Archive | Education

Resolved, that all American public high school students be required to study economics.

In light of the recent recession and economic crisis, which many argue was caused in part by widespread economic ignorance, there have been renewed calls for requiring all American high school students to study economics. Supporters argue that of Americans had greater economic knowledge, the subprime mortgage crisis, many foreclosures, and rampant debt could have been avoided. Critics of mandatory economic courses, however, note that because various conflicting economic theories exist, by requiring students to study economics and writing a curriculum, the government may essentially be endorsing one economic theory over another. They also argue that although Americans lack the knowledge to make wise financial decisions, they need courses in personal finance, not global or national economics. Should all American public high school students be required to study economics, or is such an endeavor simply infeasible?

KS/APR/11

Posted in Education4 Comments

Resolved, that tenure in public education be abolished.

Tenure at private universities is divisive, so tenure for public schools is similarly divisive. Under the current system, if a (unionized) teacher survives a few years at a particular school, his or her career becomes fixed; the school cannot easily fire him or her, except for outrageous personal behavior. Opponents of tenure argue that this guaranteed employment keeps teachers who have passed their prime, preventing better ones from advancing and new ones from entering education altogether. Moreover, this artificial arrangement is the result of teachers’ unions, which they say have destroyed American public schools in many other ways. Tenure advocates, meanwhile, claim that teachers, who typically earn average or below-average incomes, need secure employment, and that students benefit from teachers with extensive experience. Also, tenure allows teachers to do things that may be initially unpopular but later prove to beneficial. Should we get rid of tenure in public education?

KS/APR/11

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education0 Comments

Resolved, that the Federal Reserve System be dissolved.

The Federal Reserve System, sometimes called “The Fed,” is the United State’s central banking system. Lately, its main goals have been to conduct the nation’s monetary policy, supervise and regulate banking information, help maintain American financial stability, and help stabilize the economies of foreign nations if necessary. Proponents of the resolution believe that the Federal Reserve System is in an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars and is unnecessary when compared with the success of capitalist banks. However, opponents believe that a back up bank is still necessary in modern day politics, and that the purposes of the Federal Reserve System remain relevant. Both sides have seen the Federal Reserve System in action, as they play a very large role in this time of economic turmoil, and Americans across the nation have seen interest rates continue to drop lower and lower. Should “The Fed” be dissolved and allow banks to function without support, or is this system entirely unnecessary, especially in times of economic downturn?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education2 Comments

Resolved, that high school students should be permitted to vote in school board elections.

In tune with one of the most fundamental beliefs of American society, the spirit of democracy, many argue that students should be allowed to vote in school board elections. After all, the board directly influences their lives and educational paths, and the students should thusly be represented by the way of voting. However, students are not tax paying members and may wish for actions not educationally beneficial. Should they still be allowed to vote?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Education2 Comments

Resolved, that standardized testing is an ineffective aptitude assessment.

Given the importance of the SATs and ACTs in the college application process, a vast majority of students, both in America and abroad, takes at least one of the two exams before they apply to an American college. However, many argue that these exams do not reflect the actual ability of the test taker, and are poor indicators to student ability and aptitude for college. This is also due to the expensive tutors and classes that many families invest in, suggesting that the results are biased based on economic advantage. However, others point out that those who do well on the SATs and ACTs also tend to be top performers in academic achievement, and that the tests give a neutral and impartial assessment of test taking and reasoning ability, without regards to subjects taught in schools throughout the nation. Are standardized tests a good measure of student ability, or do they fail to achieve an effective evaluation?  Or is it simply up to the particular college to accord whatever weight it wants to this kind of standardized testing?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Education0 Comments

Resolved, that teachers unions are detrimental to public education.

Given the renewed concerns of teacher unions raised by the documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” many have started questioning the viability impact of teacher unions in the education system. Opponents of unions point out the inability to make necessary changes, or implement a merit based pay system, which may be vastly beneficial to the students. Furthermore, the unions may protect ineffective teachers in school. Proponents of teacher unions, however, point out that it gives people incentive to become teachers and that it protects teachers from administrators, who may not have the same experiences or viewpoints as the teachers. Also, it is shown that in areas where teachers do not unionize has a serious and detrimental impact on our education. Are teacher unions hurting our education system? Or protecting their jobs and our education?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Education, Hot Topics0 Comments

Thought Talk: Is it time to end affirmative action?

Affirmative action is the practice of taking race, sex, religion, national origin, etc. into consideration during employment or college admissions. Many believe it has been quite effective in countering discrimination since it was instated by President Kennedy. However, times have changed since affirmative action went into effect, and some feel that it causes reverse discrimination at the expense of the majority. They claim that singling out women and minorities for any reason perpetuates feelings of social separation that America has sought to eliminate. Proponents reason that discrimination still very much exists, and leaving it to chance would inhibit diversity.  Would ending affirmative action result in more discrimination against minorities or help create a more diverse society?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Education0 Comments

Resolved, that public schools mandate influenza vaccinations for all students.

The symptoms of influenza can range from a sore throat to a fatal fever. The influenza vaccination prevents a patient from contracting the flu and aims to keeps them healthy for most of the year. Many schools believe that receiving a flu shot should be mandatory since the virus spreads like wildfire through schools. Conversely, some feel that mandating a vaccination for school would be a violation of freedom.  Should local governments mandate influenza vaccinations in public schools?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education3 Comments

Resolved, that colleges and universities should not check social networking as a part of the admissions process.

Almost as soon as social networking became widespread, colleges began to monitor the pages of their applicants. There have been numerous stories of potential students being turned down because of information colleges gained through viewing their Facebook profile. Some claim that checking an applicant’s page does not speak to their ability as a student and should therefore be irrelevant. Others claim that posts on these sites speak to a candidate’s character and must be factored into the equation of whether or not to accept a student. Should a student’s social networking activity be monitored by colleges?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education0 Comments

Resolved, that tenure for teachers be based on a student vote.

Under the current system of tenure, school administrations choose the length of time before a teacher receives tenure, and then after that point it is virtually impossible to get a tenured teacher fired. Proponents argue that this is not a fair system, and students who are affected should be the ones to have a say in which teachers are granted tenure. However, opponents would state that it is too arbitrary to leave someone’s jobs in the hands of the students, and that teachers would cater too much towards the student’s needs and not teach the material properly if this system were put in place. Either way, the students will be the ones that are directly affected. In your opinion, would this student-voted tenure system be beneficial to the education of millions of American students?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education, Hot Topics1 Comment