The Instigator
Yoguy-107
Con (against)
Losing
33 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
37 Points

students of public high schools ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,568 times Debate No: 9639
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (12)

 

Yoguy-107

Con

I stand to negate the resolution: public high school students in the united states ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.

My value for this round will be that of education. Education is what enables humans to grow and experience life to its fullest. By valuing education we are motivated to act in the best interest of students, which is what this topic should be about.

My standard will be that of extrinsic motivation. This is defined as: the desire or push to perform a certain behavior based on the potential external rewards that may be received as a result (dictionary.com). Extrinsic motivation should be the standard because it does stimulate an individual to perform a certain task even if there is no interest in it. However, it is not right to say that the person does not get satisfaction from working or completing the task. In fact, the person does get gratification-only that the external reward extends the duration of the anticipated reward even if interest is long gone. Extrinsic motivation is an avenue for the individual to set goals. By aiming for the prize, the individual will consort to playing by the rules and even develop persistence towards getting that reward.

I contend that exit exams should not be disregarded by their imperfections.

Nothing in this world is perfect; this goes for standardized exit exams as well. But, should we really disregard a system that tests the basic skills needed to perform well in a professional occupation?

Donald McAdams, explains why they shouldn't be
Education Author, Summer 2002, Find Articles Webpage, Accessed 8/12/08, http://findarticles.com...

Yes, we should recognize that a test measures true ability and random influences. Yes, measured gains are noisy and unstable. Yes, socioeconomic and demographic factors have some influence on measured student progress. And indeed, scaling is a problem. No standardized test is perfect, yet we use them all the time, and to good effect. Physicians, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, real-estate brokers, and pilots all take high-stakes tests. These tests ensure that professionals have the knowledge necessary to serve the public well.

Aside from the many professions listed in the card there are others that require base line knowledge of skills. This is what tests are designed to do; they test the basic skills that a student is supposed to be learning in their high school curriculum. This is actually very accommodating to graduating students in that they will be able to assess the areas they need to improve upon to be ready for the real world.

Also, in today's' society, one can not be picky when choosing a profession

According to the bureau of labor statistics as of September 4, 2009

In August, the number of unemployed persons increased by 466,000 to 14.9million, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 9.7percent. The rate had been little changed in June and July, after in-creasing 0.4 or 0.5 percentage point in each month from December 2008through May. Since the recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.4 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.8 percentage points. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.1 percent), whites (8.9 percent), and Hispanics (13.0 percent) rose in August. The jobless rates for adult women (7.6 percent), teenagers (25.5 percent), and blacks (15.1 percent) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The unemployment rate in the US is high enough to justify not abandoning tests all together. These tests as stated before are designed to test the basics in a students' education. Not being able to pass the basics gives no incentive for a manager to higher that student. So if a student wishes to acquire a job, then passing these exit exams will give them an advantage to those that don't.

Also, without exit exams colleges may not look to a diploma as a means to judge what a student has learned.

AMERICAN DIPLOMA PROJECT,
"Ready or Not", 2004, accessed 8.23.2009: www.achieve.org/files/ADPreport_7.pdf

Most high school graduates need remedial help in college. More than 70 percent of graduates quickly take the next step into two- and four-year colleges, but at least 28 percent of those students immediately take remedial English or math courses. Transcripts show that during their college careers, 53 percent of students take at least one remedial English or math class. The California State University system found that 59 percent of its entering students were placed into remedial English or math in 2002. The need for remedial help is undoubtedly surprising to many graduates and their parents -- costly, too, as they pay for coursework that yields no college credit.

As we can see, students are taking remedial courses in order to relearn skills they should have learned in high school. Without standardized exit exams there will be no way to gauge what students have learned. This is not appealing to colleges in that students they admit will be relearning basic skills and not taking advanced study courses to ready themselves for the real world.

