Public School (Currently) is more harmful than helpful

Opening Argument

Below are just a few figures from the who merely compiled several reports from other agencies regarding the ranking systems in education and how the U.S. ranked compared to the other Countries that were evaluated.

Pearson Education: January, 2015:  Education: 14th out of 40 evaluated Countries

IPSOS Mori: October, 2014: Ignorance: 2nd out of 14 evaluated Countries

PISA: December, 2013: Literacy: 24th out of 65 evaluated educational systems.

EIU: January, 2015: Educational Performance: 17th out of 40 evaluated Countries

CIA: October, 2010: Educational Expenditure: 54th of 173 evaluated Countries

While statistics alone don't represent the final answer about our current education system in the United States, it does speak volumes about what our Children are going through compared to other places in the World...even some 3rd World countries are getting better results than our current system. 

I'd like to propose a poll on opinions of this matter and suggest that our debaters each bring something to the table in the form of a solution to follow their point or argument.  If you agree that our Public Schools are more harmful than helpful then please bring a solution and we can debate those as well.  If you think the system is acceptable as is then please bring a solution that would bring forth a positive light to our education system that seems to be getting a bad rap.

  1. Is Public School more HARMFUL than BENEFICIAL?

    9 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No
"If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

"There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

"Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".

Status: Open Debate


  • Yes, Public schools are more harmful. The DOE is now referring to Common Core or at least some Department of Educations are.
  • I would radically transform the entire education system to make it more strategic and purposeful.
    There are 3 most important elements that education system should provide:
    1) specific knowledge 
    2) social skills and interactions
    3) appetite for future continuous learning

    It is extremely inefficient to have kids learn about bunch of generic subjects in a large class setting, trying to memorize bunch of Mildly useful content.  The curriculum should be highly individualized, self-paced, and with a much earlier and heavier focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, and hard core technology skills.
    why not start teaching all of that at 7 -9 years old?
    With invent of great e-learning crowdsourced platforms like udemy, lynda, etc - the learning can be customized and accelerated.  Retention of learning would improve exponentially since kids would actually be interested in what they are learning.
    I would take draconian measures in establishing core curriculum and would make many generic subjects totally optional with an option of having low intensity on second language, social studies, and etc.

    By leveraging e-learning platforms instead of large classes, we can monitor kids performance and make it much transparent.  They can progress at their speed, with classrooms taking a role of coaching, instead of primary method to lecture.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • VaulkVaulk 291 Pts
    @agsr ; Very well put and an excellent recommendation.  I agree with you and have some minor different ideas concerning our education system. 

    I'd like to see a school system designed around 4 fundamental structures:

    1.  Reasoning - This is your logic portion of education that teaches you how to be a reasonable and prudent person, how to apply sensibility, how to be a critical thinker and how to formulate independent thought.

    2.  Critical Knowledge - This is the bread and butter of what we have today, only in my perfect school only knowledge that was actually applicable, useful and realistic would be taught.  Basic and Advanced mathematics with stress on the BASICS, English, Comprehensive writing ect.  History would be something that could be introduced later in education but forcing children to memorize facts about history and to regurgitate them onto paper later doesn't teach anything except how to memorize then forget.  Likewise most sciences would come later on in education, life sciences would probably be the only ones included at early ages.

    3.  Relationships - This pillar would be focused around the every-day relationships we have with people.  Kids would learn what it means to be a friend, colleague, subordinate, superior, peer ect.  Kids would learn how to function in each of the types of relationships they will encounter throughout their lives, what is acceptable and unacceptable and why.  The dynamics of relationships is something lost on our Children today.

    4.  Society - This is where kids would learn about the world that they live in, what society expects and what won't be tolerated.  Laws, rules, codes, ethics, morals standards and the like would be taught and introduced with real-world application so as to prepare children to interact with the world around them.  They'd also learn Economics here, how to handle business, free-trade, entrepreneurship.  You know...real world training.

    I'd also like to see different branches of education.  I don't see anything wrong with a Child who displays severe disinterest in academic studies, being sent to learn a trade instead of being sentenced to 8 more years of classroom studies and having a textbook planted in front of their nose.  There's nothing wrong with learning at a young age how to be a carpenter, welder, mechanic, blacksmith, skills are in higher demand today than they ever have been in the past.

    I'm so tired of seeing kids going to school like drones, coming out knowing nothing but what they've been told to believe and having no real life-skills.  We expect 18yr old people to make effective and intelligent decisions regarding their future when less than a month prior to that we told them they have to raise their hand to get permission to go potty.  We are NOT training our youth to be better than us...we're disabling them and putting them in a prime position to fail.

    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".

  • @Vaulk,
    I agree. Excellent writeup and video.
    our society needs to evolve. Transformation of education system will make a profound difference in our future.
    our society doesn't give kids the right opportunities, and many of the kids could become high profile entrepreneurs before hitting puberty if they get the right support system. Luckily, with online resources some kids are getting opportunities to get real knowledge.
    We actually created a system of age discrimination. Kids should be given opportunities in much earlier age to so something useful, instead of studying meaningless subjects at school.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • There are still many benefits from our public school system. Granted, it varies widely where you live.  In the exclusive zip codes with high taxes normally public schools are drastically better than in poor areas, providing a far superior experience.
    Going through the public school system in a nice area, with the right attitude  from the student and supporting parent has potential to produce great results.

