Instigator / Pro

TOURNAMENT R(1): Nikunj_Sanghai vs Intelligence_06


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 3 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

Barney's avatar
52 debates / 1,287 votes
whiteflame's avatar
27 debates / 198 votes
BearMan's avatar
16 debates / 30 votes
Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

Round 1
I am abstaining from presenting textbook definitions since I believe all the judges and my opponent are already aware of essence of all the terminology being used in this debate. CON is welcome to present definitions if he feels it is needed but PRO will challenge any deviations of the definition from standard academic knowledge. 


1.Independence: The first point that PRO will like to present is that 3.1 million students in USA as of 2016-17 are studying in charter schools. There is often a waitlist of students in many charter schools. On an average there is waitlist of 277 students. The sub-heading is not a referral to the independence that the administration of a charter school enjoys but the independence of the students who are voluntarily enrolling in such schools. 3.1 million students voluntarily wanted to opt for a charter school instead of opting for private or public schooling. They must be providing something unique for the students, they must be getting something right that the other schooling system lacks. This point will be highlighted in the next subsection. 

2.Children and parents: Every family is unique in the essence, every family will have a perception about what elements they consider should be included in their child's education. If the parents are happy with the public schooling system they can opt for the free public schooling provided. Charter schools are serving the needs of the specific parents and children whose needs are not necessarily addressed to in the public schooling system. The society can be broadly classified in three categories: High, medium, low income. The high income category parents can always get what they want for their children, they can even afford an European school known to train royalty. The medium and low income do not have such an option, magnet schools or other special schools exist in the US but they are often very competitive and it is not easy to get in, moreover they are not available everywhere, it is not fair for parents to relocate their jobs and family to get a child the education they feel the child deserves. Charter schools bridge the gap between private or magnet schools and the public school system by providing the medium and low income parents with a schooling option different than the public schooling system. Why the gap is such a big issue that charter school can alone address will be discussed in the next point. 

3.Peers: Peers encourage the students to excel in a competitive environment, in a public schooling system, in a public schooling system the curriculum is rigid and does not serve the purpose of promoting competition. Competition may or may not be present in the public school and it would depends on the local students irrespective of their tendencies and interests. To elucidate the point in a class of say 60 students , 10 might not be interested in science , 10 in sports , 10 in arts , 10 in business ,20 might be interested in academia/teaching. The competition in such a class in susceptible to natural variation in tendencies of local students. In a charter school with a pre-defined focus will only attract like minded parents and students who feel the public schooling system are not competitive. Thus there can be 5 separate charter schools in the locality for the class of 60 and the 10 students interested in science can opt for an education in a school where everyone in the class is interested in science thus providing a college like extremely competitive environment. The variations are removed and it can be ascertained that student is an competitive environment. 

4. Administration: Education should not be politicized, critical issues should be addressed in assemblies but children and their future should not be subject to political mudslinging, normally a lot of school and their systems are influenced by the change in political control of the particular state or country. Thus autonomy of the institute in administration is the sole barrier that prevents politics being played. The schools are ultimately accountable in terms of academic performance and the study environment to both the government and the students enrolled in it. If the charter under-performs it is closed and which was the case for 270 schools in 16-17 academic year. 

 The first 4 parts of the round emphasize the role of charter school in the education system and highlight their importance  in the schooling structure. 

5.Quality of Education: It is important to understand that all a school or parent can do is point the child in the right direction, it the child who has to figure out the nuances of the arduous journey of education, some of them successively do so, some of them don't. The role of parent or school should only be questioned when adequate understanding of the future prospects of a child  is not known to the child or some critical knowledge of the education system and the opportunities that are available to the child is obscured. USA is a developed country and with a great education system every student is well aware of the opportunities in life and thus be it a charter school or public school, the school has fulfilled its responsibility by providing the students a platform to grow and compete on fair terms. The rest is up to the child. Needless to say if the child or parent feels the child has been treated unfairly, options are always open for enrolment in other schools but continuous development of new charter schools indicate the treatment is fair and the quality of education is high.

