The Instigator
Rhino28
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points

student ought not be required to take standerdized exit exams to graduate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,886 times Debate No: 9580
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

Rhino28

Con

"It is important to note that the Texas accountability system is widely concerned by researchers represented a broad range of research and political originations to be one of the most effective examples of a system of equality-focused school reform."
Because I agree with Prof. Philip Treisman (UT @ Austin) I negate the resolution;
Resolved: Public high school students in the U.S. ought not to be required to pass standardized exams to graduate.
To clarify the round, I offer the following key terms.
Public-open to all
Ought-used to express obligation
Require-order or command
Pass-to go beyond
Standardize-to be conforming or to bring into conform
Graduate-to complete a course
To support my negative stance, I offer the value independent rights, independent rights is the rights guaranteed to all people by their government or society. It is the best value for today's debate because it guarantees that all people are given the freedom they need in order to be themselves.
To support my value, I offer the criterion Teleology, Teleology can be defined by being the end's affect determines whether the means are moral.
To further the resolution I offer the following contentions.
Contention One: Students should have to prove what they have learned throughout the school year.
Contention Two: People are often tested in the real world.
Returning to the first contention: Students should have to prove what they have learned throughout the year.
Warrant: opponents of testing raise to objections. The first is that teachers will only teach to the test. But if the test adequately reflects the general k knowledge a child is expected to have in a certain class, it is hard to see the objection. The alterative surly cannot be to give the teachers total freedom without any check on whether k knowledge is being conveyed. The object of the classroom is neither to have fun nor to fulfill the teacher's desire for professional fulfillment. The object is for students to learn, and that object cannot be made subject to any others. Joseph Kennedy (U.S. Dpt. Of Commerce)
Impact: This is important to the resolution because the tests are usually based on what the students have learned in that particular class. With knowing the information for the class they should be able to pass the test.
Contention Two: People are often tested in the real world.
Warrant: Fears that such externally set exams have diminished the quality of instruction appear to be unfounded. Quizzes and test are more common, but in other respects, pedagogy is no different. Surveys of students in science classes show that those who undergo these exams are less likely to say that memorization is the way to learn the subject and are more likely to have worked on experiments in science class. Students are no less likely to enjoy the subject, and they are more likely to agree that science is useful everyday life. Students also talk with their parents more often about schoolwork and are more likely to report that their parent have positive attitudes about the subject. John Bishop (Prof. Cornell University)
Impact: Thru out your life you have many test. The EOIs are there to start them and make you prove your knowledge. Not all tests are written on paper, and I believe those are the hardest tests.
These tests are there for the students benefit and are there for their best intrest in mind. Students may not like tests now but they will like how they help them in the long run.
I urge you to vote for negative, and I am now open for cross examination.
Danielle

Pro

INTRODUCTION:

I'd like to thank Con for sending me this debate and wish him the best of luck. Now without further adieu...

REBUTTAL:

1) Students should have to prove what they have learned throughout the year.

There are several problems with this argument.

a) Just because someone passes a test does not prove that they have actually learned anything. They could have cheated on the test; gotten lucky with multiple choice answers; guessed; or memorized the material but not have actually LEARNED the material.

b) There are various forms of intelligence and methods of learning. Most standardized tests don't measure improvement, or the overall education one has received.

c) Certain students perform better on standardized tests than others. Just because someone might not do well on a standardized test doesn't necessarily mean that they haven't learned the material.

d) As you mentioned, teachers may only teach to pass the test. A real life example is attending an SAT course. I took one, and can say for certain that I didn't know what the hell I was talking about when taking the exam. I simply knew how to deduce the right answer on that one particular test - not learn the proper function of what I was being tested on - making your point against this a moot one.

2) People are often tested in the real world.

a) My opponent has not proven that people are often tested on standardized tests in the real world. Now, if he wishes to argue that people are tested in general, that is too broad of an argument because I can say that students are tested in general as well. For instance, Con writes, "Not all tests are written on paper, and I believe those are the hardest tests." This has nothing to do with the contention which discusses standardized tests specifically.

b) Con asserts that these standardized tests will benefit the student in the long run. He hasn't provided any arguments or evidence that proves this is the case.

ARGUMENTS:

1) First off, my opponent did nothing to back up his values or criterion. He has cited:

Independent Rights --> The rights guaranteed to all people by their government or society.

