The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This House Will abolish streaming students into classes of differing academic aptitude.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,687 times Debate No: 31880
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Social elitism is a significant problem in the world today, especially in education systems that stream students into different classes of academic aptitude based on examination results. While it's true that pretty much all education systems do this, just on differing extents, the most extreme cases such as those in Asian societies experience the worst when it comes to class discrimination. The sad fact is that the perpetrators and victims of such discrimination are our world's youth.

The proposition would seek to remedy this situation by abolishing streaming in education altogether. We propose an education system in which students would be enrolled in schools and/or other institutions based on their location or the range of co-curricular activities they have to offer. Grade schools will still be allowed to "compete" in terms of their results, but it will be ensured that grades will not play a part in enrolments.

1st Substantive:
There have been many incidents where students in "elite" schools openly look down upon students that are less academically-inclined or go to less prestigious schools than them. This situation is especially prevalent in Singapore, where its small population and "the intense competition in its education system only serve to heighten the frequency and tension of such incidents.

Recently there was a case in which a Junior College(JC, equivalent to high school " but only for the top 20% of the cohort) student insulted students from the Institute of Technical Education(ITE, for the "lower end" of students " they learn to be in more technical fields like Culinary, Fashion Design etc) in general on their future career and such.
His words can be found here:

Such is the sad case of youth who see themselves as high and mighty. They believe themselves to have the right to condescend anyone below them in academic aptitude, and it is these exact youth that will grow up into the next generation of working elites that run the world. If we let them continue as such, how would they turn up?


Let me summarize my opponent's position:
There exists an educational system in which youths are segregated based on mental acuity/capacity. This system, according to CON, is wrong in that it is a form of discrimination. It is also wrong in indirectly harnessing an egotistic nature in the students who are on the beneficial end of the segregation spectrum; promoting condescension.

My opponent's argument is an invariably moral one, attacking the morality of this type of separation. It also calls into question the implications and impact of such potential elites' moral decisions, paving the way to a society of egotistical individuals who aggressively prioritize personal gains/pleasures over that of the proportionally larger number of lesser-developed society.

This is purely theoretical: I may patronize my fellow people, but that doesn't mean I have no moral incentive to sustain their survival, happiness, or well-being.
Engineer/philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was known to be one of the most egomaniacal geniuses of his time. He disdained the society of lesser educated people, choosing to mingle with only the more intellectual students. His impossibly high standard to which he subjugated himself and others shaped his life. Under its rigidity, he was able to push himself into spewing original philosophy. He discarded much of his wealth, lived frugally, and frequently worked toward charitable means.

Immanuel Kant, although less extreme, was of similar disposition. Kant was also a genius. He was a groundbreaking philosopher who worked tirelessly. Being of very high educational standards, he disliked associated himself with those who are not 'culturally developed'. This bias was so pronounced that he wouldn't even deign to meet his siblings, all of whom he considered unworthy society. He has, nonetheless, given a great portion of his earnings to fund his sisters' livelihoods. This proves that such snobbish people are able to make sacrifices for the greater good of others.

My other contention: nothing matters, so this, obviously, doesn't matter either. Nothing is obligatory unless toward a goal. These goals are likewise unimportant. There is no pressing reason for anything at all. I can explain this in further rounds if necessary (just ask, unless you get where I'm coming from, in which case, your resolution is negated), my mother wants her computer. :(
Debate Round No. 1


To counter my point of contention, the opposition has cited a couple of examples in which brilliant yet egotistic individuals who refused to directly have anything to do with people of inferior academic background still gave back to society and contributed to it as a whole. However, would it be fair to say that many such people in society would do the same? Wittgenstein and Kant were but a select few, and the proposition sees that it is but a myopic slice of the large pie.

Social segregation is seen to be the cause of many large-scale world problems, including but not limited to slavery, racism and ethnic cleansing. While academic discrimination is but a first-world based subset of it, it has already started to show how serious its effects can be. Such discrimination, one where, quoting the opposition, people "...aggressively prioritize personal gains/pleasures over that of the proportionally larger number of lesser-developed society," is the root of many of the problems which we have around the world now. Problems like low wages, monopolism, oppression under the guise of "free trade", and even " indirectly " poverty. Likewise, I can explain this further if necessary, but the rationale already seems sufficient.

