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on balance standardized testing is benifical for k-12 education

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 755 times Debate No: 83709
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Hello! my name is Thomas brooks and I stand in affirmation of

the resolved, On balance, standardized testing is beneficial to K"12 education in the United


We have three contentions to bring to you today.

1" standardized testing compares schools,

2" Standardised testing improves k"12 education,

3" On balance standardized testing has a positive effect on student achievement in school and

in life.

Point one)

Without standardized testing, their would be no way to compare schools, and assure that they

were meeting their constitutional standards.

The fourteenth constitutional amendment requires fair and equal treatment to all, under

protection of the law. The Supreme Court Case Brown vs. Board of education in 1954, Officially

legislated that the 14th amendment applied to all education laws. Therefore, It is our

constitutional right to receive an equal education.

If there is no way to compare schools, there is no way for individuals to know whether a student

is receiving a substandard education, vandalising our constitutional right. Without standardized

testing there would be no form of comparison and equality would not be obtainable. This leads

us into our second point.

Standardized testing has made tangible the quality of education a school provides, and created

accountability in not just teachers and schools, but in districts and states . This has benefited

educational mandates in funding in two irreplaceable ways.

1) The implementation of NCLB has enabled schools to sue states for failing to provide

standard and adequate teaching facilities. Study conducted by David G. Sciarra, shows

direct correlation to how the instatement of No Child Left Behind created accountability

to state and government to provide a standard of school safety conditions. The study

focuses on, but is not limited to a number of lawsuits in states New Jersey, Ohio,

Alabama, Arkansas, New York, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, and California where severely

underfunded schools that lacked resources, and dew to the passing of the NCLB had the

legal grounds to obtaining equil funding and such from the state improving the education

of their students.

2) The second way standardized tests have improved education is in actually reforming state

legislature dictating funding. Since the 1970"s, when statewide standardized tests became

more common, there was an increase of court cases discussing that different funding was

required to support different schools. These arguments are called "adequacy" suits. The

arguments are based in the belief that a school that supports a larger population of students, or

educates students that live in poorer demographics need more state funding, and can not rely on

property tax.

Plaintiffs fundamentally rely upon low scores on standardized tests, and high dropout rates as

proof that the state has failed to provide an adequate education for substantial numbers of its


Standardized tests have created greater equality in school funding.

Our Third contention is that on balance standardized testing has a positive effect on

student achievement in school and in life. Test anxiety is real, and it is true that both high and low stakes standardized tests can create

stress in K"12 students. However, post primary education is also depended on high stakes

assessments, similar to those of standardized tests. Students who participate in standardized

tests will be more prepared to face future educational, occupational, and professional goals.

Such tests include those pertaining to college admission and success, occupational licensing for

trades such as law and medicine.

Standardised tests are the only way to insure that individuals have the capability to obtain and

equal education, key in creating safe campuses, and fundamental in legislature allocating

school funding. Furthermore, Standardized tests prepare students for the stress in taking high

stakes tests later in their life.

On balance, standardized tests are imperative to improving k"12 education, and benefit it in

many ways.


I would like to thank Thomas for this debate. Welcome to, an open debating community for all.


According to google, "is" in the context of the resolution means "third person singular present of be". This impies present tense only, Therefore, as the Con, all I have to do is to prove that the status quo is not beneficial. I do not have to argue about POTENTIAL benefits of standardized testing; just the actual real world effect. If I show a detrimental effect, I ought to win the round. I do not have to advocate for NO testing, I can argue for reform.

Contention 1: Exclusion

A.Standardized testing excludes students with disablilities
Eric Badtscher-Senior Technical Writer writes that Standardized testing fails to account that not all children learn in the same manner. Also, Standardized tests exclude students who are bad at test taking from receiving higher education

B. Classism and For-Profit Testing

Standardized testing creates a profit motive behind testing instead of a learning motive, According to Broussard, Data Professor at NYU "14.
He writes that "standardized tests are not based on general knowledge... they are based on specific knowledge contained in specific sets of books: the textbooks created by the test makers. " Therefore, because private companies create these tests, they contain the specific information solely in the textbook, forcing schools to rely on textbooks created by the company itself.However, since poor schools cannot afford some of these books or at least not in sufficient quantity, poor students and schools do worse under testing regimes.
According to By David Miller Sadker, PhD, data confirms that poor students, especially minorities, fail standardized tests far more often. "Even moderate income differences could result in major test score differences. In Ohio, almost half of the students from families with incomes below $20,000 failed the state exams, while almost 80 percent of students from families earning more than $30,000 passed those same exams."

This is unfair to poorer schools because they cannot afford these books and the students don"t know what to expect for the test and therefore don"t perform as well.

Because these students cannot pass, this directly increases the dropout rate.

C: Cheating

The high stakes of these tests incentivizes large amounts of students and even administration to cheat on exams. This nullifies my opponents argument that the data is good. The data is flawed because it is tampered with and inaccurate .

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing found cases of cheating on standardized tests in 37 states across the country. Cheating occurred in 197 districts in the past year alone.

Contention 2: Dropout rate.

The goal of education is to increase the life skills of students in order to prepare them for the real world. However, standardized testing is detrimental to that by increasing dropout rates.

According to Advancement Project "10
"From 1996 until 2002 (when NCLB became law), 68 of the 100 largest urban districts had rising graduation rates. Twenty-four of them achieved double-digit increases in their graduation rates, while only four had double-digit drops during that period. From 2002 until 2006, however, 73 of the 100 largest districts experienced declining graduation rates. Seventeen experienced at least a double-digit drop in their graduation rates. "
Now my opponent may claim this is only a correlation, but 28 states require students to pass a standardized test in order to pass high school. If they cannot pass than they are forced to drop out.
The Advancement project also talks about how testing increases incentivization to kick out failing students.If students consistently do badly on exams than teachers have an incentive to kick them out in order to raise the average score.

The Impact of dropouts is very large.

School Library Journal reports that dropouts are 8 times more likely to be arrested.

According to multiple sources dropouts commit 75% of crime. This impact is the largest in the round, as if education makes people criminals than it fails to do its job


Vote Con based off my impacts. Spelling should go Con as Pro misspelled beneficial.
Thanks for the very short round
Debate Round No. 1
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by obijuankenobi 2 years ago
I would have to flow towards the con in this debate, because con added sources.
No votes have been placed for this debate.