Reason --> It guarantees that all people are given the freedom they need in order to be themselves.

Teleology --> The end's affect determines whether the means are moral.

How has he incorporated these into any of his arguments? I fail to see how universal rights has anything to do with students being forced to take standardized tests. Moreover, my opponent hasn't proven why people need to take these tests to be free. And finally, as I pointed out in my rebuttal, I don't see how "the ends justify the means" in Con's argument considering that Con hasn't shown how these tests actually benefit the student (which was his main argument).

2) Test performance.

a) As I said in my rebuttal, not everybody performs well on tests regardless of whether they know the material or not. Some people panic, get sick, choke, etc. These tests are very intimidating to students who sometimes obsess over the results. Therefore one's performance on the rest is really not a very accurate indicator of how each individual performs.

b) A lot of students suffer from things like dyslexia or other learning disabilities which inhibit them from performing up to par on the exam. As such, these individuals may never have a fair chance at passing the exam. On the other hand, if they're given an advantage (such as longer time to complete the test), this might not be fair to the other students who are not given more time despite their own personal (sometimes undiagnosed) need. Either way, there's hardly a way to make these exams universally fair for everyone, which goes against your very own value and criterion.

3) Learning Inhibition.

a) Preparing for these exit exams usually discourages teachers and school boards from focusing on other aspects of education. There are various types of intelligence, including mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, logical intelligence, creative intelligence, etc. By demanding that these tests be passed in order to graduate, you're promoting only certain aspects of knowledge which is unfair to the students and society as a whole.

b) Because people are intelligent in different ways, this test is discriminatory (which again goes against your value) because it discredits those who have intelligence beyond what is examined on the exam.

4) Alternatives.

a) Considering your presented values of freedom and equal rights, I posit that if one does not pass a standardized exam, but their grades and class performance show a considerable degree of knowledge in the expected fields, then a system ought to be set up where educators or administrators can offer or allow other ways for the student to demonstrate what they've learned.

5) Usefulness/Uselessness

a) Some people need to graduate HS to accomplish goals such as entering the military or other specific fields of training. I posit that some of the knowledge required on the exams will have nothing to do with some individual's direction in life, but because they need to graduate HS in order to tend to their other options, the negation of this resolution stands in their way of success. This again seems to go against Con's value.

b) Studies show that those who are required to pass these exit exams do no better in the workforce than those who aren't required to pass these tests. As such, they don't seem to add any relative value to one's life or production in society [1].

c) While standardized tests may be useful in finding out what one knows and does not know (in terms of what they should or are expected to know), this should have nothing to do with whether or not they GRADUATE. Instead, they can be tools or guides used to determine which areas a pupil may need more help or focus in. The graduation aspect is also supported by the reality that different schools in different towns and states require different things to pass. Not all standardized tests are the same, and as such a student from a different school may also have an unfair advantage. This again does not seem to uphold Con's value.

6) Costs

a) Creating the tests, preparing for the tests, giving the tests and grading the tests all cost money. Because Con has not proven that these tests are necessary OR beneficial (or even reliable or relevant), then this cost is unnecessary and therefore his criterion of the ends justifying the means does not apply.

Source:
[1] http://hsee.umn.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Rhino28

