The Instigator
darkhearth
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points

nationalize education

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,388 times Debate No: 13464
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

darkhearth

Pro

Local control" is the most sacred principle in American education—a tradition so deeply ingrained in history and practice that its shortcomings are almost never articulated. Yet a look at the history of local control as the organizing principle of schooling suggests that an approach that made perfect sense in the 1700s is crippling American education today.
Whatever its successes in the past, local control today assures four major problems:
Inconsistent Standards and Inadequate Data:
Union Dominance:
Establish National Standards:
Going back to my first reason Inconsistent Standards and Inadequate Data: Local control assures that we have no overall way to know how children are doing. By leaving the definition of standards and proficiency requirements to the states, No Child Left Behind—like earlier efforts in the educational standards movement—makes it impossible for us to know where kids stand. Instead it has produced a well-documented "race to the bottom" in which many states lower the achievement bar to foster the illusion of progress.
Secondly, Union Dominance: Local control, particularly in big cities, often leaves schools in the hands of political school boards who are themselves under the thumb of powerful teachers' unions that dominate their elections and block sensible reforms. As a result of these and related failings, most schools, far from relishing the supposed freedom granted by local control, feel trapped in red tape; principals say they spend their days on unproductive paperwork to comply with endless mandates, when they're not busy navigating Byzantine district bureaucracies to keep the heat on and the supply room stocked. The only way to demand more from schools while freeing educators and parents to find diverse ways for schools to perform better is to take a cue from other advanced countries and nationalize the system a little, especially when it comes to the standards we expect students to meet and the resources we allocate to help them do so. Specifically, we should:
NATIONALIZE EDUCATION: The usual explanation for why national standards won't fly politically in the United States is that the right hates "national" and the left hates "standards." But that's changing. Leading figures in both parties now say that in today's "flat" world we can't have the rigor of a child's education, and thus chances for success, depend on the accident of where they happen to be born. Polls show a majority of Americans agree. Most proponents suggest we establish national standards and tests in grades three through 12 in core subjects—reading, math, and science, for starters—perhaps leaving more controversial subjects, such as history, until we get our feet wet with a new regime.
In the effort to reform our education system, it is vital that one seeming paradox is understood: It is only by transcending traditional local control, and by getting serious about a new national role in standards and finance, that we can at last create genuine autonomy for local schools.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro says there are four problems addressed by nationalization, but the only problems he addresses are union dominance and national standards.

1. Union Dominance

Making schools uniform may them all be bad or all mediocre. The problem with unions would be made worse. The problem derives from politicians being bought off by the unions. the unions make large donations to politicians, who respond by providing lavish benefits at public expense. This mechanism works magnificently on a national basis. The most frequent visitor to the White House is Service Employees Union President Andrew Stern http://blogs.wsj.com..., who visited 22 times in seven months. vice President Biden frequently acknowledges the Administration debt to unions, saying ""There is an old joke, but it's real where I come from. You go home with the ones who brung you to the dance, ... You guys and women have been the backbone of my support as a United States senator and my whole career."

Congress is responsible for the schools in Washington, D.C. "Washington, D.C., is governed by a mayor and a 13-member city council. However, the United States Congress has supervising authority over the city and may overturn local laws." http://en.wikipedia.org.... Congressional supervision has not thwarted union power nor improved the schools. Referring to an academically successful voucher program, "The amount of money spent on each scholarship child was $7,500 as compared to $17,000 for students in Washington, D.C. public schools. It was a savings of almost $10,000 per pupil. This program has not been refunded. ...The National Education Association (NEA) does not like experimenting to create a more effective and efficient educational system. They believe that the NEA has an inherent right to control the financing and administration of the funds for government schools for the union's self-interest." http://www2.hernandotoday.com...

2. National Standards

Establishing national standards does not require nationalization of the schools. We have a uniform national test for college admissions, the Scholastic Aptitude Test prepared and administered by the Educational Testing Service, a private corporation. http://www.ets.org... They also make tests for grad school admissions and English as a foreign language as well. ETS could readily prepare and administer tests of primary school achievement.