Concluding remarks: The children voluntarily en-roll and even waitlist for charter schools which highlight the demand and need of charter schools in USA. Such schools serve the needs of parents who don't have access to private or foreign schools with the added benefit of serving a narrow focused interest which is pre-defined. Such a functioning attracts like-minded students to apply for same schools which encourages healthy competition and the autonomy of the institution keeps local or state politics at bay. Continuous sustenance of charter schools since their induction only proves there has been an ever growing demand and need for such schools in USA . The demand also implies that there is an inherent believe in both parents and children that a charter school can provide a better education than what is being provided currently and closure or contraction of the scale of charters will only undermine the fundamental right of a parent or child to choose the education they would like the child to  receive. 
You thought I would forfeit don't you. No. I am not forfeiting.

Con: Charter schools are of more disadvantages than advantages and/or Pro's proof is insufficient
Since the BoP is deemed to be shared, the two are the same: Either way I have to prove why charter schools are more bad than good.

The non-desirable choice

My opponent stated that because 3.1 million students in the US chose charter schools, they must like the independence it brings. Sadly, that does not make charter schools a better choice. In the US, about 56.4 Million students attend public and private schools, on that 50.7 million attend public schools and 5.7 for private schools(1). Even charter schools attracted over 3 million students that still puts them below about the private schools and way below the public schools. This argument's logic is as absurd as saying because millions of people are criminals, thus committing a crime is desirable because it attracts them to live like this.

Either way, there are fewer students in charter schools than in private and public schools.

No good to the students

In the 2012-2013 school year, public schools have an SPP(School Performance Profile, higher is obviously good) of 77.4, but charter schools have an SPP of 66.4, lower than your average public school. Some schools have even gotten as low as 46.8. (2) Charter schools in Pennsylvania cover fewer days of learning, which would make them perform less well on tests. If charter schools are less spread(3.1 M vs 50.7 M), shouldn't they be helping students more instead of less?

(I hate source monopolies, but hey, this source points a lot of problems out)

Charter schools, as my opponent pointed out, appeases the minority of students. This means their mode of education is unorthodox and will only educate the few efficiently. Public schools are the norm: It can educate every single person. However, even standing at a different extreme than the local charter school would make the child tired of learning. Because it appeases the few instead of the majority, fewer students will be appeased by this mode of education.

More than that, some charter schools even hurt students. The teachers might be corrupt and there is no regulation for it. If it is possible for the teachers to be corrupt and not be caught, then the chance of the quality of education going down and down would massively increase. Some charter schools preparing for the rich kids may have poor students entering it: And that is not helping their mind if they aren't destroying it.

What is more, some charter schools are literally so strict about education that it would make attending school at such a place undesirable(3). Others could go the other way: Education is ever so loose. Then, as if it wasn't addressed above, the student's academic performance will be lesser than the average public school student like me.

Financial problems and inequality

Some charter schools are cash cows(4): What that means is that this school is for the purpose of profit instead of sole education. Large shares of public funds funding charter schools, the few, would seem unequal enough. Running from an individual community stepping on public funds seems fishy enough? It is. Corruption can simply exist without getting caught, and if the entire school supply chain is corrupt, from the principal to the investors, it would be equivalent to joining a church of occult since it is so corrupt.

Here are a few examples of charter schools being corrupt. (5,6)

More than that, charter schools are draining public funds, if you can't guess, alright. In Pittsburgh, public schools were defunded millions just to serve the few charter schools. Remember: You are taking PUBLIC FUNDS out. Having the lot's money serving the few? Is this what we are doing for an equal future? No, it is nothing equal. Charter schools tend to have fewer students, so each student, just by going there, will obviously cost more of the school bill. Lights and AC's must be on for fewer students as opposed to more. By going to a charter school, you yourself would compensate for more electricity, especially since some of them experiment to be more electronic than others. I am no advocate for pencil-and-paper education, but they are really wasting more energy and money.

