Debating education eastern evidence debate handbook 1999-2000 national high school debate topic



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debating education
EASTERN EVIDENCE DEBATE HANDBOOK

1999-2000 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TOPIC
PAGE ARGUMENT SECTION
GENERAL

2 DEFINITIONS OF POLICY TERMS (NOT TOPICALITY)

5 TOPIC BACKGROUND ON EDUCATION REFORM
7 NEGATIVE VS. CASE

8 NO HARMS OR SIGNIFICANCE

28 NO SOLVENCY

126 NO INHERENCY

129 NEG AGAINST TECH IN SCHOOLS
138 NEGATIVE CASE TURNS

139 FOCUS ON GRADING IS BAD

148 FOCUS ON GOING TO COLLEGE IS BAD

153 BUREAUCRACY BARRIERS TURN CASE

158 SCHOOL REFORM IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE

163 PRESSURE ON STUDENTS CAUSES HARMFUL STRESS


166 NEGATIVE COUNTERPLANS

167 STATES CP & FEDERALISM DA

194 DESCHOOLING COUNTERPLAN

230 RECONSTITUTION COUNTERPLAN


236 DISADVANTAGES

237 POLICY CHURN

241 DISABLING PROFESSIONS

252 LABELING

262 CURRICULUM TRADE OFF

272 PROPS UP CAPITALISM

282 INFRINGES ON STUDENTS RIGHTS
297 CRITIQUES

298 CRITIQUE OF CREDENTIALISM

308 CRITIQUE OF WORK
325 AFFIRMATIVES

326 AFF HARMS & SIGNIFICANCE GENERAL

340 AFF SOLVENCY GENERAL

345 AFF INHERENCY GENERAL

347 CHOICE/VOUCHER AFF

372 SCHOOL UNIFORM AFF

382 FIRST AFFIRMATIVE SPEECHES

The diskette version has over 150 pages of evidence not in this handbook. The CD-ROM has the extra evidence, plus a video of a mini-debate for novices, extensive instructional materials, tournament software, and Internet research links.


EASTERN EVIDENCE is a non-profit educational program of the Lawrence Debate Union and the University of Vermont.

Lawrence Debate Union, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405; debate@zoo.uvm.edu, 802-656-0097


DEFINITIONS OF POLICY TERMS
DEFINITION OF BEACON SCHOOLS
Kelly C. Rozmus, UCLA Law School, Spring, 1998; Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Article: Education Reform and Education Quality: Is Reconstitution the Answer? // acs-VT2000

n216. Beacon schools, a relatively new concept, are supported by both Superintendent Rojas and United Educators of San Francisco. Nanette Asimov, Big Man on Campus: Superintendent Rojas Talks About Violence, School Closures, Test Scores, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 19, 1995, at 1/Z1; interview with Kent Mitchell, former Treasurer and current President of United Educators of San Francisco, in San Francisco, CA (Apr. 11, 1997). Superintendent Rojas describes beacon schools as ``a nearly 24-hour, one-stop shopping center where the kids go to school for more than just an 8:40 a.m. to 3 p.m. academic program. They use it for social and health services, mental health services, recreational activities and educational enhancement activities. We could run community centers there from late afternoon into the early evening.`` Asimov, Big Man on Campus, supra this note. See also the discussion of Los Angeles` LEARN schools, a comparable model, supra notes 66-68 and accompanying text


DEFINITION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS
Kelly C. Rozmus, UCLA Law School, Spring, 1998; Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Article: Education Reform and Education Quality: Is Reconstitution the Answer? // acs-VT2000

Charter schools also tend to focus on a unique, high quality curriculum. However, charter schools are more focused on school structure; charter schools are developed by individuals with a common philosophy and are often exempted from regulations affecting schools in general. For example, charter schools tend to embrace site-based management, shared governance, and community outreach. These structural differences increase the potential for community involvement in charter schools as compared to traditional schools. In addition, in many states charter schools are released from agreements with local teachers` unions. See, e.g., Grassroots, NEA Today, Feb. 1995, at 8 (highlighting a decision striking down Michigan`s school charter law). Charter schools have competitive enrollment procedures and public funding is directly tied to enrollment. James A. Peyser, Issues in Education Law and Policy: School Choice: When, Not If, 35 B.C. L. Rev. 619, 621 (1994).


CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE WIDELY DIFFERENT FROM COMMUNITY TO COMMUNITY
Sharon Keller, Professor of Law, University of Miami, 1998; Journal of Legislation ISSUES IN SCHOOL CHOICE: Something to Lose: The Black Community`s Hard Choices About Educational Choice // acs-VT2000

The trade-offs are similar in respect to charter school programs. The charter statutes vary from state to state. n140 Some charter statutes do no more than create an optional arrangement for existing public schools to enjoy a change in their method of governance, allowing them more site autonomy; other states have tried more far-reaching schemes, providing public funding for minimally regulated entrepreneurial schools. n141


FOUR TYPES OF SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAMS - THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT
Christopher D. Pixley, Vanderbilt University School of Law, 1998; Journal of Legislation ISSUES IN SCHOOL CHOICE: The Next Frontier in Public School Finance Reform: A Policy and Constitutional Analysis of School Choice Legislation // acs-VT2000

States have enacted various school choice programs in an attempt to create a free market of educational alternatives. The four types of choice programs in use offer a range of alternatives to students attending a designated public school in their district. Intra-district Public Choice frees parents to choose among public schools in their district. Inter-district Public Choice expands this alternative by offering parents the option of transferring their children into school districts other than their own. Both of these systems condition the acceptance of students on the availability of space in the chosen school. The third approach adopted by a number of states is Market-Oriented Public Choice. This method of school choice focuses on the creation of self-managed public schools funded according to the level of enrollment but free of many of the state`s educational regulations. The final method applied today is Private Choice, a system which provides funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers or tax breaks which fund all or a portion of the cost of the public or private school chosen. The latter two methods of choice are the main focus of this article.


SCHOOL CHOICE: THREE LEVELS - INTERDISTRICT CHOICE, VOUCHERS FOR PUBLIC & PRIVATE SCHOOLS, AND COMPLETE FREE MARKET
Harvard Law Review January, 1999; NOTE: THE HAZARDS OF MAKING PUBLIC SCHOOLING A PRIVATE BUSINESS // acs-VT2000

Reform is a favored mantra in public education. n4 Some proposals, such as interdistrict vouchers that remove residential restrictions for children to attend particular public schools, work within the public system and retain primary responsibility for delivery in the government. n5 Other options, however, such as voucher programs that allow public funds to pay tuition at private schools for certain students, rely on private providers. n6 A market delivery approach, which displaces [*696] government control, has even extended an opportunity for profit-seeking enterprises to enter a realm traditionally occupied by public and nonprofit providers.

CONSTRUCTIVISM IS PROBLEM CENTERED LEARNING
Deborah Tippens, Department of Science Education, University of Georgia; and Kenneth Tobin, Science Education Program, Florida State University, 1993, TEE PRACTICE OF CONSTRUCTIVISM, ``Constructivism as a Referent for Teaching and Learning`` //GJL

Wheatley (1991) described approaches to curriculum that have been carefully built with constructivism as a referent. Known as problem-centered learning, students work together in small groups making meaning of tasks and setting out to solve problems that are perplexing. The teacher in such classes has an important mediating role, ascertaining what students know and structuring tasks such that they can build knowledge structures that are commensurate with knowledge of the discipline. Wheatley described how students negotiate meaning in small group situations, and then negotiate consensus in whole class settings, The teacher`s role is to monitor student understandings and guide discussions so that all students have opportunities to put language to their understandings and to engage in activities such as clarifying, elaborating, justifying, and evaluating alternative points of view. Such visions of classroom learning environments are exciting and appeal as viable alternatives to those so often reported in studies of learning in traditional classrooms (e.g., Tobin and Gallagher 1987). However, as appealing as these alternative visions of classroom learning might be, to label them as constructivist tends to mask -an important application of constructivism. Then time for such cognitive activities as clarifying, elaborating, justifying, and considering the merits of alternatives. From a constructivist point of view the emphasis is on the teacher as a learner, a person who will experience teaching and learning situations and give personal meaning to those experiences through reflection, at which time extant knowledge is connected to new understandings as they are built from experience and social interaction with peers and teacher educators.


