The Instigator
Atheistassociate
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
headphonegut
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The voucher system of education would be better for the US than it's current education system

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Atheistassociate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,416 times Debate No: 12114
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Atheistassociate

Pro

This debate will consist of 4 rounds with three days to reply to each round. I will take the position that the School Voucher would be a better system for this country than the current one. If you accept this debate than you will defend the US's current educational system. You have the choice of either starting the debate in round 1 or I will begin it in round 2.

I thank whoever is willing to accept this debate.
headphonegut

Con

The Pro has the burden of proof.

abstract: The voucher school system is quite wonderful, it gives government grants to citizens who wish to send their children to a private school, however it is a fallacy to think the grant will guarantee that they'll get in the private school nor does it guarantee a better quality of education. The voucher system lets parents children attend religious schools which are a direct violation to the 1st amendment separation of church and state. They are designed to give vouchers to some students at the worst schools. The vouchers will drain money from schools that need it most. Deplorable conditions await those doomed to be left behind in already struggling schools whose financial problems would be exacerbated by vouchers.
Public schools must accept everyone regardless of disabilities, test scores, religion, or other characteristics; private schools can show favoritism or discrimination in selecting students.

I will post my arguments in round 2 after you post yours the above as you've already guessed is an abstract of what my arguments will consist of (they may change,my arguments).
Debate Round No. 1
Atheistassociate

Pro

Thank you headphonegut for accepting this debate.
First, some definitions for those who don't know:
Voucher School System: A system of funding education where families are given vouchers which will pay for an education in the public or private school of choice. The schools will be able to return the vouchers earned for money. The money would still come from taxes.
US Current Education System: one where public Schools are paid directly by the government through the taxation of local resident.

Arguments:

While I have to agree that it is not absolutely certain that a voucher system will guarantee a better quality of education it will allow for a greater choice amongst parents to where their children learn. When a school has to persuade parents that their children should attend their school. in order to survive they will have to provide a better education or risk going out of business. So yes, some schools go out of business just like some companies go out of business but people don't mourn the loss or decline of companies past such as Montgomery Ward. When a company or schools declines or goes bankrupt it would means that it isn't using resources effectively. While this is happening, new school will start up and successful schools will expand in order to meet demand. When the voucher system is in place discrimination will become more costly to any school because to not allow a student into a school is to sacrifice some vouchers and therefore some profit. How much profit would McDonald's make if it discriminated against customers and said we only serve White Protestant men? The truth is that the reason private schools can show favoritism is because the quantity demand of education from private schools is greater than the quantity supplied so they can pick and choose who enters their schools without worry of economic repercussions.

In response to the violation of the first amendment of the US Constitution there are two points that need to be stated. 1. The Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Specifically it says that congress cannot make a law respecting an establishment of religion. In the voucher system it isn't the congress who is "respecting an establishment religion" it's the parent who decide to send their children to the school.

2. Even if the previous argument isn't persuasive, the voucher system could be conditioned and legislated where religious teaching entities couldn't participate in the voucher system.

The Voucher system is better equipped to improve the condition of education for students because it is designed in a way to allow poor (as in failing or unsuccessful) schools to fail while allowing successful school to expand and new schools to form to test new ways of teaching. It is a system designed around pleasing parents, ensuring them that their children are receiving the best education around. It is more open to new developments and innovations to improve education because they would be good selling points to attract more parents and increase profits.

I look forward to Con's response

http://www.innovations.harvard.edu...
http://www.usconstitution.net...
headphonegut

Con

Hello there and thank you for your timely response.
R1- my opponent concedes the point as to that a voucher system will not quality of education. basically that's it I won sure they can go where they want and they can go out of business and new schools will arrive ( highly doubt all assertions made just to clarify not agreeing with you ) the resolutions stands on it's on "the voucher system of education would be better for the US than it's current education system" you the Pro were supposed to prove how the voucher system was above the current system and if "it is not absolutely certain that a voucher system will guarantee a better quality of education"- (opponent ) so then what's the point i even going to these schools if better education isn't guaranteed? furthermore Schools are provided money through tax payers money so no matter what you do your money will still most likely end up paying for the public school so the chances of public school going out of business is most likely not going to happen. If a school would in fact decimate itself that means that students aren't passing standardized government tests so they suffer sanctions from n child left behind then the government places it's own teachers in said school to see what is happening. to not allow a student into a school wouldn't affect private schools in any way may I remind you that it is where rich kids go to school and furthermore just for arguments sake lets say a student gets in the private school what then what has he accomplished? what will he do that he isn't doing at his other school? They both teach to a certain degree the same curriculum and have the to a certain degree the same extra curricular activities. You debate that they can't show favoritism then you say they can which is it?

"When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."- supreme court justice harry

So no it doesn't matter if a parent chooses the school the argument being made by me is that the government is giving, giving, giving vouchers (money) to parents to spend it on church so government give church money. You see it is in direct violation of the 1st amendment separation of church and state.

I completely and fully concede his 2nd point just the beginning. Next my opponent says:

"The Voucher system is better equipped to improve the condition of education for students because it is designed in a way to allow poor (as in failing or unsuccessful) schools to fail while allowing successful school to expand and new schools to form to test new ways of teaching. It is a system designed around pleasing parents, ensuring them that their children are receiving the best education around. It is more open to new developments and innovations to improve education because they would be good selling points to attract more parents and increase profits."