Lastly I contend that even failing an exit exam has positive outcomes empirically

Richard P. Phelps, PhD,
Editor Educational Horizons, Research Fellowship at Educational Testing Services and American Education Finance Association, Defending Standardized Testing p.44, 2005

These outcomes related to student learning and related concerns are corroborated by testimony from students themselves. For example, in a recent study (Mass Insight Education, 2002) interviews were conducted with 140 randomly selected urban high school students regarding their perceptions about the MCAS. The results revealed that: 67% of students who failed the MCAS the first time they took it said that, as a result, they are working harder in school; 65% said that they pay more attention in class since failing the MCAS; 74% reported that they consider themselves to be more able in math, reading or writing because they have to pass the MCAS in order to graduate; and • 53% said that they get more help and attention from teachers since getting their MCAS results.

As we can see from this two example high stakes tests like exit exams have positive effects even if they are failed. The over all improvement we can see through this is student motivation. If students wish to graduate, then they will be more motivated to learn what material will be on the test or ask for help in understanding it. So even if these tests are failed they lead to over all greater student motivation and increased education.
Danielle

Pro

INTRODUCTION:

I'd like to thank Con for issuing this debate and wish him the best of luck. Con begins by sighting the value of education. I agree, and throughout this debate I will demonstrate how valuing education has nothing to do with making standardized tests mandatory. Moreover, I will prove how the implementation of mandatory standardized tests to graduate actually hinders and often discourges education.

REBUTTAL:

1) Extrinsic Motivation.

a) Con writes that extrinsic motivation should be the standard because it stimulates an individual to perform certain tasks despite a lack of interest. The counter to that is simple: If students aren't interested in the material, they will have a harder time of grasping or understanding the material than if they learned about it in a fun and yet educational way. If you don't spark student's interest, then they won't be encouraged to learn or develop a self-motivating passion for knowledge or natural inquisition usually necessary for success. Focusing strictly on passing tests instead of understanding the concepts behind the lessons discourages education and instead promotes just learning how to get by via passing the exams.

b) Con also notes that people are rewarded in the long-run once they achieve the goal of passing the exams. However, as I will point out throughout the debate, there are several flaws with the exams itself that may prevent even competent individuals from passing the tests. The frustration of failure may discourage students from learning in general.

2) Test necessity.

a) Con asks, "Should we really disregard a system that tests the basic skills needed to perform well in a professional occupation?" Yes. If a certain occupation requires specific skills, I don't see anything wrong with those employers issuing an exam to test candidates in order to ensure that they are capable of properly functioning in the workforce to accomplish certain tasks. This is done all the via the CPA exam, the bar exam, etc. I'd argue that they are necessary because they prove that people are capable of performing the duties of the jobs that they were hired to do. However, Con fails to demonstrate why these exit exams should be necessary for proving anything upon exiting from high school. Students should be able to graduate simply for demonstrating that they understand the material that they are expected to. There are other ways to demonstrate this knowledge aside from general standardized tests.

b) Con says that these exams are "Very accommodating to graduating students in that they will be able to assess the areas they need to improve upon to be ready for the real world." You'll notice that Con has failed to explain how everything required to know on an exit exam from HS is applicable in the "real world."

3) Problems with the test.

a) Con writes, "Yes, measured gains are noisy and unstable. Yes, socioeconomic and demographic factors have some influence on measured student progress. And indeed, scaling is a problem. No standardized test is perfect, yet we use them all the time..." Okay, how is a test which results are unfair, unstable and unreliable a GOOD or useful thing?

b) Just because we "use them all the time" isn't an argument in favor of the tests. That's an appeal to tradition fallacy.

4) Jobs.

The idea that exams should be allowed because people shouldn't be picky about what job they get in today's economy is irrelevant (and kind of absurd).

5) Diplomas and College.

Con writes, "Without exit exams, colleges may not look to a diploma as a means to judge what a student has learned." If exit exams are mandatory, why is a diploma necessary? I say that if a student receives a diploma, that should be enough... Or, the college can issue individual entrance exams that students need to pass in order to gain admission to the college. On a final note, colleges usually determine admission based on SATs or ACTs. Now I'm not sure about everywhere in the country, but at my school, SATs weren't mandatory. Regardless, if a college requires them, it should be the student's decision/responsibility to take them.

