The Instigator
Harold_Lloyd
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Raistlin
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Voucher programs are a very bad idea

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Raistlin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 682 times Debate No: 65558
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

Harold_Lloyd

Pro

Voucher programs were devised as a means of siphoning off public money to private companies, and it has nothing to do with better education.
Raistlin

Con

I accept the debate. As pro has made a positive claim, the burden of proof is on him. As the topic is education, and education is cited in his opening statement, I shall assume that education vouchers are those to which he is referring. Otherwise, it's a pretty broad topic for pro to prove all vouchers are "a very bad idea."

Secondly, pro cites no evidence to support his claim that "Voucher programs were devised as a means of siphoning off public money to private companies, and it has nothing to do with better education," and it should therefore be rejected as baseless, at least until some evidence of this hypothesis is provided.

Good luck to pro!
Debate Round No. 1
Harold_Lloyd

Pro

Vouchers are a plan to put tax money into private hands, it's not about education at all.

Only the religious right will go along for the possibility of teaching biblical science in schools not subject to constitutional scrutiny.
The voucher and online school plans are a product of ALEC, and are designed to profit ALEC members.

In the shared experiences of public school, we form a unity of culture, and of purpose. Public schools are where we build citizens.
If we only think of schools as places to learn facts, history, and skills, then we risk undervaluing the other, equally important functions that school perform.
Lately, there has arisen a pattern of denigrating and underfunding public schools while at the same time allowing easier withdrawal from the public system in favor of private schools and vouchers. This should not be allowed to continue.
If the shared experience of public school builds citizens and nations, education outside the system works against those goals.

There seems to be an unspoken and hidden agenda to change the public education system to where it's not even recognizable. It's right out of the playbook of a national movement to eviscerate government in favor of private and for-profit enterprises.

background-
http://alecexposed.org...
Raistlin

Con

My opponent makes several very interesting arguments. His main point is that education is purely a government responsibility. I will argue that voucher programs result in the allowance of free market competition, avoiding the tax sponsored government monopoly, and thereby benefit the education of our children, especially those in failing schools.

It's no secret that the government tends to run things very inefficiently. For instance, the Post Office is running a multi-billion dollar deficit, whilst Fed-Ex, a private competitor, reported hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. [1] [2] So why do I describe this example of the government's failed interference in what ought to be a private business? To illustrate a larger point. This is because the government is under no obligation to make a profit and compete with private corporations, removing the incentive to improve. Any private company run with the Post Office's monstrously inefficient policies would go bankrupt, but government never goes bankrupt. Well, at least, not yet.

Education works much the same way. Funding for public schools is the highest in the world per pupil, yet America continues to lag behind in education. [3] And the problem is even worse in the inner city. Studies by the government show that each year, inner city students fall behind by 3 months compared to other schools. [4] This means by 6th grade, the student is 2 years behind. Clearly, this is a serious issue. What can be done about this problem?

School choice presents the best answer to this quandary. Nobody cares about a student like his parents, and school choice puts the power into their hands. Here's how it works. The government calculates the total amount it would cost to send a student to the local public school. The government then attaches this money to the student and lets the money go to either the public school or a private alternative. This way, poor inner city families, often minorities or immigrants, have the chance to send their students to high quality private schools rather than the failing public school. [5] Now, parents could send there student to a superior private school that costs less per student than a public school. It's a win-win. For example, Catholic schools strongly out-perform public schools and cost much less. [6] It would be better both for the taxpayer, the Catholic school, and the student to attend that school with a voucher programme.

So who opposes this win-win situation? The failed public schools. They claim that public schools build a shared identity and create citizens. However, they have no evidence to back that claim up. Pro claims that we gain a "unity of purpose" by attending public schools, but cites no source or evidence. Pro also claims the bill would profit ALEC members, and that it is therefore bad. However, there is no problem with earning a profit by providing a cheaper, better education to students. Profit is a good thing. It's the reward for a job well done. If public schools really are better than private schools, let them compete on an even playing field. Don't deny lower class kids the opportunity of a quality education because profit is somehow evil. A lot of private schools don't make profit anyway.

Pro seems to have an ideological problem, at the expense of suffering, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, with education outside the government system. However, the last thing we want is for government to have a monopoly on education. Everyone knows monopolies are always inefficient, and the last thing anyone wants is for the government to indoctrinate our children on "unity of culture" and "citizenship." [7] I celebrate diversity and don't want everyone to fit the same predetermined mold.

In conclusion, a voucher programme will cut costs and provide a higher quality education, especially to students who are currently denied access to quality schooling. It will encourage diversity and independence. The current system of Public schooling has no inherent benefit over the voucher system. If it is really superior to the private system, let them compete on an even playing field.

Good luck to pro!