There are also privately developed tests that measure academic performance internationally. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk... There are limitations to using stand alone tests to assess individuals, but they work well for measuring overall academic performance.

The reason we do not have uniform measures of academic performance in the United States is that neither unions nor politicians want them. Tests show deficiencies, and those responsible for deficiencies do not want them highlighted. Nationalizing schools would not change that. what we would see are arguments that it is not fair to just compare A with B. All sorts of "adjustments" would be mandated to make sure that comparisons are "fair." It would also make them useless.

The only reason we do not have uniform rigorous testing is that we don't want it, and the resolution doesn't change that.

3. Advantages of Local Control

Local school boards best equipped to address local problems. In my hometown, they are deciding whether to close the grade school and bus students to a distant school. Keeping the school open costs more, but parents don't want students time on buses nor away from the community. Abolishing the school would lower taxes, but housing values would drop significantly. A nationalized school system could not be expected to resolve the problem appropriately.

Alaska has many remote communities that have needs for state-supervised home schooling and remote telecasting. Hawaii has concerns with restoring the Hawaiian language, and with educating about many Hawaiian traditions. Other communities have Spanish or Vietnamese bilingual education. Some cities have urban cores, other places rural farming. Some schools have problems with gangs, others do not. Uniform education may work well in Ireland or Hong Kong, but the US is diverse and requires local variations.

Local schools are responsible for most of the innovation in education. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk... Sometimes they make mistakes, but they also score successes. The success of vouchers is demonstrated. We get data on different educational approaches. National bureaucracies do not tolerate experimentation. They strive for uniformity, not excellence. When innovation is killed, there is nothing to compare to what the bureaucracy imposes.

Most importantly, the quality of education depends upon the involvement of parents. "The news is good for schools where parent involvement is high, and the benefits for children are encouraging. When parents are involved in children's schools and education, children have higher grades and standardized test scores, improved behavior at home and school, and better social skills and adaptation to school." http://childparenting.about.com...

Nothing could discourage parental involvement more than nationalization of schools. It moves the whole of education to the hands of a non responsive bureaucracy. there is no reason to be inved, because decisions will be made by bureaucrats in accordance with a policy manual.

Pro has the burden of proving his case. He only offers unsupported assertions. The resolution is negated.

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Pro's case is copied from http://www.americanprogress.org... I don't mind his copying the case, because the arguments stand for refutation regardless of their source. However, Pro should have acknowledged the source, and I claim that not doing so is a conduct violation. It would have helped if he had also copied the blank line after each paragraph.
Debate Round No. 1
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
dinokiller
Lol, if your opponent is Roy, you better be a good debater, or you are taken down without mercy.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
Nice catch on the plagiarizing Roy
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
Conduct - Con, obviously; Pro plagiarized his case.

S&G - Con. Seriously Pro, space out your paragraphs. Nobody wants to read your wall-O-text.

Arguments - Con. This wasn't even close. Never start one round debates; it's just asking for beatdown.

Sources - Con had more, plus Pro plagiarized his without citation.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
Zets is correct.
Posted by Zetsubou 6 years ago
Zetsubou
"Centralize" not "Nationalize", nationalizing suggests you wish to assimilate private schools into the national government controlled sector.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
We vote down plagiarizers.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
I get sick of debunking the "floating bill" theory of government.
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
Congratulations on being able to shamelessly plagiarise, I guess. :P
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by TheFreeThinker 6 years ago
TheFreeThinker
darkhearthRoyLathamTied
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Vote Placed by darkhearth 6 years ago
darkhearth
darkhearthRoyLathamTied
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Vote Placed by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
darkhearthRoyLathamTied
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Vote Placed by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
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Vote Placed by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
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Vote Placed by djsherin 6 years ago
djsherin
darkhearthRoyLathamTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
darkhearthRoyLathamTied
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