ARGUMENTS:

1) Test performance.

a) 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.

2) 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 because it discredits those who have intelligence beyond what is examined on the exam.

3) Alternatives.

a) 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. These can be discussed amongst administrators, school boards and teachers in each individual district and vary upon school, class or possibly even individual so long as they show sufficient skill in designated areas.

4) 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.

5) 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 an unfair tax burden.

Source:
[1] http://hsee.umn.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Yoguy-107

Con

thank you pro :) wish you luck.
from what i can see the pro has offered no alternative to education so therefore we still must look to it even if my opponent makes arguments against it.
my opponent offers these attacks to my extrinsic motivation- students will have a hard time learning the material if they arent interested and some students may fail the exams. to that i offer the following.
- the students will be interested in the material because they want that diploma. that is the beauty of extrinsic motivation. it makes a student interested because they want the reward.
- even if students fail the exam, as i have shown in my final contention that can actually have good outcomes. so, students will try harder get help ect if they want that diploma. so cross apply my last contention here and we can show that even if students fail the exam they are still positively affected.
my opponent then proceeds to say that employers should have tests to test the basic skill of their workers. and that there are other ways to test a students knowledge.
1. how do we know that students are demonstrating their abilities. the SAT ACT is not an exit exam so therefore any offense she gains by giving these examples doesnt matter. she offers no alternative way to gauge a students ability other than the exit exams so therefore this argument still stands.
she then moves on to say why should we keep a test with multiple problems and that its an appeal to tradition fallacy.
1. as i explained these tests test what is needed for the real world. they test the basics needed to graduate. without those basics a student will not be able to function in society.
2. anything created by humans is imperfect. we cannot escape that fact. so it is unfair that my opponent argues for a perfect system when we cannot create one.
3. this is not an appeal to tradition. the card did not say "because we use them all the time" but rather "yet we use them all the time." this is implying that though they are imperfect (as anything created by humans is) we still use them because they are the best way to test what a student has learned.
she attacks my jobs argument by saying its irrelevant. it is relevant. if an employer wants to higher a highschool graduate then there has to be some way to gauge what that student has learned in order for that employer to higher that student. exit exams are this way.
my opponent then moves on to attack my colleges argument. if there is no way to determine what a student has learned then colleges will not look to a diploma the same way as they would if there was an exit exam. that is the argument im trying to make and my opponent dances around it by talking about SAT's and ACT's. well as i have said before any offense she gains off this doesnt matter because they arent highschool exit exams. so the argument she is making is completely irrelevant.

moving to her arguments
she claims that students may choke during tests and that will prevent them from doing well and that tests are extremely stressful negatively affecting students.
1. the real world is more stressful. if students can not preform well under a test then they will not be able to preform well in the real world. so these tests are needed to prepare the students for the real world. without it we would see worse results than if a student were to take a test.
2. students are given more time to complete the test. if a student has a mental or physical handicap then the school is required by law to allow extra time for that student to take the test. (this is according to the Clark County School District Las Vegas Nevada policies and codes handbook)
my opponent then claims that preparing for a test that only accommodates to one of the 7 intelligence's of learning is unfair.
1. students need to learn in this one way because its what is needed for real life. an employer is not going to give an employee lenience because he or she learns a different way. so these tests are fair in that they are forcing a student to learn a different way and this is also where extrinsic motivation can be cross applied. if a student has a harder time learning material then the diploma will drive them to learning it more or to the best of their ability.
my opponent then claims that grades are a good indicator of what a student has learned.
1. this is untrue because we dont know what a teacher inside a class room is teaching. a teacher could just be giving lectures and grading on participation. this doesnt prove that a student has learned anything.
2. grades are a bad way to gauge what a student has learned because of cheating. students even if in just a small percent cheat and this is preventing even that small amount of students from learning. tests (due to strictly enforced regulations) help to one spot the cheaters and two point out the weakness in those students learning if the teacher has not "tought" in the class room.
my opponent then claims that tests dont always test what will be needed in an occupants job.
1. untrue. an exit exams tests reading writing and math. ANY job you acquire will require one to all three of those subjects. so yes a test will be testing what will be needed in real life and gives that diploma value to any employer.
2. if a student knows the basics to be ready for life (which is what a highschool is supposed to do) then they are ready to graduate.
my opponent then claims that costs are an unfair burden to the society.
1. tests are already implemented in all states. i dont know what they are called in every stated but in Nevada, they are called the proficency exams and in texas it is refered to as the TAAS. so this argument falls because states already implement such tests.

