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Establish education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,099 times Debate No: 54395
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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1) "High school dropouts are four times as likely to be unemployed as those who have completed four or more years of college"

2) When there was an established language program implemented, "students in the Spanish classes scored significantly higher than the group that did not receive Spanish instruction in math and language on the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT)

Conclusion: We should establish an education policy to help increase academic achievement in secondary schools


P1: There are several reasons for dropping out of high school, making the wrong decision, social background, the school itself and the teachers. An education policy increase academic achievement in secondary schools does not address any of these issues. (

P2: Standardized tests are not objective and do not measure the quality of education. A paper published in the fall 2002 edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Resources stated that scores vary due to subjective decisions made during test design and administration: "Simply changing the relative weight of algebra and geometry in NAEP (the National Assessment of Educational Progress) altered the gap between black and white students." (Limitations in the Use of Achievement Tests as Measures of Educators' Productivity).

P3: After No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading. (Shanghai Tops International Test Scores)

C: We should have an education policy that will maximize a student"s ability to learn and perform.
Debate Round No. 1


1) a 2010 study in Rochester showed that children placed in an expeditionary learning school resulted in substantial and statistically significant achievement advantages for elementary students in English/language arts (ELA) and math, and for both years of middle school ELA. "Effect sizes suggest that the EL schools in this study are substantially closing achievement gaps for students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, English language learners, and African-American and Hispanic students. In many cases, the achievement gap was completely closed. "

2) In schools, standardized tests are the way to measure quality of education. Standardized tests show much information the student can retain, how well the teacher are presenting the material, etc.

3) Of course there could never be a 100% fix. I am not sure where you obtained your information, but according to my source, test scores actually went up and it is working on our children. The gap in achievement is closing. With changes made and more progress, the NCLB Act could help improve children's quality of education among other factors as well.


P1: The educational achievement gap has not closed. The White " Black score gap in reading was wider in 2013 than in 1992. In both subjects, White and Asian/Pacific Islander students scored higher on average than Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students in 2013. (
P2: Standardized tests oversimplify knowledge and do not test higher order thinking skills. One size fits all standards either dumb down instruction to the lowest common denominator or doom students to failure who cannot perform.
P3: Test scores went up across all categories but the educational achievement gap still persist. The No Child Left Behind Act, was intended to raise educational achievement and close the ethnic achievement gap. The law has failed to achieve these goals, and has number of negative consequences which frequently harm the students the law is most intended to help. Among these consequences are a narrowed curriculum, focused on the low level skills generally reflected on high stakes tests, improper evaluation of ESL students and students with special needs; and strong incentives to exclude low scoring students from school, so as to achieve test score targets. (
Debate Round No. 2


1) The point of the debate is to show that establishing policies to help academic success. Two different studies have shown that when implemented, the education gap closed. While the country as a whole may still be lingering behind because there is no nation wide policy that has succeeded because there are many flaws with the nationwide policy. We cannot determined what each school needs, so if it by law each school, or state, set up its own education policy, this gap could be closed. If we can create a program state wide, or individual school-wide, that can help assist children (like tutoring or mandatory counselling) we can address the issues of falling behind and the negative effects of the home life on a child. Social and emotional learning has a huge impact on children and can help improve their learning overall.

2) In a perfect world, yes we do not only focus on standardized tests as a way of saying how knowledgeable our children are but unfortunately that is how the grading system in America works. That is why we also have children go into extra curricular activities, and we have teachers write recommendation letters. " A University of California study found that if the University did not require SAT scores from prospective students, they would have to raise their standard high school GPA to unrealistic expectations just to balance out the admissions process." Standardized tests are the same for everyone. They measure the same level of intelligence for everyone.

3) I think my government website is a little more reliable than your news website. Many cities as a whole are closing on the achievement gap because they know what is working for their children. As I stated, a statewide, or school wide policy will help take away the educational gap. "Cincinnati attributes its success to measures, big and small, that ensure its poorest students receive the basics in the classroom and out, including tutoring, mentoring, food and health care. " They receive their money from non-profit businesses. In a decade, their graduation rate went from 50% to 80%. They figured out what works for their children, and if every state did the same, we can close the education achievement gap.


P1: I don"t know what studies you are citing but according to the National Center for Education Statistics in 2009 and 2011 showed that black and Hispanic students trailed their white peers by an average of more than 20 test score points on the NAEP math and reading assessments at 4th and 8th grades, a difference of about two grade levels.

P2: The National Assessment of Educational Progress regularly show that two-thirds or more of American students of all ages have mastered basic skills, such as reading and recalling information, but only one-third can do more advanced work that involves the application of information or analysis. American students fall in the middle of the pack on international assessments that measure higher-order thinking, scoring 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment.

P3: The source for the article is the National Center for Education Statistics. Race to the Top, an Obama administration initiative that has tried to incentivize change by offering competitive grants to states pursuing reform agendas but U.S. schools still languish in the middle of international rankings, behind the schools of such countries as Estonia and Slovenia. Countries at the top of the international education rankings owe their success partly due to choose their teachers from among their most talented graduates, train them extensively, create opportunities for them to collaborate with their peers within and across schools to improve their practice, provide them the external supports that they need to do their work well. A recent McKinsey report found that most U.S. teachers come "from the bottom two-thirds of college classes, and, for many schools in poor neighborhoods, from the bottom third." We can and should do better to maximize a student"s ability to learn and perform.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
The resolution is not clear. It says that there should be an educational policy that promotes academic achievement. But how is that supposed to be opposed? That policy should not promote achievement? That there should be no policy? All educational programs have policies, the question is who sets the policy: the school, the state, or the Federal government. The debaters seemed to be debating whether past Federal policy initiatives were successful. That's some evidence against having a policy, but it doesn't really speak to the resolution. Both debaters failed to say exactly what they were advocating and why. It was a chat rather than a debate.
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