If the schools were failing it's not because it was poor could be a factor but in fact because the students are morons so if a school fails no new schools are made the students are distributed to the schools already in place.
"It is a system designed around pleasing parents, ensuring them that their children are receiving the best education around"- opponent
"While I have to agree that it is not absolutely certain that a voucher system will guarantee a better quality of education"- opponent
star-burst contradictions :)
How does "it" attract parents and increase profit?
Closing: My opponent does not prove his burden nor does he disprove my assertions in the first round so I extend those arguments "The voucher school system is quite wonderful, it gives government grants to citizens who wish to send their children to a private school, however it is a fallacy to think the grant will guarantee that they'll get in the private school nor does it guarantee a better quality of education. The voucher system lets parents children attend religious schools which are a direct violation to the 1st amendment separation of church and state. They are designed to give vouchers to some students at the worst schools. The vouchers will drain money from schools that need it most. Deplorable conditions await those doomed to be left behind in already struggling schools whose financial problems would be exacerbated by vouchers.
Public schools must accept everyone regardless of disabilities, test scores, religion, or other characteristics; private schools can show favoritism or discrimination in selecting students."
I eagerly await Pro's response
Debate Round No. 2
Atheistassociate

Pro

Thank you for responding,
You first begin with my statement on the fact I cannot guarantee that the education would be any better but their are 2 issues I have with this:
1. What I meant when I said "While I have to agree that it is not absolutely certain that a voucher system will guarantee a better quality of education" was that my certainty wasn't 100% and that I could be wrong. I still have great confidence that the education of our youth would be improved.
2. The education system could be improved even if the education wasn't better. Ex. If we could get the same quality and quantity of education for half the cost than that would be an improvement in the system.

His second response was that if a school were to "decimate itself" that it would show up on government test and would endure the wrath of sanctions and send teachers in said school to find out the problem. One issue with this statement is that it assumes that the schools with the lowest scores are most in need. When I was in public school the days before a government test would be taken a review would ensue which for the most part gave us the answer to any potential problems on the test which would skew the results.

Since he conceded to my second point on religion there is no reason to think that a voucher system would necessarily violate the first amendment.

You mentioned that I was contradicting myself when talking about private schools so I will clarify what a meant. I was saying that under any condition where the demand for a private school is greater than the quantity supplied so they could choose between students applying. In my above argument I stated that "When the voucher system is in place discrimination will become more costly to any school because to not allow a student into a school is to sacrifice some vouchers and therefore some profit" this was just to say that the voucher system would make the private schools less exclusive since more people would be able to afford them.

His statement of "the schools were failing it's not because it was poor could be a factor but in fact because the students are morons so if a school fails no new schools are made the students are distributed to the schools already in place." I don't really understand what you mean by this. Yes some children are naturally more gifted than others in education but that wouldn't mean that new schools wouldn't be made. In this case schools may be created in order to help these students learn. Even in the US there are certain companies popping up to help students with trouble learning such as Sylvan Learning Centers. In any other market such as the grocery market most people wouldn't say that if a grocery company went bankrupt than then some people wouldn't be able to get groceries. In the short run these people would find other places to get their groceries but in the long run some grocer's would expand and some new grocery stores would pop up.

In order explain the voucher system more completely I will start by use of an scenario. In any human system there are actors who interact with each other. An important part of any human system is the incentives created by the structure of said system. In our scenario there will be 7 actors, the government, 3 families with a child That will be called A , B , and C and 3 schools which will be 1 , 2 , and 3 . First we will look at the the original US system:

In this system the government funds schools 1,2 and 3 directly. Families A,B and C send their children to schools based on which district they live in. Family A goes to School 1,family B goes to school 2 and family C goes to school 3. The only way for any of the families to send their children to a different school is to live in a different school district. This means that the school has little risk of losing their students because of quality. As my opponent stated their is a minimum quality for any public school has to meet with the government but beyond that there is very little incentive to make the school better other than sheer altruism.

In the Voucher school system funding for education is divided by the number of children of school age and be sent to every family based on the number of children they have. In our example lets say we have 12000 USD examples which would be split based on the number of children. Since each of the families has one child each would receive a voucher for 4000 USD which could be used to send their children to any of the three schools. Because of this each parent will want to send their children to the best school possible they will choose schools based off of quality. Competition will ensue by the schools in order to persuade the families to send their children there. Like any other competitive market companies (schools) will offer better quality products (education) in order to attract customers (families with children). In the short run there may not be a great change in school quality but in the long run schools will raise in quality.

In many countries where the voucher system has been put in place the quality of education has increased such as in Sweden. And in the few US states which have had voucher programs had seen a healthy competition and an improvement in test scores. This is why the voucher system is better. I look forward to the next round.

http://www.csmonitor.com....

http://www.edchoice.org...
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Atheistassociate

Pro

Since headphonegut has forfeited the 3rd round I extend my last argument. I urge people to vote pro. Thanks for debating and may the best argument win.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Atheistassociate 7 years ago
Atheistassociate
Yah I reallized that some states already have the voucher system. when i made this debate I was thinking of the district system where children would go to a school based on where they lived.
Posted by twsurber 7 years ago
twsurber
I have some questions for anyone who knows. Does the voucher system unofficially "create" any divides such as good schools and sucky schools? I assume that there must be caps on how many students a good school could accept without expanding? Would it force the sucky schools to eventually close because not enough kids are using their vouchers to keep them functioning, or would it force them to raise their standards? Would any schools be unofficially created that housed low achievers, or thugs & drugs type kids? I can certainly see why this is an attractive option for where parents choose to send their kids. Should be an interesting discussion.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
But the voucher system is already in place in some states....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Atheistassociate 6 years ago
Atheistassociate
AtheistassociateheadphonegutTied
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Total points awarded:60