i am winning this debate
1. my opponent offers no value in which to weigh the round and to counter mine so she concedes it and i am winning the value debate.
2. my opponent offers no standard in which to weigh the round and to counter mine so i am also winning the standards debate.
3. i have upheld my entire case and proven that tests are actually a good thing.
4. i have put down my opponents entire case and proven her arguments either fall or have no value in this debate.
5. my opponent failed to attack my final contention so we can extend that into the next round as offense.
6. my opponent has no offense in which to work with.
so i urge the negative vote
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con. I'd like to point out that I'm not debating this as an LD/value debate, so Con's criticisms about my lack thereof are irrelevant.

Now, Con begins by claiming that I have offered no "alternative to education," and thus we "must look to it" even if I make arguments against it. I have no idea what Con is saying here. In my last round, I agreed that education should be of utmost importance value in our school system. As such, I made claims as to why mandating exit standardized tests actually discourages education; the students and faculty become too focused on passing the exam rather than actually learning all the material on the exam, or learning all the material in addition to other useful aspects of knowledge. My point is that you can pass the test without actually having a full grasp of the material. The teachers will then emphasize test taking strategy and other ways to ensure you earn as many points as possible with the goal of passing the test, instead of just learning the material.

Con then continues to say that wanting to earn a diploma will provide extrinsic motivation for the students to learn. I've argued that it will provide extrinsic motivation to PASS THE TEST; not necessarily to learn. In that case, the reward of the diploma fails to meet Con's own noted value of education. It then becomes a piece of paper with little to no meaning behind it; at the very least, the diploma could have possibly been representative of more knowledge if students could have focused on learning instead of passing a test.

Con then argues that there are benefits to the student in failing the exam. This is hardly a point worth any merit at all. That's like saying, "Well, if a killer gets caught and goes to jail, on the bright side the killer's off the streets." Okay, sure. But just because there's a 'bright side' (which there usually is in any situation) doesn't mean that it is the correct thing; it would still be bad for the killer to take someone's life in the first place. Now, let's be clear - I'm not comparing these exams to killers. However, my point here is that if someone fails the exam, it's ultimately to their detriment and is hardly beneficial. As such, Con then has the burden of proving that these tests are still worth it despite the damage they can do to one's future, interest or self-esteem.

Next Con begins dissecting my arguments by crafting straw mans on my points. He begins by asking how we know that students are demonstrating their abilities using SATs, because they're not exit exams. I fail to see my opponent's point in this regard. Regardless of whether or not the SATs are exit exams, it still measures one's knowledge (or rather test taking abilities) to some degree, i.e. in the fields of mathematics, comprehension, etc.

Also, I'm very aware that SATs aren't exit exams. That was my entire point. I specifically noted that one thing colleges could do was require the passing or taking of several entrance exams or SAT-like exams in order to gain admission to their institution. That would mean that passing these exams wasn't necessary, but that students should opt to pass these exams if they saw fit (if it was necessary for their future endeavors). Thus in this regard I have not only explained how you could measure a student's knowledge/ability (via these exams), but also provided reasoning as to why this would be an appropriate alternative and still effective. My argument therefore stands.

