Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.Some questions to get you started in your casewriting:
- What are the core values, tenets, or missions of public education? (Some potential answers, while I'm thinking about it: civic preparation / democratic principles, academic rigor, social equality, socialization, fairness, social justice, diversity, economic strength / job preparation, industry, truth, social sorting, preparation for the "real world")
- Is it fair to judge one's entire academic career on a single slice in time?
- Is it fair to have different standardized exit exams across different states?
- What uniquely American educational features (i.e., local control) come into play?
- Do standardized exit exams have to be tied to graduation to be meaningful?
- Does it matter what kind of "standardized exit exams" we're talking about? In other words, what does "standardized" mean? Norm-referenced? Criterion-referenced? Either? Both? Neither?
- When it comes to this issue, which figures have the most authority? Politicians? Teachers? Parents? Students? Educational experts? Think tanks?
- Do "multiple intelligences" play a role?
1. FairTest doesn't like standardized tests. Not at all. (And here's a good research starting point.)
2. Some of the best available empirical research, and its implications for the debate.
3. Joe Nusz goes looking for values in the resolution, by examining a typical school vision statement. A good way to approach the subject.
4. I offer some ideas for negating the resolution.
5. By request: Albert Einstein on the relative value of knowledge and imagination.
6. Back by popular demand: Value / criterion pairs for the resolution--a work in progress.