Because charter schools are run by the community's likes and are regulated lightly, it is up to the principal to regulate the students instead of the hardworking state. The community might favor White Americans over Black Americans. Many charter schools are segregating the students or are at least favoring some students over others based on race and ethnicity(7).

Charter schools are the few that drains the public schools. Few experimental schools closed down the majority. It is bad, just say it.

I have presented these problems that simply says that charter schools are bad. I wish my opponent would refute it successfully to keep the discussion going.


Round 2
As previously stated PRO abstained from providing definitions, CON has abstained as well from this point it would be considered that PRO,CON and judges have a reasonable understanding of the topic. 

Independence: CON has countered by stating charter schools are a non-desirable choice stating sheer numbers to substantiate his point. His argument is devoid of some basic considerations. Firstly, charter schools are not allowed in six states in USA. Secondly, the school to student ratio. 
1.Public Schools : 50.7 million students in  98,158 schools equivalent to 517 students per school
2.Private schools: 5.7 million students in 34,576 schools equivalent to 165 students per school 

Charter school included in the estimate has about 3.1 million students for 6900 schools equivalent to 450 students per school. 

There is no backing to CON's claim except a moot analogy, if something data suggests parents and students are wanting to pursue a charter school education. 
Students enroled in charter schools increased from 500,000 in 2000 to more than 3.1 million in 2017. (Source) 
More than six fold increase in a fifteen year period indicates parents and students favouring a charter school education. If charter schools were not desired why enrol your child in it or even to an extent as to waitlist the child. PRO has previously indicated as well that this point highlights the Independence of parents and children not the administration, if they feel wronged in any way they are free to leave. Some particular charters closed due to the same reason :270 schools closed due to lack of enrolment. 

Children and parents: As highlighted by the data in the above point charter schools bridge the gap between a public school and a private schools. Low and medium-income households cannot afford a private school education and thus charter school becomes critical in case where parent or child disagrees with the type of education being provided at a public school. 
                                                                     CON counters by stating a measurement which is restricted to a particular state- Pennsylvania , SPP is only calculated in Pennsylvania and even if Data suggests that in Pennsylvania there is some sort of disparity in the quality of education. The marking parameters, miss out on the very aspect charter schools were established, flexibility. Along with the public schooling system, the marking parameters are also rigid and inflexible. It is unfair to judge a charter school holistically when the schools spends disproportionate amounts in focusing only on certain aspects of a child's education, example:- science. It the same as trying to compare a 100 m swimming champion with a 5000m swimming champion based on their ability to swim 100m. The parameters arrangement is just not correct. 
           Judges can ask themselves the question if at all charter schools in Pennsylvania were lacking, why would the number of charter school in Pennsylvania- 8%  more than the national average of 6%. As previously discussed magnet schools are often spread far apart, in that case not only does the family has to spend exorbitant amount for the fees but also relocate to accommodate the child in such a school. Opting for a charter school provides them relief from the fees whilst maintaining the focus the child needs. 

Peers:  CON claims 
Charter schools, as my opponent pointed out, appeases the minority of students. This means their mode of education is unorthodox and will only educate the few efficiently.
That is the exact same principles colleges work on. The mode of education is unorthodox true, only in medical school one is required to dissect a human being but it educates all of the students enroled effectively. As explained earlier a charter's goals are predefined as it only attracts like minded students, if at all a parent wants a standard education for a public school, why bother for enrolment in a charter school in the first place. PRO has substantiated the importance that the presence of competition is hampered by natural variance of local students. Schools  may or may not have attentive students. A charter schools eliminates natural variation by attracting like minded students. 