In response to my noting of Con's appeal to tradition fallacy, Con writes, "These test what is needed for the real world. They test the basics needed to graduate." You'll note that Con has failed to explain how or why they're needed "in the real world" or what "the real world" even is, as this is obviously subjective to each individual. Additionally, Con has not explained how or why there should be a standardized formula of what should be necessary for graduation. He notes, "Without those basics a student will not be able to function in society." Oh? And what are those basics? Calculus? Shakespeare? My point is that I'm sure whatever "basic" things Con is referring to will have already been learned in grammar school (like literacy), and as such, this should not really be required upon HS graduation. I can say that I'm 22, got excellent grades in HS, and didn't really learn/remember a damn thing... which is my point exactly.

Additionally, you'll note that nowhere did I advocate for a perfect system nor did I say we should expect one. However, just because not everything is perfect doesn't mean that we should not strive for it or at least opt for the most fair and successful option. As such, I maintain that my proposed methods would be more beneficial and effective at determining who should be eligible to graduate: Have the educators and administrators in individual districts come together to decide the most appropriate way to test the students individually, or through various means according to the student's needs and abilities. That may be written exams, oral exams, projects, tutoring, etc. Also, saying, "yet we use them all the time" is no reason in favor of using them all the time. It's just noting that you do, not that you should.

Moving on, Con says that it is relevant whether or not someone gets a diploma because an employer may want to hire a HS graduate. This is exactly where my opponent's logic fails. Con, if an employer wants to hire a HS graduate, it's because he wants to ensure that this graduate knows certain things. However, someone could just as easily not have a diploma and know those things. Further, like I have been saying, there are alternative ways to test students and grant them diplomas without using standardized exams, such as the examples I listed in the previous paragraph. Thus this argument fails, because I've explained how an employer can still make sure their applicant has certain skills, regardless or whether or not they passed a standardized exam.

Next, Con revisits the problems of colleges. As I already said, a college can issue individual entrance exams that students need to pass in order to gain admission to the college to ensure that they have the knowledge or amount of education that the university requires for admission. Furthermore, if a college requires an exit exam, it should be the student's decision/responsibility to take them. In other words, the standardized test would be useful and still used, except it wouldn't be mandatory - it would be the student's choice. Thus Con was blatantly lying in stating that I have not answered his problem.

Con then tries to state that the stresses from these tests are irrelevant, as the "real world" is more stressful. This is a generalized statement with no factual basis. As I've said, the "real world" is different for everybody and there is no way to prove this to be the case, especially if the student has a legitimate learning disability or test taking disorder. Con also notes that those with learning disorders are given more time to pass the tests. However, is that necessarily fair to the kids who don't have a disorder, but simply need more time to process information? Either way, this is being unfair to somebody.

Con adds, "Students need to learn in this one way because its what is needed for real life. an employer is not going to give an employee lenience because he or she learns a different way." No, but the employee would get fired if they couldn't perform up to par, so this is irrelevant. Also, Con claims that tests are more appropriate standards than grades because students can cheat for their grades. Well, students can cheat on exams as well, so again this is irrelevant. Moreover, he says that you can't gauge what a student actually knows from grades; similarly, you can't actually gauge what a student knows from one standardized test.

Back to Con for his final rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2
Yoguy-107