Since the opposition has set no counterpolicy and chose to remain with the status quo, I shall proceed to my next point.

This time the proposition shall go on to discuss the direct effects it has on the other end of the segregation spectrum; those who live life in the social stigma heaped upon them by their peers and grow up being directly told or indirectly implied that they are "useless", or at the very best, "will never amount to much".

Despite being in trade schools or its equivalent, such students have the potential to make their own impact on the world should they believe themselves to be able. Yet those youths grow up in a society that has hammered into them the fact that the only potential they have is to hopefully find a steady job in the trade they"ve been studying and live the rest of their life in relative stability.

I briefly mention the success stories of current (and late) billionaires Zuckerberg, Gates and Jobs. Though their academic backgrounds were not so extreme as being in the bottom end of the spectrum " they dropped out of college " I used them since they are familiar personalities.

To end this round, the proposition will summarize this point by saying that such segregation psychologically stifles the students deemed by society to be on the weaker end in terms of their abilities, who might otherwise have the potential to make it big in the world.


The case against academic/intellectual 'segregation' still stands. My opponent argues that Kant and Wittgenstein are singular cases. Their anecdotal status undermines the very point I am trying to establish through their use, according to my opponent.
"Wittgenstein and Kant were but a select few" he says
In retrospect, my opponent similarly has provided only one case example for his purely theoretical attack against intellectual 'segregation'. Austin Tan is also of a select few. Notice the way I put colons around segregation. In reality, the 'segregation' to which PRO refers to is no segregation at all. There are no laws within our society that enforces intellectual segregation. The fact that upper-end schools don't open admission to just anyone who applies is, in reality, justified.
Imagine our earth an its territorial parameters. There are about 7 billion people living on this little globe of land. The fac is, there are simply not enough resources to sustain everbody. On a limited quantity of land with a limited quantity of land resources, you cannot expect civilization to produce unlimited quantities of sustenance to support such unsustainable growth. It'd be great if we could give everyone a top-notch education, but that is simply impossible. There are only so many people they can take with the limited land (college grounds), capital (computers, paper, all manners of products necessary to funding an education) and labor (teachers, staff, professors, etc.)

Recognizing this fact is key. The acceptance of the less capable (not all hyper-inellectuals are necessarily capable of success. I know some very intelligent individuals who are not bound to succeed simply due to bad work ethics/laziness) Simply giving open admission to everyone and anyone would allow the wealthier, but less potentially successful people to dominate school grounds. Those who can't pay for the services provided obviously won't receive said services. If we remove academic standards, the school would then have to prioritize profit unless given some other profit-incentive that allows open admission to anybody (government subsidy). This is, in essence, a form of socioeconomic elitism. It completely defeats the purpose of my opponent's argument against academic standards of acceptance.
Another problem with allowing 'equal' admission is that these spots are limited, as establish before. This means that, for every wasteful acceptance of students who have lesser potential to use the facility resources/allowances given, one more capable student is rejected from a chance at success through the medium. This is wasting the potential of our societal units, possibly destroying the outlooks of many would-be successful individuals. There are so many applicants to these insitutions of higher education these days that it is impossible even to chose ALL of the academic elites (note that academic =/= economic, meaning some can be very middle class or poor). A system that does not prioritize those with greater indications of success is bound to failure. If my opponent cannot fix these logistical problems presented, then the PRO argument is successfully negated.

