine arts. Forcing them to take these classes is detrimental to their success."
Fine arts though is one of those things where it can be considered passing just for trying. I bullsh*tted a painting class my senior year and I am not any kind of Vincent Van Gogh... But I tried my best, I did the work, and I passed. Photography, music, painting, designing, etc are all things you need only 1 or 2 years at and then your DONE. Also the first year classes for these things are pretty easy to pass since they utilize only the basics.

" this debate is more about whether or not required subjects need to be reworked and why"
Pro starts out saying that high school is too career specific then pulls a 180 saying it teaches a lot of useless stuff. But High school is meant to give all students basic knowledge of many things so that if they do have a career change they have something to fall back on because people do change their careers quite a bit and a good number of people change their career choice more than once.

After that the Pro says that Kids arent taught some important things, like writing checks and stuff. This is true but parents are there to teach kids such specific things because you cant exactly make a year long course about how to write checks.... Schools give a broad way to teach things, but parents are still there to fill in the holes

Lastly the Pro says that forcing people to take things they dont like limits them and wastes their time. Of the electives (which is what he is referring to) you are allowed to pick which one interests you out of everything they offer, and even then they only require 1 or 2 years of it and then your done and can move on, and then after that most electives for first and second years are so basic that its easy ti get a hold of to pass.

Public schools (in terms of all that is taught) does not need to be re-worked. It is already finely tuned to give people a basic understanding of just about anything important that they can fall back on later in life if they change career choices. However public schools are flexible since students do get to choose electives that interest them in order to study, meaning that even if you are not interested in an elective category, you can still choose a class that best interests you more than the others.
Debate Round No. 1
midnightJZ

Pro

I’d like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, before I address his attack on my case.

1) “The four required fields to study all four years are Math (which applies to just about everything) English (which applies to everything), Science (which applies to a lot of things) and then there is History/Geography/Government (which applies to a nice handful of careers)”

My opponent is not incorrect in saying that these subjects apply to just about everything, however the things addressed in the courses aren’t always useful in real life situations. Everyone should have to take a math class, but instead of having a week long lesson on how to calculate the nth term of a sequence, we could learn – as I mentioned previously – how to do taxes and balance check books. Also, in English, learning rhetorical strategies isn’t really something one would exercise in the real world. Yes, you’d be able to see what “tricks” were being used by the media to try to coerce, but it’s very unlikely that you’re going to have to explain the literary devices used in your performance review.

“From that point on the electives you take are ones that you can choose and most of them are only required for 1 semester… high school though is meant to be broad enough to allow people to find something that could be their career choice. “

To a certain degree, my opponent is correct about being able to choose electives, but neglects to mention that electives are required for high school students and that most are not one semester. Perhaps it varies from school to school slightly, but in my district it is required to have elective credits every year before you can graduate and more than one class if you want to be a Distinguished Graduate.

“Bankers still need to learn math and Doctors still need to learn science. Both of these examples only cite very narrow examples of all the different information taught in public high schools which allow people to find their passion.”

Of course bakers need math, but even my pre-calculus teacher admitted that there is no real application of logarithms (which we were tested over) in any math or science field. I’m not saying that we don’t need math or science, but the things thought in each of them should actually have some real life value.

In response to my statement: "but maybe only the kids interested in politics should be required to take government."
“That would require having kids make up their mind about their career at the age of 17 or 18.”

I wouldn’t even being to suggest to put that kind of stress on already stressed out kids, and perhaps I put it badly. But the school year is short, & perhaps instead of making kids – that, mind you, aren’t interested in politics – take government as a separate class, it could be addressed in history courses. The classes don’t need to be spectacularly long to be in depth or for students to grasp what happened and what it meant. Combining history with government would just mean the information is fresher in student’s heads making it clearer how what happened developed our government.


2) “Schools can only teach children so much, parents often teach their kids a fair amount of stuff”

Schools can only teach children so much because (books are different than real life, but that’s a different argument) they kill so much time on unnecessary stuff. More over, teachers are trained to teach, parents are not. I love my parents, but having a professional to tell me how to do something is much more reliable.

“first aid is a very narrow subject to study for months and months.”