Con

sry kinda long. good luck. and i respect your not debating LD but if you attack my value and standard id appreciate you offer an alternative.
she is claiming that you do not need to fully grasp the material in order to pass the exam. this is not true. even if teachers teach test taking strategy, it doesnt help the kids in any way by just teaching them that strategy. the reason this argument falls is because teachers will be more likely to teach material that will be on the test in a way that the students will understand the material. granted test taking strategies do play some part in test taking, but if thats all you know then you will still fail the test because you dont know the material. my opponent argues that tests only create an extrinsic motivation to pass the test and not learn. this is not true. if a student wants to pass the test then he or she will need to learn the material. as explained above, you need to know this material in order to pass the tests. so this argument falls because this diploma is that external motivation that makes students learn. next my opponent is claiming that tests ultimately harm the students when failed. she also agrees that there is always a bright side and my card doesnt matter. is is in fact false. i have shown that through my card, students will actually be positively affected. if they are positively affected then that student will not have a lowered self esteem because they will try harder to get that diploma, will not negatively affect their future because they will be more prepared for it, and will not be damaging to that students interests because taking a test has nothing to do with them. my opponent is claiming that i create strawmen on her arguments by saying that we dont know that students are learning by taking SAT's because they arent exit exams. i never said that for one. for two i said without an exit exam we have no way of knowing that a student is learning. and that SAT's offer no offense in this round because they are irrelevant due to the fact they arent exit exams. my opponent then makes the assumption that exit exams arent necessary because colleges will just look at SAT or ACT results. so most if not all colleges will do that, my point was that if a student cant pass a basic skills test (like that of an exit exam) then that college will not look to that diploma with alot of value. also if a student doesnt pass the basic exit exam but scores ok on the SAT/ ACT then that college will have no incentive to accept that highschool graduate.next my opponent claims i give no reason on how or why these tests are needed for the real world. youll note in my last speech i gave the impact that ANY job requires one to all three of reading writing and math skill and seeing as how these tests determine your basic level of knowledge on those subjects they do test what is needed for the real world. I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR AGE PLS LEAVE IT OUT OF THE DEBATE. I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR SCHOOLING PLS LEAVE IT OUT OF THE DEBATE AS ITS PERSONAL INFO THAT DOESNT EVEN BELONG HERE. PLS DONT CUSS IM NOT A FAN OF IT. my oppenent then claims that she never advocated a perfect system. this is false. when she attacked the fact that these tests arent perfect by saying "why would we use them if they are imperfect" she is implying that we need a perfect system in order to test skills because she offered no alternative to testing. she then moves on to say that the administrators of schools need to come together and create a way to test each student individually according to needs and abilities. 1. this is a problem in that we are lacking school administrators and there is no way due to this imbalance of teachers and students that we can determine EVERY students needs and abilities 2. this has already been accomplished. its called the standardized exit exam. my opponent claims my logic fails when i say that employers who hire HS graduates look toward a diploma. this is untrue. an exit exam as explained before tests reading writing and math. i repeat ANY job requires one to all three of those basic skills. so yes my logic stands in that these tests give a diploma value and employers can look at it to determine what a student knows. also i have read re read and re read again her rebuttals and i find no alternative to standardized exit exams that would actually matter. it would save an employer enormous amounts of time if he or she did not have to test the basics of the employees when they are hired. so these exit exams preform that job and save employers time. my opponent claims that its the students duty/ responsibility to take a college entrance exam and a HS exit exam if the college wants. she claims that these tests would not be mandatory for graduation but students will still take them. this is agreeing with the neg in that these tests test basic knowledge and colleges want to know this in order for admissions. by saying students will still take the test we are saying "oh you dont have to pass this exam to graduate but you need it if you want to get into college" if colleges wish to have a student take the HS exit exam then make it mandatory it will save time.my opponent claims that my "real world is more stressful" argument is not factually based. this is untrue. if the real world isnt stressful then your not living it. you need a job to support yourself. you need an education to further your career. there are bills, there is the government taxes. all are stresses. so if my opponent is claiming that those arent factual bases for how the real world is more stressful than a test then her argument about students choking or not being able to preform on a test has no factual base either. also if the real world is different for everyone then so is a test. we shouldnt disregard an exam just because some students dont do well on them. tests are being fair to everyone. handicapped students are allowed more time by law, and non handicapped students are given the normal amount of time. blind students are even given a separate test written in braille. i do not see how this is being unfair to anyone. these next words are my opponents: "Con adds, "Students need to learn in this one way because its what is needed for real life. an employer is not going to give an employee lenience because he or she learns a different way." No, but the employee would get fired if they couldn't perform up to par, so this is irrelevant. " i see no argument here. i see that my opponent is agreeing with the fact that there has to be a bar knowledge which is what exit exams test and since these tests operate one way these students will learn to cope with situations they arent entirely prepared for. she also claims that students can cheat on exit exams. and my argument is irrelevant. UNTRUE due to the strict regulations of these exams (five feet from every other student in the room in any direction) (CCSD codes and statutes) they cant cheat. so yes my argument still stands. and lastly my opponent claims that we cant gauge what a student has learned from tests. YES we can. tests test the basics as explained before. while grades stand as just a way to measure student progress. we dont know what a teacher is teaching in the class room so grades are often inaccurate. tests are not. they are fair as explained before and gauge what a student has learned based on passing or failing the test.
i win this debate 1. im winning the value and standards debate because my opponent offers no alternative 2. i have put down all my opponents arguments 3. i have upheld my case 4. since i put down the argument my opponent has made against my offense (the un attacked final contention about how failing a test has positive outcomes) we can extend it into this round and my opponent can not attack it because that is unfair due to the fact i dont have another speech. 5. my opponent has no offense in the round 6. i have shown how tests have positive outcomes.
Danielle