    There is an opportunity to further improve the system regardless, but I wouldn't write it all off as bad.  
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney

  • Only 4 countries spend more per-student than the US yet according to OECD, we're 24th on the list in terms of overall performance.  The US is only 3 points ahead of the Czech Republic, 6 points ahead of Latvia, and 17 points behind Slovenia.  Whatever stats you use, we aren't getting our money's worth.  we need to allow teachers to teach as they see fit and be able to hold them accountable for their performance.

    Common Good Chair Philip K. Howard writes in the New York Daily News that the common denominator among schools with good teachers is that those teachers “feel free to teach in [their] own way.” “Inspiration requires spontaneity and originality,” he continues. “Teachers must own their classrooms. This is the secret of every successful school.” Teachers’ freedom, however, is under attack. “Instead of letting teachers inspire students with their passion and spontaneity,” Howard explains, “America has organized public schools as bureaucratic assembly lines. There is a rule for everything—so many rules that no one can know them all.” “We must abandon the bureaucracy so humans can take back control, school by school, classroom by classroom,” Howard concludes. “Not everyone will succeed. But many will, and probably much quicker than imagined. There’s nothing so contagious, the saying goes, as enthusiasm.”

    The Associated Press reports on a New York State Senate hearing which revealed that state school districts “aren’t disciplining some bad teachers in the classroom because of a costly and ‘broken’” process. It took one year to remove a New York City teacher convicted of manslaughter. And the issue isn’t unique to New York: A 2008 report from the Center for American Progress found that only between .1 and 1 percent of tenured teachers are dismissed annually nationwide (despite one estimate that “between 5 and 15 percent of tenured teachers are incompetent”).

    Start Over argues that we need to free teachers to be able to control their classrooms, and then hold them accountable—but that accountability can’t mean the traditional union approach of endless due process.

  • VaulkVaulk 291 Pts
    @ale5 ; No one disagrees that public school "Can be" effective.  If it weren't then we'd see many more issues arising from it.  The issue is clearly outlined by @CYDdharta , we spend more money on education and our education reform is more progressive than almost any other country....yet we're still not seeing the fruits of our labor.  I remember when I was a young man, the argument was that Schools were underfunded, teachers weren't making a decent salary.  Since then we've increased our spending on schools by almost 400% and that was just 15 years ago yet the problem still persists.  We've killed creativity, ingenuity, critical thinking, independent thought and the drive to learn by sentencing our Children to 12 years of hard schooling in a system that was built by people who don't teach.

    To clarify something though, I'd like to make it clear that I'm not bashing teachers, yes there are some really bad ones out there but Teachers as a whole represent a tiny fraction of the problem...the real underlying issue is the system.  Our educational system is broken, ineffective at best and plagued with failure from the start to finish.  We need to get rid of this "One size fits all" approach to learning and education and stop bending individual Children to the system...instead we should make the system fluid enough to fit the needs of the individual so that we can achieve success in education on a wide variety of fronts. 

    When I was a young man I distinctly remember (And most of you should too) that our educational system crammed this idea down our throats that if you didn't do well in public school then you wouldn't be able to get into college...and that if you didn't get into college then you would NEVER get a job that would allow you to prosper in life.  They fear mongered us into believing that College meant success and prosperity and that without it...we couldn't support a Family, couldn't live a full and meaningful life and that we'd never rise to the top.  Now look at our Society, the 4-year bachelor degree means less today than the Highschool diploma meant 20 years ago.  The floodgates opened and now over 42% of all college graduates with a 4-year degree will go on to take jobs that don't require a 4-year degree...AND they'll have an average of over $37,000 in debt.  This is why the unemployment rate of college graduates is higher than it has EVER been.  Alot of this is because only 12% of all jobs in the U.S. require a degree.  These college graduates will spend YEARS trying to get a job that will allow them to use their degree and meanwhile the skilled labor workforce is over 70% under strength.  Electricians, Welders, Carpenters...there's a HUGE shortage of citizens that are skilled in these areas.  Ever heard of the Skills Gap? 

    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".

  • I agree with @vaulk on this debate. I enjoyed the videos too.
    DebateIslander and a lover. 
  • @Vaulk , nice videos.  Maybe we need Trump to go after education system like he does decisively after other issues.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • VaulkVaulk 291 Pts
    @agsr, I think so.  Unfortunately no one wants to be the person to slam "No Child Left Behind".  This system is atrocious at best but the name of the system is so positive and uplifting..."How could you get rid of it"?  lol.  I don't see Trump tackling this issue, he could but I don't have any faith that he's going to fix it.  Too many politicians before him promised to fix schools and never did.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".

  • @Vaulk, I actually think that the issue with education system is not that it has to be redesigned - it is more simple than that.  Kids that attend schools in elite areas that are well supported by local school taxes get great education. Same applies to many private schools.
    inner city schools that are overcrowded and underfunded provide horrible education.
    WhyTrump - a good question
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