Snobbery and morality are not necessarily relevant, as proven with my case examples. All my opponent has done to negate this is claim:
"psychologically stifles the students deemed by society to be on the weaker end in terms of their abilities, who might otherwise have the potential to make it big in the world."
with no substantiated evidence or argumentative/logical support (aside from the clause about slavery, racism and ethnic cleansing, which I will address later).
Although this condescending individual, Austin Tan, looks down on others, it is no indication of his actual actions/performances with regard to society (i.e: charity or labor exploitation). Again, Wittgenstein's degree of disdain was so much more prominent than this Tan kid, but he was still a very good man (worked for charity, constantly tried to give away his money to charitable causes) who followed his ethics like a train follows the tracks upon which it runs. He was consistently productive and beneficial to society at large.
How does egotism necessarily indicate actual conduct? It doesn't as per the examples provided. People like Austin Tan, although generally reproachable, can still be good in terms of moral conduct. I'm not saying that I support Austin Tan's supercilious attitude, I'm just saying that there is no legitimate evidence proving that this attitude is the direct cause/result of immorality.

Racism, slavery, etc. are LAW-enforced segregation, meaning African Americans were subjugated under prohibitions BY LAW (yes, there is a difference). Academic 'segregation' is really no segregation at all since it is the academic insitution's right to chose whom they would like to provide their services to; the facilities and resources do, after all, belong to them. Potential logistical reasons for academic 'segregation' has already been provided above.

Personal stance: I think I'd rather have a boss like Austin Tan, with a despicable attitude (not going to be friends with this guy), but knows what he is doing than someone who is not capable of running a company efficiently (less profit means less revenue means less pay for me. I might even be in constant fear of being laid off to the company's salvage lost revenue).

"Social segregation is seen to be the cause of many large-scale world problems."
Right, except academic selectivity and social segregation aren't the same thing.

"Such the root of many problems which we have around the world now. Problems like low wages, monopolism, oppression under the guise of "free trade", and even " indirectly " poverty"
So says PRO.
I'd like to see pro establish authentic support for this statement. Just saying it doesn't make it true.
GIVE US EVIDENCE! I've backed up my claim that academic elitists benefit society a large (Kant and Wittgenstein), but my opponent has given us nothing to prove the claim that academic elitism is a direct/indirect causal relationship with societal problems. Looking at Kant and Wittgenstein, I can only brand such statements as insubstantiated and therefore, false. I believe societal problems result from a variety of causes that are much more probable than academic elitism. Furthermore, those who DO enact vampirical policies that benefits a larger minority at the cost of he greater majority are not necessarily condescending (they could be just like you and me, just slightly more greedy or selfish). Greed & selfishness =/= condescension.

The reason for providing socioeconomic welfare for as many societal units as possible is????
A generic answer would be for the bettering/well-being of humanity.
There is, however, a problem. For what reason should we seek to promote the well-being of humanity? So that everyone, including ourselves, can be happy? What logical or objective reason is there for our happiness? What objective reason is there for humanity's survival? You might say to better our Earth (which we are most definitely not doing; our enormous contribution to the destruction of environmental habitats is indicative of that). Even if humanity is beneficial for the earth (for the universe for that matter), what objective reason is there to maintain the earth or the universe? For the livelihood of humanity? As you can see, this is a cyclical development that leads nowhere. The ultimate response turns to religion: everything we do is for the attainment of a better afterlife. Let's take Christianity, for example: What reason do we have to avoid hell and go to heaven? For eternal happiness? What reason do we have for eternal happiness? Any response to such questions can only be subjective: I don't want pain, I want to be happy, I want to live forever, etc. The reason: you want to. Nothing is necessary. Nothing therefore matters. There is nothing wrong with segregation.
Debate Round No. 2


jonathanjie forfeited this round.


I think the purpose my opponent elicited this debate is to prove a point. Austin Tan is not a very kind individual. In my humble opinion, his shocking degree of disrespect and his arrogance was rightly tagged with disapproval. Even though I am on the con side, I feel somewhat like a devil's advocate.
Nonetheless, my opponent's forfeit cannot be ignored. My points remain un-addressed and therefore stand.
I urge a vote for con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
I hate my grammatical mistakes. :(
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
It would be my contention that classes shouldn't be segregated based on level of intensity, but that all classes should use the IB or AP standards as the baseline. If you can't/don't want to make that cut, then you belong in trade school. Many, however, disagree with that perspective.
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