Pro

Con begins by asserting that you do indeed have to fully grasp the material on an exam in order to pass an exam. That is absolutely not true. There are other ways to pass an exam, such as (1) cheating, (2) lucky guessing (3) random guessing (4) process of elimination (5) strategic answering and unanswering, i.e. on certain tests you actually benefit from not answering a question, or answering only those questions that are worth more points, etc. Because you can pass exams without actually knowing the material, then my point about the tests not encouraging the students to learn but merely pass the test applies.

Next Con brings up the point that there is a bright side to a student failing the exam. I already countered this by saying yes, there is usually a bright side to every situation; however, the reality is that a student failing one of these exams will ultimately do him or her far more harm than good. As such, Con's point that it's okay to fail these exams does not stand, as this debate seeks the more preferable and beneficial option for the students.

Con then makes the points, "for two i said without an exit exam we have no way of knowing that a student is learning. and that SAT's offer no offense in this round because they are irrelevant due to the fact they arent exit exams." First of all, we can absolutely learn whether or not a student is learning without exit exams. I already listed various other methods of testing several times throughout this debate! Further, I said nothing about testing students along the way... this debate is about EXIT exams in particular. So, I am still pro-testing, and yes, Con has straw manned this point. Second, my point about the SATs absolutely applies. No, they aren't exit exams, but they can still be useful in determining knowledge whenever necessary (i.e. in applying to college). Con has completely misinterpreted my point and as such did not even come close to refuting it.

Moving on, Con once again brings up the issue of a diploma's value. Frustratingly, I have refuted this point over and over again. To quote what I said in a previous round, this is exactly where my opponent's logic fails. If an employer wants to hire a HS graduate (i.e. the value of a diploma), it's because he wants to ensure that this graduate knows certain things. However, someone could just as easily not have a diploma and know those things. Further, like I have been saying, there are alternative ways to test students and grant them diplomas without using standardized exams, such as the examples I listed in the previous paragraph. Thus this argument fails, because I've explained how an employer can still make sure their applicant has certain skills, regardless or whether or not they passed a standardized exam.

Con then continues to say that he's read my rounds over and over, and nowhere did he find any presentable alternatives to exit exams. This is getting annoying! Apparently Con is illiterate. I've stated several respectable and feasible alternatives, including: dissecting their grades and class performance, using SATs and similar exams as optional ENTRANCE exams (or even optional exit exams... the key word here being optional if the person wants to have a competitive edge in the job/college market), and/or various, specific alternatives discussed amongst administrators, school boards and teachers in each individual district and school, class or possibly even individual so long as they show sufficient skill in designated areas. These include things like giving various presentations, fulfilling the requirements of certain courses, etc. Note that Con did not counter any of these proposed alternatives.

