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Is the education system broken?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2018 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 586 times Debate No: 109368
Debate Rounds (3)
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The education system does not measure intelligence it tests memory. The education system is idolised and puts false pressure upon the younger generation, at which they give up what they love and lose who they are in order to meet competitive expectations. The education system crushes creativity and passion.


Hello, my name is Tanner Jones and I will gladly accept this challenge. I wish CJW the best of luck. Now my position for the con side of this argument is to argue that the education system is not broken. For the sake of argument, I will be arguing specifically for the United States' education system. Covering every education system in the world would take too long, and be impossible for certain cultures where there is little to no literature on them.

The first comment I would like to make is a critique of my opponent's view on the purpose of education. From their opening arguments I believe a fair assessment of their view is that the purpose of education is to measure intelligence and foster creativity and passion. An accurate indication of intelligence may be important, and I won't deny the value of creativity and passion. However, I personally feel a much more general definition of the purpose of education should be given. The purpose of education is to foster skills so that the general populous can become both socially and financially successful members of society. This purpose may seem somewhat detached from the day to day life of a student, but if you take a step back it makes a lot of sense. The reason that so many tax dollars go to education is because adults want to invest into the next generation. They want to ensure that both their children and their country will be well off once they are gone. Since I have determined education's purpose, if I can prove that it properly fulfills this the education system is not broken. I would like to note that just because the education system does not attain this goal the fairest or most efficient way does not mean it doesn't reach its goal. We are not asking if the car is held together by duct tape; we are asking if it runs.

I will separate this proof into two separate sections. The first thing I will prove is that the education system socially prepares the next generation. Now to prove this I would like to examine people outside the education system, mainly home schoolers. Even though I have many friends who grew up being home schooled, I admit that most of them just are not as good as other kids in social situations. It is not because they are less intelligent than other kids. They just simply do not have the advantage of being in the same room with twenty to thirty other kids for fourteen years of their lives. Not only do children get experience to being around their peers, but they also get their first practice with authority that's not family. In nearly all working environments everyone must deal with a boss and supervisor. You may not like this person and they may not even be good at their job however that does not mean you are free from your responsibilities. And this brings us into the second proof that the educational system isn't broken. The educational system financially prepares the next generation. Now when I'm talking about financially preparedness I am talking about how well they contribute to the work force and maintain a career. The core four subjects in the education system are mathematics, English, history, and science. Each one of these contributes into making an effective member of society. Mathematics and English apply in nearly every career. No matter how far you try to run from these two subjects you can't stop them when trying to do your taxes. History is a little interesting and somewhat an indirect benefit to financial stability. History prepares us for many things however I would like to focus on economic depression and democratic responsibility. The first lesson that history needs to teach is that bad times will come eventually. There is no way to escape that and you need to be prepared for that likelihood. Secondly, it teaches us about past philosophies and our responsibility to select our leaders. Having a responsible electorate to shape our future impacts how prepared we are for tomorrow's problems. The final subject is science which is a little more interesting. What's interesting about it is that it's an application of our previously learned skills. Science allows us to apply what we have learned into something we never thought about ourselves. And this is what parallels nicely to future careers where we apply our social, reading, writing, and other critical thinking to solve issues in the world. The education may not be perfect but it does accomplish this. Look at the low unemployment rate currently. Most people often complain that they were over prepared for the job they get. And if that's the case education has completed its purpose.

I do have a few more examples I would like to share, however I would like to hold off on them after I hear my opponent's rebuttal. Simply to see which area needs more proof. Once again I wish you good luck, and hope we have a great debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I am actually British, so do not harbour much knowledge of the education system in America. Although, I am sure they are fairly similar.
I do not propose abolishing the education system completely, as I agree that it would isolate individuals too much, and we do need socially fluent members of society. However, I can argue that the education system is unfair, and those 14 years students spend 'learning' and making friends are suddenly turned against each other at exam season, under the realisation that it is a competition and a matter of who does the best. You see, here in Britain we are measured on a gradient, and only the top minimal percent being around 2 percent, will receive the top grades. However, a certain amount of people must fail, and dependent on how well the nation has done, even those who in previous years may have done well enough to accept a low pass, the next year will become a fail. So you see, exam season here is a competition, in classes you look around the room and decide that you have to beat 80 percent of the people in there to do well, which immediately turns your mind towards isolating yourself and your ideas.

Furthermore, although exams do foreshadow your future well-being, and what kind of work-force you go into, sometimes its chosen for you. That bottom percentage of those who receive bad exam results -which cannot be helped because there always needs to be those who fail- are destined to go into bottom paying jobs because after all somebody has to empty the bins. Therefore, I can argue that the education here anyway is 'broken' and our futures are picked for us.

