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Tied Positions: Yes vs. No
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Winning Position: Uniforms infringe on rights
Uniforms infringe on rights
Uniforms improve behavior
School uniforms remain a controversial issue in the nation's schools. Studies done to measure performance with and without uniforms have had mixed results. Since states do not track statistics on school uniforms, the exact number of school districts with uniform policies is unknown. However, a survey conducted in 2000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 20% of public and private elementary schools and 10% of high schools sampled had mandatory uniform rules. Uniform policies are generally more likely to be found in schools with large numbers of low-income and/or minority students. Proponents of school uniforms say uniforms reduce common problems like theft and fighting and allow administrators to easily identify intruders or outsiders. Supporters add that uniforms may also improve grades by enabling students to focus more on academic performance, reduce disciplinary problems, create unity and remove class distinctions, and are more affordable than expensive designer labels. Those opposed to mandatory uniforms say uniforms infringe upon students' First Amendment right to freedom of expression, stifle creativity and individualism, and place an unfair financial burden on low-income families. Some argue that simply having dress code rules can achieve many of the same benefits of uniforms.
Should students be required to wear uniforms?
Winning Position: Homework is needed
Homework is a source of stress in many American households. This stress is compounded when both parents work or in single-parent households. Students are also busier than ever with after-school activities including sports, music lessons and part-time jobs, which leave little time for hours of homework. However, school reform movements like the No Child Left Behind Act that require schools to show improvement in student performance or lose funding make it more likely that homework is not going away. The National PTA and the National Education Association both endorse the "10-minute rule" created by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper. This rule says that students should get 10 minutes of homework a night per grade--a first grader would have 10 minutes of homework, a second grader 20 minutes, and so on. Critics of homework argue that too much of it is busywork that has little academic value.
Should homework be abolished?
Winning Position: Pay for grades is bad for kids
Pay for grades is bad for kids
Pay for grades is motivation
School districts around the country are experimenting with programs that give students cash rewards for attending school, getting good grades, and performing well on standardized tests. Supporters of these programs think the financial incentives will motivate students to go to school and study, especially in poor and minority neighborhoods. Those opposed to paying students for good grades or school attendance believe that it sends the wrong message to students about their responsibility to learn. They argue that the money invested in these programs could be better used to improve education. While some districts using cash award programs have seen improvements in attendance and performance, the long-term impact of such programs is unknown.
Should students be paid for good grades?
Winning Position: Tougher laws
Distracted driving means engaging in non-driving activities that distract the driver from the primary task of driving. Distracted driving can be visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking your mind off the main task of driving). Distracting activities include using a cell phone (talking or texting), eating, drinking, talking to passengers, applying makeup and other grooming activities, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, and changing music selections on the radio, CD, or MP3 player. The most dangerous of these activities is texting, which involves all three types of distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers is the under-20 age group. Many states have enacted laws banning certain types of driving distractions and there are many restrictions on cell phone use while driving. Some people claim that a total ban on the use of cell phones while driving is the solution to the distracted driving problem. Others favor some restrictions on cell phone use but oppose a total ban.
Are tougher laws needed to combat distracted driving?
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Winning Position: Unresolved
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Winning Position: Unresolved
Homework to some people is a waste of there good time. Well is it? This is not if you hate homework or not, this is if you think homework is helpful or stressful.
Winning Position: Pressure increases cheating
Pressure increases cheating
Moral decline accepts cheating
Cheating is a problem at all institutions of learning. Recent studies have shown that 95 percent of high school students admit to having cheated at some point in their education and about half of all college students have admitted to plagiarizing. The evolution of technology has opened up new ways for students to cheat-using cell phones, copying information they find online, and even buying term papers on the Internet. Educators, in turn, also rely on technology to help identify cheaters. Some people think that the examples of unethical behavior in society-in business, politics and sports-that are widely reported in the media are at the root of the increased cheating among young people. Others think that the increased pressure on youth to excel is driving the increase in academic dishonesty. In any case, there is great concern about the types of leaders we will have in the future if these attitudes about academic honesty and ethical behavior continue. Many schools have adopted honor codes where students pledge that they will not cheat and that they will report students that they witness cheating.
Can the increase in academic cheating be blamed on the amount of pressure students feel to succeed?
Winning Position: Char Ed & Citizenship no link
Char Ed & Citizenship no link
Character Ed=Ethical Citizens
Education leaders in the U.S. have recognized throughout the nation's history that developing the character of young people is the shared responsibility of parents, schools and the community in general. Character education stresses the development of ethical values and positive social behaviors. Modern school reform movements have focused even more attention on character development. Congress authorized the Partnerships in Character Education Program in 1994 and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 expanded support for it. The Department of Education provides grants to states and districts to enable the implementation of character development curriculums. Some people question whether teachers have enough time to focus on character education and still improve students' performance in key academic subjects. Some say there is no way to measure whether school character education programs actually produce more ethical citizens. Others worry that character education will allow teachers to impose their religious views on students.
Does character education in schools help produce more ethical citizens?
Winning Position: School programs not successful
School programs not successful
School programs are successful
Bullying is a form of abuse that can be emotional or physical. Many children and teens are bullied at school every day. Some of these victims become depressed and lose interest in their schoolwork. There have been too many instances where young people have committed suicide to escape the torment of bullies. Recently, criminal charges were filed against nine high-school students in Massachusetts after a 15-year-old girl they had harassed hung herself. Although 49 states have anti-bullying laws that require schools to set policies to prevent bullying, many people believe that more needs to be done. Some are demanding more training for teachers and staff on how to recognize the signs of bullying. Others want tough laws that criminalize bullying behavior and hold schools responsible if they fail to act when bullying occurs.
Are the anti-bullying strategies used by schools successful?
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