More than that, some charter schools even hurt students. The teachers might be corrupt and there is no regulation for it. If it is possible for the teachers to be corrupt and not be caught, then the chance of the quality of education going down and down would massively increase. Some charter schools preparing for the rich kids may have poor students entering it: And that is not helping their mind if they aren't destroying it.
Conspiracy theories are interesting to hear, but such statements just invalidates and undermines some of CON's cogent arguments. School is autonomous in functioning, not above law, if there was something of that sort going on there would have been several criminal investigations associated with such schools. Schools are ultimately accountable for their performance to both the government and the parents. If the schools underperforms it get less money for the school budget.

Con cources a page highlighting the concerns regarding the discipline, but the source just highlights the unrealistic expectations from a charter school. On one hand people will criticize the autonomy of the school, on the other criticize when school exercises that autonomy. The autonomy was given for a reason, administrators can make the school function as they seem fit but they will be judged on the performance. Expecting them to deliver while sticking to the standard public school norms is unrealistic. 

The prosecutions cases highlighted by CON only substantiate that while charter schools enjoy autonomy they are regularly held accountable for misplacement of public money. Only strengthening PRO's case, and undermining CON's own statements above. 

PRO will not counter Pittsburgh claim, it is lacking any backing, CON has stooped to making unsubstantiated claims. These are not general statements as resorted to by PRO in R1.
One of CON sources backing PRO: CON agued racial segregation being a norm in charter schools, reading into the article only highlights PRO's case. Federal government had ordered integration of schools but it was the district administration that argued it can be trusted with the functioning of the schools.

Central had successfully achieved integration, the district had argued—it could be trusted to manage that success going forward.
This only highlights the susceptibility of schools and their administration bowing to pressure from politicians interfering in their functioning. It was the district administration/ local politicians who caused this not any charter school. 

Concluding remarks: PRO found local politicians interfering with schooling in one of CON's sources and also CON using wordpress as a source , thereby PRO claims source points. PRO undermines CON's case of charter school as an undesirable option for students by highlighting the six fold increase in the number of attendees since 2000. Charter schools provide the  necessary flexibility needed for students not wanting to conform to the said standards of education. Attempts to undermine the fundamental right of education of a child should be resisted at all costs. 
And neither am I forfeiting this time.

Pro: 6x increase in charter school attendance

Con: Still the lesser choice.

You see, No matter how you compliment charter schools, it nevertheless only holds 3.1 million students. If Charters are in the community and they are free(obviously), then why aren't they AS POPULAR as common public schools, approximately 50.7 million as opposed to 3.1 million? Well, the reason is that charter schools are more difficult to operate, and as my opponent stated, nonexistent in 6 states of the United States. So there must be a reason for everything that is not a coincidence, right? right. Saying that a 6-fold increase is desirable for charter schools is like saying people should switch to a brand because they sold 10 times as many phones as last year, regardless of how many there are in absolute value instead of internal ratios.

[1]Only a few charters are open in some states and that is due to both governmental policies from the states and the low demand for things. A shorter and simpler way to say it is, They don't need it. For states that have been used to charterless education, they would obviously not need it.

[2]You say that charter schools are still better? Well, remember the purpose of schools is to educate people, and charter schools aren't doing it any better than public schools, if not worse. Speaking for 17% of the actually good charters is simply not enough as 37% of them are actually doing worse than public schools. By "Charter schools" plus no modifiers, it would mean charter schools within entirety, including the good ones AND the bad ones. If there are more charter schools doing worse than better, how is it the more desirable choice?

[3]On average, The charter school student would need more money than the public school student. You want a better education for less price, not worse education for more price. Charters are, on average, the worse choice for sole education and the more expensive choice, thus making it the less desirable choice. There is a reason why 50M people went to public and still only 3M people for charters.

[4]Pro's source also supports Con. Charters are the minority here as no state even exceeds 20% of students in charters. The fact charters are more expensive to operate also explains it.