EBONICS EXPLAINED
HARPER, FREDRICK, D., HOWARD UNIVERSITY, 1998, THE JOURNAL OF NEGRO EDUCATION, ``EBONICS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: THE ROLE OF THE COUNSELOR``//EE2000 JMP PG.26

Ebonics is a dialect or language system with its own distinct rules. It differs systematically from White American English dialects, not in complexity or efficiency, but in the rules of vocabulary, phonology (pronunciation), grammar, style, and communicative clarity that apply to it. The most obvious difference is in phonology. For example, in Ebonics, final consonant sounds are often reduced or deleted (e.g., ``test`` is pronounced ``tes``). Linking verbs may also be deleted, as in the ``He goin``` of Ebonics compared to the ``He is going`` of Standard English. Further, possession can be indicated in Ebonics, without using the possessive suffix (e.g., ``He John cousin,`` instead of ``He is john`s cousin``). Ebonics also permits deletion of the plural marker; thus, ``five cents`` is expressed in Ebonics as ``five cent.`` Another syntactical rule that is often used in Ebonics but not prevalent in Standard English governs the use of the negative concord. As such, ``He don` got none`` is perfectly acceptable, for double negatives can be used to reinforce or emphasize a negation. Table I presents a schema for grouping these and other rules of Ebonics, along with examples that demonstrate each rule.


THE WORD ``DISABLED`` IS A SOCIALY CONSTRUCTED TERM
Simi Linton, Susan Mello, John O`Neill. 1999, RADICAL TEACHER: Disability Studies: Expanding the Parameters of Diversity//ee2000 ris pg 4

Faculty in various disciplines try to explain social construction to students. The idea that disability is a construct is particularly difficult to understand and therefore it is a useful and challenging test case. Students in one of the author`s classes (Linton`s Social and Psychological Aspects of Disability) have made some very useful connections among various forms of social construction when we have discussed some of the following examples of variation in different societies` treatments of groups we currently call ``disabled.``


DEFINITION OF GIFTED STUDENT
Anne Scholtz Heim, January, 1998; Journal of Law & Education CHALK TALK: Gifted Students and the Right to an Ability-Appropriate Education // acs-VT2000

Gifted students are those children who ``deviate either intellectually, physically, socially or emotionally so markedly from normally expected growth and development patterns that he or she is or will be unable to progress effectively in a regular school program.`` n1 Pennsylvania uses much the same characteristics to define giftedness in its regulatory code, stating mentally gifted children have ``outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires special services and programs not ordinarily provided in the regular education program.``


LINGUISTIC SKILLS DEFINED
Sharon Keller, Professor of Law, University of Miami, 1998; Journal of Legislation ISSUES IN SCHOOL CHOICE: Something to Lose: The Black Community`s Hard Choices About Educational Choice // acs-VT2000

Linguistic-The power of communication is taught by developing oral, written and foreign language skills. Debate, forensics, public speaking, persuasive and expository writing are used to teach students to think critically, to solve problems and to resolve conflicts[.]


DEFINITION OF A MAGNET SCHOOL


Kelly C. Rozmus, UCLA Law School, Spring, 1998; Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Article: Education Reform and Education Quality: Is Reconstitution the Answer? // acs-VT2000

Magnet schools are ``public schools of voluntary enrollment designed to promote integration by drawing students away from their neighborhoods and private schools through distinctive curricula and high quality.`` Raina Brubaker, supra note 21, at 582.