Knowing where the bone is isn’t as helpful as being able to mend it until help arrives. Also, first aid would need to teach you about any great variety of things, like what the symptoms of an asthma attack are or how to help someone having a seizure. It’s not going to be months of “put a band aid on the booboo and call 911” because there are a lot more areas that can be covered.


3) “It is required that students take 3 to 4 years of the main subjects… everything else meanwhile is made up of many other classes that a student can pick if they find that class more appealing then the others in that category. “

3 – 4 years is a long time for someone who’s only lived 16. The 4 core subjects are fundamental to life, but are still laced with superfluous lessons. And though you get to pick your electives, you are still required to take some (foreign language, PE, and fine arts count as graduation credits) making them required subjects.

“It doesnt have to be spanish though, its any language you are interested in, Spanish is just the primary choice. Meanwhile running a mile a minute is something I dont know is actually required to graduate since you can take PE classes online now....”

I apologize, I wasn’t implying that it had to be Spanish, that was just an example and the class I actually took. Also, running a mile in 8 minutes was a grade in my class. So I don’t even vaguely understand how one would take an online physical education course.

In response to my statement: "Just as an example, I've taken 4 years of Spanish and I can hardly hold a conversation"
“Same here, but I knew enough to pass and I still hold a rough translation of words enough that it could pay off in the future.”

So did I, but that’s a perfect example of how misleading classes/exams are. You could put on your résumé that you took 4 years of Spanish, but when you get put in a situation where you have to translate you’d have a slightly better understanding that a child that watches Dora the Explorer. (By the way, I’m not addressing you specifically, that was a generalization.) If it’s going to be a required subject, it should be thorough enough to be worth the time.

“Fine arts though is one of those things where it can be considered passing just for trying… Photography, music, painting, designing, etc are all things you need only 1 or 2 years at and then your [sic] DONE.”

If you can get an A just for effort, what’s the point in taking the class? You wouldn’t be able to separate the greats from the not-so-greats like that and again someone might have an implied understanding that they don’t really have. And once again, 2 years is a long time when you presently only have 4 years of high school to use.


“Pro starts out saying that high school is too career specific then pulls a 180 saying it teaches a lot of useless stuff.”

I examined both sides of the spectrum. Some things it teaches – my example of cosine, sine, & tangent and laws of motion – are too specific while some – logarithms and rhetorical analyses – are essentially unhelpful.

The last part of my opponent’s argument is basically a recap, so I’ll do the same. Currently, high school is a contradiction to itself. My opponent mentions how high school is designed to be broad so students have a chance to change careers without having to start learning from scratch. That’s a valid point, but touching out other subjects (without testing over them) then offering the classes is different than saying “learn this or fail.” Also, as far as electives go, you are given some choice, but not a whole lot, and once you’re in the class that last a year or more, there isn’t any really opportunity to reschedule if it’s not your dig.

Basically, I must reiterate, it all boils down to practical application or entertainment. If you can’t use it in real life or it isn’t something you like to do, then why should you need it take it? School would be much more enjoyable and constructive (especially to the next generation of workers) if the subjects students are required to take to graduate were reworked.
imabench

Con

1) The four main fields

"however the things addressed in the courses aren’t always useful in real life situations"


This is entirely just a perspective because what one may see as useful another may see as pointless.

" but instead of having a week long lesson on how to calculate the nth term of a sequence, we could learn – as I mentioned previously – how to do taxes and balance check books"

Calculating the nth term of an equation is helpful to people in certain professions. If we start cutting material that the Pro thinks is useless and replace it with material he thinks should be there then this becomes a balancing act according to the Pro's idea of what schools should teach. However schools are meant to teach the things that parents cant teach, and parents are way better off taking 15 minutes out of their day to show kids how to write a check then trying to teach how to calculate the nth term.

Its easier for schools to teach the nth term and parents to show how to write a check than if it was the other way around.

"learning rhetorical strategies isn’t really something one would exercise in the real world."

Its something YOU might not use but the same cant be said for EVERYONE else.

"Yes, you’d be able to see what “tricks” were being used by the media to try to coerce, but it’s very unlikely that you’re going to have to explain the literary devices used in your performance review"

Learning to use rhetoric though helps people become better speakers, helps people give speeches to advocate for a cause, turn on a political debate and someone is using rhetoric somewhere. All these things have very broad applications.