Sources

1- http://about.usps.com...
2- http://www.usatoday.com...
3- http://www.npr.org...
4- http://www.cde.ca.gov...
5- http://www.nsl.ethz.ch...
6- http://www.brookings.edu...
7- http://www.economicsonline.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Harold_Lloyd

Pro

Your claim regarding education funding seems to be false.
http://nces.ed.gov...

There seems to be an unspoken and hidden agenda to change the public education system to where it's not even recognizable. It's right out of the playbook of a national movement to eviscerate government in favor of private and for-profit enterprises.
Vouchers are a plan to put tax money into private hands, it's not about education at all. Only the religious right will go along for the possibility of teaching biblical science in schools not subject to constitutional scrutiny.
The voucher and online school plans are a product of ALEC, and are designed to profit ALEC members.

In the shared experiences of public school, we form a unity of culture, and of purpose. Public schools are where we build citizens.
If we only think of schools as places to learn facts, history, and skills, then we risk undervaluing the other, equally important functions that schools perform.
Lately, there has arisen a pattern of denigrating and underfunding public schools while at the same time allowing easier withdrawal from the public system in favor of private schools and in-home education. This should not be allowed to continue.
If the shared experience of public school builds citizens and nations, education outside the system works against those goals. Whether or not they intend it, home schooling and private schooling serve to separate us rather than bringing us together.
As long as a home schooled child can do academics at a minimum level, there is no control regarding what else the child is being taught. Children of white supremacists can be educated as white supremacists. Children of radical fundamentalists can be educated as radical fundamentalists.
The result is a fragmented population with no common purpose or shared values. The nation weakens, and the culture that makes us Americans is fading away.
We must not destroy the public school system, and in fact we must restore it to its' traditional efficiency and function.
Do not allow home schooling except in cases where the child cannot, for good reason, attend a public school. Private school curricula should be closely monitored to be sure that divisiveness is no part of what is taught. No public funds should go to support either home schooling or private schools of any kind, excepting only specialized facilities for special needs children.
http://billmoyers.com...
Raistlin

Con

Well, I must say I am somewhat disappointed in my opponent. In round 3, pro repeatedly copies and pastes arguments from round 2. As I have already rebutted most of his argument from last round, I shall not bother to repeat myself. My opponents have plagiarized before, but never from themselves. I guess there's a first time for everything.

My opponent addresses one of my points. I apologize for slightly misstating a point. I stated "Funding for public schools is the highest in the world per pupil." I meant to say it is one of the highest in the world. As this does not affect my argument in the slightest, it doesn't affect the debate, but I do thank pro for pointing it out.

Other than that, pro has dropped every single one of my arguments. Again, I am disappointed.

Pro does make a few limited points, however, that need to be addressed. He claims that a lack of federal regulation can result in children being educated as white supremacists or radical fundamentalists. There is a fundamentally deeper point with very dark implications in this point. The premise of this point is that government has the obligation to purge beliefs it deems undesirable and reinforce beliefs it deems desirable. This type of intellectual totalitarianism is abominable. The government has no business determining what beliefs are correct or incorrect and has no right to indoctrinate children as it sees fit. The Nazi party used the same methods when persuading people to hate Jews and trying to justify the Holocaust. [1] There is a name for indoctrinating citizens to blindly accept a national identity whilst quashing criticism: fascism. [2]

Pro claims that public schools are traditionally efficient, but provides no evidence for this claim. In fact, schools have traditionally failed to educate poor, inner city students. [3] Pro then claims that we should ban home schooling and regulate private schools. Again, this concept of trying to control thoughts is morally reprehensible.

In conclusion, pro's argument was mostly a copy of his last argument, which I have rebutted. Pro has dropped all of my arguments from round two. Pro wants to indoctrinate all students in "unity of culture" and "American Values" at the expense of freedom of belief and poor, inner city students in failing schools. Pro offers no constructive solutions to the problem of failing schools. Pro is blindly devoted to endlessly repeating a failed case.

Sources

1- http://research.calvin.edu...
2- http://dictionary.reference.com...
3- https://web.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Raistlin 2 years ago
Raistlin
I agree. The closer we get to a free market, the more efficient the system becomes.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Mike_10-4
Free-market is always better than government controlled education.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
It has everything to do with better education. The public schools stink.And all that does is give parents access to schools that are scholastically minded, instead of socially engineering minded.Most parents are already paying way too much in school taxes, then if they want what is better for their children, they would have to pay that too, except where vouchers are available.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I wish I wasn't in 3 debates already. I would tear you a new one.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
Harold_LloydRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were definitely superior in my opinion by highlighting government inefficiency and the failing of public schools. Con could have even brought up the fact that atheists are increasingly resorting to home schooling and private schooling, not just the far right. An especially effective argument by Con was "The government has no business determining what beliefs are correct or incorrect and has no right to indoctrinate children as it sees fit."