DEFINITION OF PEER MEDIATION
William S. Haft & Elaine R. Weiss, Harvard Negotiation Research Project, Spring, 1998, Harvard Negotiation Law Review NOTES: Peer Mediation in Schools: Expectations and Evaluations // acs-VT2000

What is Peer Mediation? Peer mediation has acquired almost saintly status in today`s elementary, middle, and high schools. Thousands of schools across the United States and around the world have implemented peer mediation programs of various shapes and sizes, with the expectation that violence and suspensions will be reduced, school climate will improve, and students will learn and take with them essential life skills. Rebecca Iverson of the San Francisco Community Board`s peer mediation program estimates that there are currently 8,500 peer mediation programs in the U.S. alone. n2 Richard Cohen of School Mediation Associates (SMA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, guesses that now half the teachers in the country have heard of peer mediation, whereas [*214] ten years ago the concept was known only to a handful of enthusiasts. n3 As we discuss in detail later, many educational and social theories have contributed to the rising popularity of peer mediation.


DEFINITION OF PEER MEDIATION
William S. Haft & Elaine R. Weiss, Harvard Negotiation Research Project, Spring, 1998, Harvard Negotiation Law Review NOTES: Peer Mediation in Schools: Expectations and Evaluations // acs-VT2000

Peer mediation is the use of trained student mediators to resolve disputes among their fellow students. The most common disputes mediated include arguments between friends, playground fights, property/theft issues, rumors, and boyfriend-girlfriend conflicts.


RAWLS` THEORY OF JUSTICE EXPLAINED
BRADLEY W. JOONDEPH, Professor of Law, Washington University, Spring, 1998; Washington University Law Quarterly ARTICLE: SKEPTICISM AND SCHOOL DESEGREGATION // acs-VT2000

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice 136-37, 302 (1971) (postulating that if people were placed in ``the original position`` behind a ``veil of ignorance,`` such that ``no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status,`` they would favor a social and political system under which ``social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both: (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged ..., and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity``).


TOPIC BACKGROUND ON EDUCATIONAL REFORM
FIVE CATEGORIES OF REFORM
FREDERICK HESS, Brookings Institution, 1999; SPINNING WHEELS: the politics of urban school reform acs-VT2000 p. 25-28
The Five Reform Categories
Five categories of reform formed the policy core of Third Wave school reforms in the 1990s. The five reforms were selected because they comprised the programmatic elements of an eight-part series on school reform that Education Week, the education community`s newspaper of record, ran in early 1993. Their prominence in Education Week during the 1992-95 period of interest provided assurance that these reforms were of practical interest to educational practitioners and scholars. Because the Third Wave reforms were just gathering steam in the early 1990s, much of the action on these reforms conveniently took place during the 1992-95 period. The five kinds of reform studied are summarized below.
DAY AND TIME MEASURES. Efforts to reform the school day and the use of time in schools generally focus on either adding more classroom time or on rearranging the school day so as to permit time to be used in different ways. Measures that add a fixed amount of time to the school day, add days to the school year, or require a minimum number of classroom hours are examples of reforms that seek to increase the amount of time students spend learning. Adjusting the length of classes to encourage new kinds of instruction or juggling the school week to create opportunities for professional development are efforts that seek to use time adjustments to alter teaching practice. Of the five types of reform, changes in time were the most likely to be handled at the school site level, rather than through districtwide policy.

School day and calendar reforms normally attracted very little attention, because they were mundane and were often handled at the school sites. Despite this low public profile, significant changes in the school day or calendar can disturb the daily lives of teachers and families, and thus carry a high risk of instigating conflict. The most common scheduling reforms, accounting for more than a third of all measures cited by respondents, were proposals to extend the school day or to move to a year-round schedule at selected district schools.