"Of course bakers need math, but even my pre-calculus teacher admitted that there is no real application of logarithms in any math or science field"

Well I hate to say it but your math teacher is a liar.... Logarithms are used all the time when calculating probability statistics, the entropy of chemical reactions, its used in engineering to measure curves too. Anybody who has observed a population growth chart of the world has observed a logarithmic function... and you also need to know how logs work for other fields of more complex math....

"But the school year is short, & perhaps instead of making kids – that, mind you, aren’t interested in politics – take government as a separate class, it could be addressed in history courses."

The School year in the US is one of the longest ones in the world, its number 15 out of close to 200 countries.
http://www.northjersey.com...

Also you cant just mash government and history into one category because they are two very extensive subjects. US history goes back much further than US government to begin with and mashing them together would cause students to lose information about both. Then later in life if they do decide to take an interest in politics they are now falling back on unreliable information.....

Its still making kids decide what they are interested in. There is a time to cater to those interests and a time to teach them what they, and everyone else, should know about. History and government though are not one of those things that should be an option, it is something that all Americans should know about since it is our history and our government.

2) Schools teaching or Parents teaching

"Schools can only teach children so much because... they kill so much time on unnecessary stuff"


According to your opinion.

" I love my parents, but having a professional to tell me how to do something is much more reliable."

Parents arent brain dead though, they know how to write checks and do taxes and they would be equally reliable to teach these concepts

"Knowing where the bone is isn’t as helpful as being able to mend it until help arrives."

Unless your a doctor, nurse, surgeon, pediatrician, or anything actually in the medical field.... Also just because it isnt as helpful doesnt necessarily make it completely useless either.

" because there are a lot more areas that can be covered."

There will always be more areas that can be covered but schools have to choose what can be taught and then prioritize what should get the most attention. We cant live in a Socratic-like system where all is taught for everyone there are time limits and requirements and limits. School years limit what can be taught so schools have to choose which material can serve more value later in life. Some people may not agree with its taught and would prioritize information differently, but we are all different and all of our opinions are merely that.... Opinions

3) Electives

"Also, running a mile in 8 minutes was a grade in my class. So I don’t even vaguely understand how one would take an online physical education course."

http://www.caronefitness.com...
^ Its online now. No idea how it works but you can say bye-bye to 8 minute miles because i never had to deal with it, and others didnt have to either.

" but when you get put in a situation where you have to translate you’d have a slightly better understanding that a child that watches Dora the Explorer"

Wait a minute now, schools teach languages well but just because the two of us came out without learning much that doesnt mean we should blame the system, the blame should go on us!

The same courses that teaches Spanish allow some to become fluent in Spanish, and then there are others like me and the Pro who didnt learn much. But thats not the system's fault, its the students because there are still students who learned fluent Spanish as a result of these classes which shows that they do work.

Electives can be effective, but just because they arent effective for everyone doesnt mean that its the course's fault, that lies with the students who didnt learn anything while others did.

"If you can get an A just for effort, what’s the point in taking the class?"

It helps you find your interests in different subjects without putting too much stress on you and your abilities to determine what grade you get.

"cosine, sine, & tangent and laws of motion – are too specific while some – logarithms and rhetorical analyses – are essentially unhelpful."

Cos, Sin, and Tan apply to many other mathematical concepts, logarithms do to, and rhetorical analysis does serve a purpose. In your OPINION it may not but your opinion doesnt reflect how EVERYBODY feels about this nor does it reflect how important all of these things are.

"If you can’t use it in real life or it isn’t something you like to do, then why should you need it take it? "

Because we cant predict what will serve us in the future nor can we predict what we will become interested in in the future, and schools know this. The point of school is to give us a basic understanding of many things, and then allow us to build on those basics with material that we find appealing.

"School would be much more enjoyable and constructive if the subjects students are required to take to graduate were reworked."

School isnt meant to be daycare, its meant to teach us things we need to function in a basic society, and the only way they can do that is if they give us the basic understanding of different things in the world. However schools dont have unlimited material to work into curriculum's, time is a factor. Since time is a factor, so is the material that is taught, and they choose what should be taught. We may not agree with it, but we are human, everyone has their own conflicting opinions and those opinions shouldnt determine how schools are run because as far as any of us are concerned we would turn school into a giant Laser Tag arena....