Also, I disagree that all of the subjects you learn in school are applied to every day life, unless you want to go into a field regarding that chosen subject. For example, mathematics although needed for certain things, such as taxes, as you said, that is merely simple & basic maths and that is not what they are taught in school. Surely, unless I ago into the field of mathematics, I am not going to have to use quadratics anywhere in my future life. I can agree that English is a subject of value and good language skills act as a basis to a civilised society. History is the past and is meant to be learnt from but, nevertheless is the past and shouldn't dictate future actions. Science again like maths can only be applied in certain situations, that realistically rarely arise and unless going into the field of Science, I do not need the 21 equations we are required to memorise for Physics.

If you look back to when you were a child, life was simple and happy and you put your mind into what you love. When you become a student you put your mind into the subjects chosen for you, which you may not like but they claim is a necessity. Which, in my opinion, crushes the passion and creativity you had via to school years.

Also, everything in the last 100 years has changed dramatically. For example, technology but what I have not seen change in the last 100 years is the school system. It has stayed the same , the curriculum always similar, but what does change is the students produced year after year with knowledge packed into their brains, only to later act as mindless drones in the workforce. There is not hiding from the fate that the education system has dictated for us.


Now my friend here has given some nice evidence on why the education system is unfair and inefficient. However, he has not proved the premise that the education system is broken. Since you have not proposed your own I will assume that you accept the purpose I have determined for education. Secondly you affirm my first proof in your opening argument saying that education helps create "socially fluent members of society". The only honest critique of my view was your thoughts on the changing times, which I disagree with. The education system is definitely changing as we go into the twenty first century. STEM subjects (science, technologies, English, and math) are beginning to be stressed more and more to the next generation. That"s because this is where the future is. With the rise of our civilizations technological advancement there are job openings that need to be filled. Also, the use of technology inside the classroom has changed. With the utility of smart boards and cell phone demonstrations and student interaction has reached a new level. And while the education system is not changing rapidly it is a lot different than it was a hundred years ago.

Now even though these have no bearing on the argument themselves, I would like to deconstruct my opponent"s other arguments to hopefully give them some perspective for this unfair education system. Firstly, this national unfair gradient is preparing you for the unfair world. If you expect that everyone will get to do what they are passionate about and get the best job for them, you are in a delusion. This world is competitive and hard. If you are not doing the job well enough, a company can just simply replace you with someone else. This is really unpleasant however you must realize a separation between personal attachment and business. So, when I hear you argue that you are forced into this extremely competitive world with your fellow peers, I would like to reply get used to it. Secondly just because you are in the lower percent does not mean you"re going to go into a low paying job. It"s more likely because both your work ethic and intelligence is reflected in your grades for the most part, but there have been many cases when men after education developed some good work ethic and became successful. They probably will not be millionaires, but they will make higher than average. You did a terrible job deconstructing my arguments on the importance of the subjects. You disregarded the points I made in my opening statement, and simply told us that if anything the education system over prepares us. That may be inefficient, but it still did its job. With all of the arguments listed above I believe your rebuttal fails to critique the view that the education system fails to financially prepare the student for society. Thus, both of the purposes of education are attained so the education system is not broken.

To close this rebuttal, I would once again comment about what we are arguing about. We are not arguing if the education system is without fault, but if the education system is broken. If we were debating for the perfection of anything, we might as well quit now. We are instead asking the question if the education system achieves its purpose. I"ll repeat; we are not asking if the car is held together by duct tape, but if the car runs. And until my opponent can prove that, I have won this debate.
Debate Round No. 2


Firstly, she** not he & I believe that because your side of the debate was rather long-winded I may, or may not, have skim-read it and may have missed some of your arguments.
You're "just deal with it" argument is flawed just because this imperfect and (which I argue to be) broken education system is there does not mean it is right and cannot be changed and argued against.
Also, just because certain subjects are more pressed upon does not mean there has been a general reform in the education system, only that certain subjects have been pressed to students more.
Furthermore, statistically people who do worse (*destined to do worse*) do go into the lower paid jobs/
Lastly, it is not your place to decide who won here. I mean... I am new here, but if I'm correct it is the voters?


I would like to first off apologize for calling you he. I typically don"t use gender pronouns opting for they, their, and them, however I slipped up and would like to apologize. Also, I think you misunderstand what I meant when claiming the victory. I was just simply noting that you failed to counteract my claims, and demanding you give some more proof. I do not really believe my claims were long winded, and I did dedicate some time to this debate to give you a fair adversary. But for your convenience I will keep this last section short.

From the very beginning of this argument my opponent has failed to understand the prompt imposed upon her. Had the debate been titled "Is the education system failing and needed to be changed?" I would imagine she would have won this debate hands down. But we are discussing if the education system is broken. To this I replied no. The purpose of education is to foster skills so that the general populous can become both socially and financially successful members of society. I have proved that education has accomplished its purpose, and my opponent has failed to prove me wrong.

I would like to thank CJW for her time. And hopefully we can debate again in the future.
Debate Round No. 3
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