CURRICULUM. Curricular reforms encompass a wide range of proposals dealing with what and how students learn. This category included attempts to strengthen promotion or graduation requirements, to introduce multicultural approaches, to revise reading lists, and to increase experiential (``hands-on``) learning. The most frequently proposed measures were some form of heightened graduation requirement and multicultural or inclusive curricula, but more than a dozen different kinds of measures were cited.
EVALUATION. Evaluation reforms address the ways in which students` performance is measured. Proposals to reform evaluation include shifting from one kind of assessment to another, increasing the frequency of testing, and using test results in new ways. Third Wave reforms, in general, have been trumpeted as emphasizing a closer connection between what tests measure and what students are actually taught. Reformers have particularly advocated portfolio assessment (collections of student work) and outcome-based measures in lieu of traditional standardized tests. Ironically, while the experts were touting authentic assessment, some rank and file were promoting traditional assessment. More than a quarter of the reform efforts cited by respondents involved districts shifting toward more standardized testing. For instance, a South Bend, Indiana, respondent explained that the district had ``raised standards for student performance and added a graduation test that`s administered in the tenth grade. We raised the percentage scores required and the range of skills needed.`` A Santa Monica, California, respondent described the opposite change: ``We have moved away from certain kinds of assessment tests, such as multiple choice and essay questions, to more authentic assessment and to portfolios and that sort of primary performance documentation.`` Both kinds of change were hailed as reform and considered to be progress, even though respondents and reformers viewed the two approaches as largely contradictory.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Professional development reforms are intended to improve the effectiveness of teachers by enhancing their instructional skills. Professional development reforms ranged from minimal changes, like instituting once-a-month after-school workshops for teachers, to creating local academies that would work with sets of teachers for six or eight weeks at a stretch. Other measures included mandated training in areas such as racial sensitivity or bilingual education, providing time for teams of teachers to meet, or revising teacher evaluation.

Professional development generally attracted little attention and proved relatively uncontroversial. The reason for the low level of controversy is that generally only measures acceptable to the union were proposed, with the most common reforms simply giving teachers more time for professional development or modifying the emphasis of existing programs. Of the five reforms studied, the union was reported to exert the most influence on behalf of, and to be most favorably disposed toward, professional development proposals. Respondents described professional development reform as offering little reason for teachers to oppose it. A Bloomington, Indiana, respondent said of the ``most significant`` local proposal, ``I`m not sure you can even call it a proposal. It was offering more workshops for teachers and time off for teachers to do these kinds of things.`` In Boston, the district and union negotiated a contract that created a center for leadership development to provide ``professional development opportunities for teachers, parents, and administrators.``


SITE-BASED MANAGEMENT. Site-based management (SBM) is the attempt to shift the control of schools from the central administration to the school sites. There are many possible ways to handle SBM, depending on which functions the system attempts to devolve, how completely the functions are turned over to school sites, and who is given control at the school site. Respondents were often unsure about what SBM entailed locally, and they described the nature of site control as varying from one site to another. SBM was the most popular of the five reforms studied, largely because it was a symbolically attractive reform that was visible and provoked relatively little controversy. As one school board member, who had just stepped down as president, said, ``[Site-based management] was basically a political move. The association is very supportive of it.... [The school board] will go along with it, but we`re not going to go out on the streets and die on this one.``
NEGATIVE ATTACKS ON AFFIRMATIVE CASES
8 NO HARMS OR SIGNIFICANCE

Answers affirmative claims that conditions in and outcomes of schools are a problem. These briefs contend that all is well in American schools and there is nothing to worry about.


28 NO SOLVENCY

Answers affirmative claims that their plan will solve some problems. Arguments are both general about school reform, but also specific about every kind of school change we could think of. These briefs contend that no matter what you do, you cannot sdolve the problems of school through school reform or solve the problems of society through school reform.


126 NO INHERENCY

Claims that the status quo has wonderful programs which are already solving most problems. As you can probably tell, this section is fairly short.


129 NEG AGAINST TECH IN SCHOOLS

For use against affirmative teams who wish to bring new technology (mostly computers) into the schools in the hopes of improving academic achievement.


NO AFFIRMATIVE CASE HARMS OR SIGNIFICANCE
page Argument
9 Academic achievement in American schools is not in decline

10 Academic achievement in American schools is increasing

11 International academic comparison are faulty

12 American students are well prepared for employment

13 Falling SAT scores should not be a concern

14 Minority academic achievement is improving

15 Attending college is not an important goal

16 High school drop out rate is not a concern




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