Schools teach material great despite the budget and time limits. If students dont always succeed, then some of the blame lies with the students, its not all the schools fault that all of us didnt turn out perfect because where we struggled, others flourished. The system works, sometimes WE are the ones who dont....
Debate Round No. 2
midnightJZ

Pro

1) In response to: "however the things addressed in the courses aren’t always useful in real life situations"
“what one may see as useful another may see as pointless.”

That’s a very valid point, however much of what the system decides to teach is subjective to the members of the Board of Education. The ones to decide what 2500+ (reference to my school) highschoolers need to learn are very disconnected from the actual classes, meaning the courses and subjects they pick could extremely out of touch. If the class can’t be more individualized to specific groups of students, the subjects taught to the entire generation need to be looked at more closely.

“then this becomes a balancing act according to the Pro's idea of what schools should teach.

I’m not indicating that I know exactly what the schools should be teaching, however –as someone in school– having my success based on things that I can’t actually use is extremely frustrating. Con is right in saying (multiple times) that the subjects in high school should broad, but that doesn’t explain why they toss random bits of very career specific subjects for a grade.

“Its easier for schools to teach the nth term and parents to show how to write a check than if it was the other way around.”
I was merely making a suggestion to reiterate my point that there are important things that could be taught in schools instead of wasting time on things the majority of the populous won’t use. So not calculating to the nth term then, factoring binomials with variables to the umpteenth degree using Pascal’s triangle. I’m sure Con has an answer for that one, but still, how specific is it?


In response to: "learning rhetorical strategies isn’t really something one would exercise in the real world."
“Its something YOU might not use but the same cant be said for EVERYONE else. Learning to use rhetoric though helps people become better speakers… and someone is using rhetoric somewhere.”

Actually, I plan to be an English major so I would be using them, but still can’t see why most people would. The point I’m trying to make is that learning what they are is different than learning how to properly use them. Just because someone can name off and define anastrophe, ethos, and parallelism, doesn’t mean they’ll can (or will need) to use them. Also, just for reference, we never learned rhetorical strategies in Communications Applications (Speech).

“you also need to know how logs work for other fields of more complex math....”

If that is true, in order for you to truly understand how to use them you’d have to take them in a college level (engineering) class. You’d basically have to learn them all over so that you don’t end up endangering yourself or others.


“The School year in the US is one of the longest ones in the world”
But middle school for our city was 8 periods and now high school is 7, plus whatever extra activities you have after school. Con’s link doesn’t address how many periods are in each schooling system, however it did mention that the US has one of the shortest school days, so how exactly does that balance out to 7 or more periods?

“US history goes back much further than US government to begin with and mashing them together would cause students to lose information about both. “

As opposed to losing an entire semester to address something that could be explained more clearly in the context of a history class.


“History and government though are not one of those things that should be an option, it is something that all Americans should know about since it is our history and our government.”

American patriotic bias. We also have to take world (and state) history as well, so according to Con learning an extensive amount of history should be a requirement of living on planet earth… Quick, why was Nixon’s dog named Checkers?

2) Schools teaching or Parents teaching

In response to: "Schools can only teach children so much because... they kill so much time on unnecessary stuff"
“According to your opinion.”
Logic says if you spend too much time watching TV, you won’t have as much time to do homework… And you’ll possibly fail.


“Parents arent brain dead though, they know how to write checks and do taxes and they would be equally reliable to teach these concepts”

Tax Masters exist for a reason, though.

In response to: "Knowing where the bone is isn’t as helpful as being able to mend it"
“Unless your [sic]… anything actually in the medical field.... Also just because it isnt as helpful doesnt necessarily make it completely useless either.”

People in the medical field could do to learn first responder things early and I didn’t say it was otherwise useless, I’m just saying it could be better.

“School years limit what can be taught so schools have to choose which material can serve more value later in life.“

Serve more value for the general populous, not just the people who want to be engineers or doctors. We have a limited amount of time to learn for “free” and wasting it on career specific material is, well… wasteful.



3) Electives
http://www.caronefitness.com...... Its [sic] online now. No idea how it works but you can.”
I’m sorry to be improper here but ohhhhhhh. I get it. If you actually go through the website, you’ll see that it’s just the curriculum and tracking processes. The web site just makes it more PERSONALIZED to each student. That is actually a very nice idea. By the way, Con, there’s a running section, too.


