The Instigator
Yoguy-107
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
pageantgrl
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

public highschool students ought not be required to pass exit exams to graduate

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,803 times Debate No: 9638
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Yoguy-107

Pro

I stand to affirm the resolution that Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
To create a boundary for this debate I would like to offer the following definitions:
Multiple intelligences- a theory proposed that humans possess more than one type of intelligence in which to learn that was popularized by Dr. Howard Gardner
My value for this round will be that of fairness which is defined as the ability to make decisions free from discrimination or dishonesty. With fairness, we can effectively avoid negative consequences of bias in American education.
My Standard for this round will be that of equal opportunity. This is defined as Policies and practices in employment and education that promote full participation and do not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, veteran status or sexual orientation. Full participation reduces or limits the possibility of bias in the educational system.
I contend that: standardized exams are unacceptable because they are bias against the multiple intelligences
Many of today's standardized tests are written so that only white, middle-class, English-speaking Americans can succeed. Standardized tests are multiple-choice and often rely on sequential or mental tasks rather than spatial or visual abilities.
Peter Sacs explains
What's more, studies of brain asymmetry and cognitive styles of American Indians indicate that, like African Americans, they may rely on right brain, simultaneous mental processing more often than whites. For example, one study of high school students in Hardin, Montana, compared sixty Native American and sixty white students in terms of their relative strengths at sequential and simultaneous mental processing, using the Kaufman Assessment Battery. As expected, the Native American students as a group proved to be significantly more skilled at the simultaneous processing tasks involving such spatial and visual abilities. White students, however, were better as a group at the sequential mental tasks.
So as we can see these tests are flawed in that they require left-brain skills that as the study above shows are more common in the white population than of other races. This both denies the students of other ethnic backgrounds their equal opportunity for education because they are unfairly gauged in the education system AND fairness because these tests present a bias of preferring one side of the brain over the other.
Tests also, being attributed to one side of the brain, limit the learning abilities of students and the teaching margins of teachers. To clarify I would like to point out the seven intelligences, Linguistic, Logical (what these tests are based on), Bodily/ Kinesthetic. Spatial, Musical, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal.
The first impact to this is that limiting anyone of these intelligences is a bias of standardized tests. It is a bias because these tests aren't granting students the ability to learn in their own way. By denying this, we are not giving students the equal opportunity for education and thus we are following a flawed system based on bias. The second impact to this is that if students were taught in their own preferred intelligence style, the educational system would prepare them more for the next stage in life in that they would be able to retain more information than if teachers were teaching what will be on the test.
Linda McNeil explains
Teachers also report that the margins -- those spaces where even in highly regulatory school settings they have always been able to "really teach" -- are shrinking as the accountability system becomes increasingly stringent, with teacher and principal pay tied to student scores.
Not being able to teach what they wish to teach is dangerous in that if teachers are so occupied with teaching what will be on the test then the students may not get everything they need from each class. Not teaching what students need to learn in the classroom is not helping them to prepare for the real world. Not being prepared for the real world is dangerous in that students will make life choices they are unprepared to make which can negatively affect them for the rest of their lives.
Other aspects of diversity that tests often times don't take into account include:
Disabilities-These include physical disabilities, language delays, ADHD, visual impairments, and mental retardation. Also within this we find that most kids don't know they have a disability due to the fact that it's such a minor condition but they still possess the disability.
Paul O'Neill explains
The impact could be greatest on children who may already face restricted options, such as those in need of special education services. Because of neurological, motor, auditory, visual, or other disabilities, these children often have problems demonstrating their capacities and usually follow a specialized academic program incorporating accommodations tailored to maximize their academic strengths and minimize their weaknesses. As a result, many children with disabilities are focused on meeting the goals established for them in their own individualized educational programs and not on some uniform district or statewide goals. Particularly in instances where children with disabilities are given limited notice and time in which to master the skills to be tested, the imposition of such standardized assessments can amount to a formula for these children to fail.
Failing a student due to his or her disabilities is unfair. By imposing standardized tests students of various handicaps will be more likely to fail and not graduate. This is unfairly taking a diploma from a student who may work really well in other ways. This can also be linked to the multiple intelligences, in that if the handicapped learn material in any other way other than logically then that student or students will have major problem assessing information on the exit exam.
Language Differences-Often students, who are not native English speakers or have trouble with reading comprehension in general, have trouble on timed exams because they need more time to interpret the English language. Most standardized tests are timed and do not give students who have difficulty with the English language the extra time they need.
Jennifer Rowe explains
As a result of faulty development processes, a student's performance on these tests may reflect that student's disability. For example, standardized tests like exit exams assume that each student taking the test will read it in the same manner. However, research proves that some students with learning disabilities cannot process words like other students can. Some of these students feel like they are encountering a word for the first time every time they read it. So, just the process of reading the exam can be a slow and tiring one. Content is often lost because the process of reading becomes the focus. The student then struggles just to read the test and does not concentrate on answering the questions. Thus, the student's disability, rather than ability, is assessed.
This is by no means fair in that students' performance is being gauged on a flawed sysystem that assumes that everyone is taking the test in the same manner. This assumption denies equal opportunity in education by using a bias system to gauge students' performance. This system cannot bring about fairness because it is putting those students without disabilities over those that do.
pageantgrl

Con

students should be required to pass because it is a exam and they want to make sure you are ready for collage because if don't pass a EXIT exam then what is the point to exit if you can't pass a required exam
Debate Round No. 1
Yoguy-107

Pro

ok, well thank you for accepting my debate, was kinda hoping for a little more to attack but ill live :)

ok my opponent offers no way to weigh this round so i won already because of that. now lets look at her attack on my case, she says what is the point in passing the students if they cant pass a simple exit exam. well as i have shown through my case (which my opponent has not attacked at all) these tests are bias against people. if these tests are bias then they will only be able to show the advantages of those preferred groups. this is by no means fair in that these tests prefer one group of something or someone over another. it also denies equal opportunity because we are failing those who are being biased against within the test.

so lets look at why i have won the debate.
- first my opponent has offered no way to weigh this round so i have won because of that
-next my opponent only made one attack against my case which i have put down
-next these tests are bias and prefer certain groups over others and that makes them unfair and denies equal opportunity for education
-last we can extend every argument in my case because my opponent failed to attack them

good luck to my opponent
pageantgrl

Con

pageantgrl forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Yoguy-107

Pro

well thank you to my opponent despite forfeiting this round i appreciate it :)
pageantgrl

Con

pageantgrl forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Yoguy-107pageantgrlTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Yoguy-107 7 years ago
Yoguy-107
Yoguy-107pageantgrlTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70