Con

I will first back-up my case.
My opponent says that just being a good test taker, cheated or gotten lucky does not prove what a student has learned thru the school year. I believe that becoming a good test taker is a skill that you learn through school, making it part of the test itself. Cheating is a major issue, but in many tests there are moniters and teachers and even the small majority that may get through is to small to accuralety maesure and in many states there are more than just one exams. (EX. in Oklahoma there is 7)
As long as students learn the information and the material they need for the course it doesnt matter in what way they learned it. I mentioned that there is no way for the teachers to know what is on the test, just an outline for the test so all the information will be conveyed and a general idea of it will be put on the test. The general may not be all the information but it will be made up by teachers and school officals, so it should be the correct knowledge needed to be conveyed.
People are often tested in the real world is just an example. My oppenent aggress that people thrughout thier lives are tested in general which agrees with this idea. When I say that "not all tests are written on paper and I beleive that those are the harest test", I mean that they are the hardest not the most important. My oppenent has agreed that people are tested throughout thier live so this rebuttal is obsolete. Job applications and test in college are examples of how it helps you in the long run. These test help show the people how to convey knowledge and to further themselves in life.
My value, by passing these tests it proves that you are ready for society and ready to be given more oppertunities and more rights. Teleology is the end effect determines the means. I am saying that no madder how you learn the knowledge, as long as you learn it you should be able to pass the test.
My opponent says that not all people will do well on these tests, i agree to this up to a point. On many of these tests you only have to know 70% of the knowledge, just as in the classroom. Even students that dont know all of the knowledge should be able to pass the test and also pass the class.
There are many chances to take these tests, you can retake the test and also as I have said in Oklahoma you only have to pass 4/7 tests to grauduate high school. Students that have learning disablities have differnt tests if tests at all and will have special treatment from teachers. My value is Ind. rights not equality, i said these test are equal to a point and people with special needs shuld be helped even if that is not fair to other students. Having a learning disablinity isnt fair to the other students so that is not a valid argument.
I have gone over that no matter how you learn, as long as you learn the info you should be able to pass the test. If a students has the grades to pass a class they should be able to pass the test. If they are just a bad test taker, i beleive that that is also a skill learned in school and that is part of taking the test.
My opponent says that some people need to graudute to go farther in life, but i have already proven that by saying they are given more rights and through that it is easier to lead a more individualized life. If a student cant pass a test to see how much knowledge then why should we allow them to go defend our county or even worse lead it.
Studies show that people who pass these tests and graduate make almost twice as much money conveying a better life. My opponent says that these test should maybe just show the parts of school a student may need to focus on, yet these tests are taken within 2 years of them graduating so what they need to focus on has nothing to do with the resolution.
My opponent says that these test cost money yet they come from the state and not from the school districts so it will be costing the districts nothing yet showing the state which schools to give the money based on how bad or good the schools are doing.
I have proven that these tests are needed. They show the knowledge that students have and what they have retained throughout the school year. These test prepare people for the real world because people have many tests in the real world.
I thank you and urge you to vote for the negative.
Danielle

Pro

REBUTTAL:

1) In my first point, I presented 4 arguments against my opponent's supposition that students should have to prove what they learned throughout the year via passing standardized exit exams. These points included:

a) Just because someone passes a test does not prove that they have learned anything. They could have cheated on the test; gotten lucky with multiple choice answers; guessed; or memorized the material but not have actually LEARNED the material.

Con suggests that cheating is unlikely, and that learning how to pass standardized tests is actually a skill that one should have to learn. I fail to see the merit of these arguments. First, just because cheating may be unlikely does not mean that it does not occur, thus the real issue here is not being addressed - simply pushed to the side and dismissed. Second, if standardized tests to judge competence are eliminated in general, then this point is null and void considering that there would then be no need to acquire this skill. Moreover, claiming that it should be a skill does not argue on behalf of the concept of the test in and of itself.

b) There are various forms of intelligence and methods of learning. Most standardized tests don't measure improvement, or the overall education one has received.

Con responded, "As long as students learn the information and the material they need for the course, it doesn't matter in what way they learned it... There is no way for the teachers to know what is on the test, so all the information will be conveyed and a general idea of it will be put on the test." I disagree. There are courses specifically designed to teach you how to pass a test using logical deduction of multiple choice answers. I believe that memorizing a way to BEAT the test instead of PASS the test using your own knowledge is a flawed system. Additionally, Con has ignored my argument that there are various forms of intelligence (which most standardized tests completely ignore) and learning or demonstrating that intelligence.

c) Certain students perform better on standardized tests than others. Just because someone might not do well on a standardized test doesn't necessarily mean that they haven't learned the material.

Con's response to this point was that it was an irrelevant one considering that you usually only have to pass the test with 70% correct answers. This is irrelevant. My point is that some people are bad test takers in general, meaning even if they know 90% of the answers on the test, they may always score significantly lower due to other factors. My point has been ignored.

2) While Con notes that people who pass standardized tests make 2x as much money as those who don't, you'll note that this is not a cited study nor is a source included to prove this point, thus suggesting that we should eliminate this factoid all together. Moreover, simply because one makes more money does not necessarily mean that they are happier or even smarter, so again, I fail to see how this is relevant. Then Con adds, "When I say that not all tests are written on paper and I believe that those are the hardest tests, I mean that they are the hardest - not the most important. My opponent has agreed that people are tested throughout their lives so this rebuttal is obsolete." Actually, I fail to see how my rebuttal was obsolete. I merely pointed out that (a) People are not given standardized tests in the real world, and (b) Con didn't prove how people's lives were made better as a result of being forced to take standardized tests, so I don't see how these tests have a long-term effect in improving one's life or helping them in the future. These points stand.