“students who learned fluent Spanish as a result of these classes which shows that they do work. Electives can be effective, but just because they arent effective for everyone doesnt mean that its the course's fault, that lies with the students who didnt learn anything while others did.”

It’s not always the courses fault, but it’s not always the student’s fault either. I passed the classes with the lowest grade as an 87 without cheating because I worked, and yet I can’t truly enjoy the language yet. The classes, as well as the methods, need to be reviewed regularly in order for them to be successful.

“Cos, Sin, and Tan apply to many other mathematical concepts, logarithms do to, and rhetorical analysis does serve a purpose.”

They apply to MUCH more than logs do, but it’s still very career specific. And elaborate on how rhetorical analysis severs a purpose past making one hypersensitive towards advertizing ploys?


“Because we cant predict what will serve us in the future nor can we predict what we will become interested [in] the future, and schools know this.”
If Con is saying the schools know what will serve us in the future, then his argument is invalid because that’s spooky. But if he’s say that the schools know that we don’t know, then… what does it matter? If I hate a course as a young person it’s going to be engrained in me and it’ll take more than a year of taking it again to change my mind. Maybe I will at some point, but not because of high school.


It’d be very easy for me to villanize myself in this argument as a social anarchist or an overzealous flower child or something, but I’m not going as far out as I could. I don’t think we should just stop going to school or anything like that, (the world is ailing as it is), but changing what we learn could have greater effects than Con is willing to look at. The world is bigger than engineers and doctors, but we don’t have time to teach all that. So why do we have time to teach the specifics but not the other, potentially more useful subjects like taxes and first aid? I’m not saying drop everything and show us how to write checks and mend shirts, but there are a lot of things that could be reexamined and redone that would work out better for the generation of coming adults. Reworking what is taught in school could advance society in ways that letting everything stay the same, as Con believes it should, could not. So with that, I conclude and urge you to vote Pro. Thank you.

imabench

Con

1) Usefulness of material

"meaning the courses and subjects they (The school administrators) pick could extremely out of touch (with what kids should learn)"

Its a possibility but it cant necessarily be proven since any career that a person could be employed in ties back to what was learned in college and high school one way or another. There may be a bit of a gap but there isnt much evidence to support that administrators are "Extremely" out of touch.

"Con is right in saying that the subjects in high school should broad, but that doesn’t explain why they toss random bits of very career specific subjects for a grade."

Schools toss an occasional career specific piece of content into a course because it relates to other lessons that were previously taught. It is done to make an easy transition from a broad subject to a specific subject and then back again, it may seem randomly placed but it is in fact strategically placed since it relates to other broad content that allows people to understand it better since it is an extension of the stiff they just learned.

"I was merely making a suggestion to reiterate my point that there are important things that could be taught in schools instead of wasting time on things the majority of the populous won’t use"

But the things you mentioned that the majority of the population can use is one of the few actual things in the world that can be taught by any parent in a matter of minutes. Time is really tight in schools so whatever time they have to teach subjects to children is very valuable time, even if its just for an extra day or two. Writing checks and doing taxes is something that can be learned at home but it also frees up time for schools to teach other things that many people could not learn from their parents and may rely on for their career choice.

"Just because someone can name off and define anastrophe, ethos, and parallelism, doesn’t mean they’ll can (or will need) to use them"

But other people do, and thats the point im trying to make. As long as there are people out there those things become important to teach, the reason why other stuff doesnt get taught though is because schools have limited time and they have to choose which material has a bigger potential for being used later in life, and this was one of those things. You might not use it but others have and will continue to use it in their careers.

"If that is true, in order for you to truly understand how to use them you’d have to take them in a college level class. You’d basically have to learn them all over so that you don’t end up endangering yourself or others."

Thats exactly what we do in fact, but college IS career specific, high school isnt. In college you still need at least a background history of certain concepts learned in high school, and I can testify that learning logarithms is one of those things that people rely on for background knowledge depending on their career choice.

"Con’s link doesn’t address how many periods are in each schooling system, however it did mention that the US has one of the shortest school days"

You must have clicked a different link since the link only showed the length of school years and mentioned nothing about the length of any school day. If that is what you are looking for though here is a link that answers your question, and as you can see the US has a very long school day of close to 6.5 hours, which is on par compared to many other countries in the world
http://nces.ed.gov...
http://www.infoplease.com...