Now, my opponent states that my proposed solution of having SAT tests be optional is faulty. He says that "This is agreeing with the neg in that these tests test basic knowledge and colleges want to know this in order for admissions." I never said that these tests aren't useful - just that it is not necessary or beneficial for them to be mandatory. He continues, "If colleges wish to have a student take the HS exit exam then make it mandatory it will save time." He has not proven why this is a better option, and who's interests this would protect. The college? I was under the impression that the value here was education, meaning we should probably act in the student's interests regardless of the cost benefits. Further, I've already explained that since these tests have a lot of problems (which Con agrees with), that it's actually cost beneficial to not waste time implementing them as something mandatory. Perhaps if they were optional, then people as individuals could even pay a small fee for them.

Next my opponent revisits the reality of the "real world." Instead of countering my argument, he makes an irrelevant point of his own in stating, "if the real world isnt stressful then your not living it." This statement contains no facts, nor any back up to the argument that the "real world" is always stressful. I'd argue that some people even have it easy. I could explain further, but since Con did not back up this point, there's no need for me to. For instance, his so-called proof about one having to have a job and taxes is irrelevant if one happens to be born into a super rich family as one of many alternatives.

Anyway, Con then says that we should not just disregard tests simply because they're unfair. I'd tend to agree, if those unfair things were taken into consideration upon graduation. However, according to Con's own standard, these exit exams would be mandatory to pass in order to graduate. Not taking into consideration the discrepancies of the tests makes it unfair and immoral in my opinion. Further, Con says that these tests ARE fair to everyone. This is in contrast with his previous point, and even arguments in prior rounds about how the test does indeed have many problems.

Con continues to present the same useless arguments over and over again. He writes, "i see that my opponent is agreeing with the fact that there has to be a bar knowledge which is what exit exams tests." No. What I said was that there is a certain knowledge that is required for certain professions, and employers should absolutely test to make sure that applicants have this knowledge. Period. This is irrelevant to the issue of exit exams. Also, Con adds, "Since these tests operate one way, these students will learn to cope with situations they arent entirely prepared for." To punish a student in this way by preventing them from graduating regardless of whether or not they know the material is unfair and often harmful, as I've explained repeatedly. Leave the "real world" lessons to the parents, and the EDUCATION to the schools.

In his next defense, Con adds, "we dont know what a teacher is teaching in the class room so grades are often inaccurate." Well, we don't know what the teacher DOESN'T teach in the classroom either. My point was that these tests encourage the learning of only what's on the exam and how to pass the exam, and gives no incentive for veering off this path in pursuit of real knowledge.

In conclusion, I've proven that exit exams are not the ONLY way to test proficiency. Moreover, you should only have to have taken these tests if you're applying for certain colleges or careers. And finally, these exams can be highly recommended (practically necessary for success), and yet not MANDATORY. That's incentive enough to promote these exams without necessarily mandating them, so that teachers don't spend time focusing on it. Con is wrong in asserting that he has won this debate. He says he won the value because I have presented no alternative. Actually, as I said, I did not argue this debate in LD terms nor was this expected or required. However, I did uphold the value of education. Further, all of my arguments have trumped Con's tired and repeated points. The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ciphermind 7 years ago
ciphermind
The instigator didn't necessarily say this, but this was basically an L/D debate. It had an NFL L/D topic and the instigator stated a value. theLwerd did not debate in Lincoln Douglas style, and judges look at the L/D topics to see a Value debate.
Posted by ciphermind 7 years ago
ciphermind
I hated this topic when it was in effect for L/D. I'm glad we have the immunization one now.
Posted by Yoguy-107 8 years ago
Yoguy-107
if my opponent ever reads this good debate thank you much for accepting the debate i really appreciate it.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Challenge me to this on Wednesday. I've got exams to worry about up till then.
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Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: bklnk;p;
Vote Placed by Paris 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Danielle 8 years ago
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