DEFENSE OF ARGUMENTS:

1) I challenged Con's values and criterion in this debate:

a) What does forcing students into taking standardized tests have to do with universal rights?

Con said, "By passing these tests, it proves that you are ready for society and ready to be given more opportunities and more rights." This is a gross misrepresentation of what rights are. Rights are not something that you are earn or acquire. Rights are something that you are BORN with. Also, opportunities and rights are NOT the same thing.

b) Why do people need to take these tests to be free?

Con ignored this question.

c) I don't see how "the ends justify the means" in Con's argument considering that Con hasn't shown how these tests actually benefit the student.

Con's response was, "Teleology is the end effect determines the means. I am saying that no madder how you learn the knowledge, as long as you learn it you should be able to pass the test." Lol... madder. Anyway, I have already argued against this point numerous times. Just because you pass the test does not mean that you have actually learned the material. Period.

2) Regarding test performance, I again reiterated that not everybody performs well on tests regardless of whether they know the material or not. I also pointed out that some people have learning disabilities or anxiety, both of which will affect a student's performance. I submitted that because there was no way to ensure that the test taking process would be fair for everyone, then it was not a good judge of who should be eligible to graduate and who shouldn't. Con responded simply by stating that these tests worked around those with disabilities. He said nothing about the anxiety problems, mind you, but consider that my point was actually that by giving some students a test extension, it actually might be giving an unfair ADVANTAGE to them over the other students despite their learning disability (because there is no feasible or accurate way to measure each and every disability against the test). Moreover, just because someone might have more time to complete a test doesn't necessarily mean that the test works around the student's disability.

3) I've noted that preparing for these exit exams usually discourages teachers and school boards from focusing on other aspects of education. Con has consistently responded by saying that this doesn't matter - that passing the test is the most important thing, and the best way to determine intelligence and capabilities. However, note that he failed to respond to my point that there are various types of intelligence. By demanding that these tests be passed in order to graduate, you're promoting only certain aspects of knowledge which is unfair to the students and society as a whole, and that these tests are often discriminatory against those who are intelligent in ways beyond the test and which the test does not take into consideration.

4) Regarding alternatives, I presented the idea that if one does not pass a standardized exam, but their grades and class performance show a considerable degree of knowledge in the expected fields, then a system ought to be set up where educators or administrators can offer or allow other ways for the student to demonstrate what they've learned. Con simply said that anyone who knows the material should be able to pass the test, and did not even take the option of alternatives into consideration!

5) I presented a CITED source that showed those who are required to pass these exit exams do no better in the workforce than those who aren't required to pass these tests. As such, they don't seem to add any relative value to one's life or production in society.

6) To respond to my argument that these tests are expensive and not worth it in terms of a cost benefit analysis, Con says that these tests only cost the STATE money and not the districts, so it's no big deal. Wrong. The people who live in districts pay taxes to the state! Additionally, even if a school does bad on a test, it doesn't mean that they will stop receiving funding. In fact, they might receive MORE funding because of it. Con has not adequately responded to this point or any of my others in the debate, and thus I encourage a vote for the PRO
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
"even the small majority"
CON might want to look up the definition of majority.

Anyways, I voted PRO on all issues.
CONs arguments were poorly structured and didn't make sense to me at all, nor did his rebuttals.
Also, he decided to set up a Value and Criterion framework in his case and then never remotely linked any contentions to it or explained why it mattered.
Posted by brittwaller 7 years ago
brittwaller
Voted S/G and Arguments to CON.

Paragraphs are a wonderful thing. Embrace them. Spellcheck is a luxurious convenience... but it's there.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
LOL. Agreed.
Posted by brittwaller 7 years ago
brittwaller
"[S]tudent[s] ought not be required to take stand[a]rdized exit exams to graduate"

Yes, if this grammar and spelling is the result, something else is definitely called for:)
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Hey! My network timed out and I couldn't post my round in time. Please re-challenge me to this debate and I'll take it... even if I only have 1 hr to do a round :)
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by DPChouDobson 7 years ago
DPChouDobson
Rhino28DanielleTied
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Rhino28DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
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Rhino28DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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