"As opposed to losing an entire semester to address something that could be explained more clearly in the context of a history class."

Thats just your opinion though, US history extends much farther back in time then US government but US government by itself is a very complicated subject to study, and mashing a complex course with an even longer and equally complex course isnt a good idea at all.

"American patriotic bias."

Last I checked I think that its a good idea that people should have basic understanding of how the country works when they are granted the right to vote...

"We also have to take world (and state) history as well, so according to Con learning an extensive amount of history should be a requirement of living on planet earth"

Dont twist my words Pro you only need to know how the world works, we dont all need to become experts

2) Schools teaching and Parents teaching

"Logic says if you spend too much time watching TV, you won’t have as much time to do homework… And you’ll possibly fail."

Then blame the student's studying habits and not the schools!

"Tax Masters exist for a reason, though."

Oh yes, a computer software exists to teach people how to do taxes in their own time when people arent at school.... Sounds like an argument for why they shouldnt teach doing taxes at school since there are computer programs designed to teach it to people on their own time...

"People in the medical field could do to learn first responder things early and I didn’t say it was otherwise useless, I’m just saying it could be better."

But people in the medical field arent the only ones who use this knowledge, trainers need to know about bones, so do morticians, pediatricians, and a lot of other people too. Also you can learn to be a first responder and not know basic human anatomy either.

"Serve more value for the general populous, not just the people who want to be engineers or doctors"

Schools do teach for the general populous! Scientists, politicians, historians, marine biologists, librarians, teachers, chemists, engineers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc All learn concepts that they had a basic understanding for because they learned it in high school. High school isnt career specific it is broad and gives a sustainable background knowledge of just about everything.

" If you actually go through the website, you’ll see that it’s just the curriculum and tracking processes"

If you dont like the website I used there are many other to choose from to take PE courses online or show that taking PE online is an actual possibility
http://www.sptimes.com...
http://education-portal.com...

" I passed the classes with the lowest grade as an 87 without cheating because I worked, and yet I can’t truly enjoy the language yet"

Did you memorize the material for the test or did you actually learn it? Chances are its the first one in which case its not the courses fault.

"They apply to MUCH more than logs do, but it’s still very career specific"

Its career specific to YOU but using Sin, Cos, and Tan applies to just about any career field that uses mathematics, angles, and its something that people should know how to use regardless of whether or not they are in a career that uses these things.

Conclusion: From the Pro's arguments it sounds like he would prefer if High school only taught material that everyone uses and that it should all be transformed into a Home Ec class. High school is meant to give students a broad understanding of basic concepts and subjects, but at the same time allow for students to explore their interests and find what is appealing to them to help them choose a career choice. Every small thing that one could see as useless is something that another person could base a career off of. And all the small things that dont get taught in schools that the Pro mentioned can be taught by online software or even by parents in a matter of minutes.

Subjects dont need to be reworked because they are meant to be broad, but still be useful enough to use in a career choice, whereas the Pro thinks school subjects should be as basic as possible even though everything he does advocate the teaching of can be taught by parents or by a computer program.

I thank the Pro for a great debate and I thank all of the voters for reading :D
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SeelTheMan 5 years ago
SeelTheMan
I feel the only subject that is necessary is 16th Century Korean Ceramics and Pottery.
Posted by Faust 5 years ago
Faust
My pleasure. I hope this will be a wonderful debate. Good luck!
Posted by midnightJZ 5 years ago
midnightJZ
I apologize for being unclear! Yes, I was talking about middle and high school subjects in the US. Thank you for accepting! :)
Posted by Faust 5 years ago
Faust
Hi, I am glad to accept your challenge both because it is an interesting topic and because I am also new to this community.

Just to be sure we are on the same page, you are tackling middle school and high school subjects in the USA, correct? I assumed as much, since college is a whole different affair.

Good luck!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
midnightJZimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate. Con won me over with the argument that if we cut everything that was career specific, many people wouldn't have any background knowledge. Just because something doesn't apply to 50 of careers doesn't mean it won't for the other 50 of careers. If high schools cut all career specific required classes, a lot of people would change what they want, but then go to college and be missing tons of crucial stuff. This was very close, though. 3:2 Con.