Pro states:
That is the exact same principles colleges work on. The mode of education is unorthodox true, only in medical school one is required to dissect a human being but it educates all of the students enroled effectively. As explained earlier a charter's goals are predefined as it only attracts like minded students, if at all a parent wants a standard education for a public school, why bother for enrolment in a charter school in the first place. PRO has substantiated the importance that the presence of competition is hampered by natural variance of local students. Schools  may or may not have attentive students. A charter schools eliminates natural variation by attracting like minded students. 
So Pro admits that charters would sacrifice the large group to appease the few. As a result, charters will be more expensive to operate due to that facilities will be for fewer students to use, eventually concluding that in charters, each student would compensate for more. As a result, more funds need to be taken considering charters are publically-funded, and the public schools will get smaller shares for just a small group of students in charters. Talking about inequality.

Colleges are for special majors and occupations. On the other hand, primary and secondary schools are for basic educations that need not too many specialties: Just a normal public system suffices. Private schools are better than charters in terms of this issue: It drains not the public funds for the few. Charters drain the public funds for the few and that is inequality. This is on top of that charters, on average, don't do better than public schools, so what's the point?

[5]I have other sources. Criticizing the reliability of this issue does not make it poof poof gone.

Concluding remarks:
  • Charter schools, on average, are more expensive to operate
  • Charter schools are not performing better than public schools
    • The purpose of education is to learn more at the cost of less, and charters are not the desirable choice
  • Charter schools sacrifice the large group for the few
  • Charter schools often are profit-ran businesses.
    • Charter schools make the district unequal, and they take funds away from public schools.

Round 3
Independence: If anything the data suggests charter schools are more beneficial for the students which is evident from the the waitlist of an average of 277 students waiting for enrolment. 
Public school:  517 students per school
Charter school :450 students per school. 
Private school: 166 students per school. 

 One of the key conclusions that can be drawn from the waitlist is there are more than 1.911 million students who are waiting to be enroled in a charter school. To PRO's dismay all CON has provided is unsubstatiated claims borderlining conspiracy theories. 

It is remarkably funny how CON springs up to conclusion with no backing, no charter school presence is a matter of state policy not public opinion. All the lack states is that state government does not deems it necessary to start charter schools. CON drops all relevant information and fights only on selected fronts. PRO has repeatedly stated that what a parent deems necessary for the child is neither the business of the state, nor of CON or PRO or any of the judges unless it infringes upon civil law. Parents are free to remove their child if they feel they are wronged in any way. 

Children and parents: CON repeatedly drops a certain aspect of PRO's stance which is core to PRO's arguments, there exists a standard structure of the education which serves a good majority of the student and there exists a minority of students and parents, who even though are in minority are a significant amount of the population and it is incumbent on the government to provide to them the education they deem desirable if the demands are within a resonable limit. There is nothing wrong with demanding a different type of education. 
                                                                                 PRO cannot highlight the facts enough so that CON does not skip it, Charter schools spend a disproportionate amount of money and resources towards a said objective and thus they cannot be compared to public schools. Public schools have a responsibility to excel  in an overall assessment while charters are focused. Every marking parameter CON puts up has an overall assessment. CON repeatedly drops the point that there is no way to bridge the gap between a public school education and a private education if not for charter schools. The funds that are spend on charter are from the government treasury, CON has not sourced  the US government complaining about it , CON has not sourced the parents complaining about it. The only person complaining is CON, with no backing. This is same government that spends 738 billion in defense expenditure, this is the same government that spend 10 billion dollars on police officers in New York city alone, has it occured to CON has money is not an issue for the US government. Issse is the parents of the children who have to relocate, resign from their position or ask their employer to transfer them,  or drive their children to far off magnet or private schools just because they don't agree with public school system on top of all discomfort pay exorbitant fees to the schools. 

Peers: CON argues money is pulled out of public school system to fund the charters, the claim is categorically false. The funds charters recieve is subjective to thier performance on said instructions and ojectives which are autonomously set. Thereby parents and the governing body all have a say in the process.  CON conviniently also skips the natural variance that occurs in public school system. A school environment can or cannot be competitive depends on the students. A charter however eliminates the variation, because if the parents are not interested in charter goals, they would avoid admitting their child in the charter. Thereby a fully fledged competitive environment is ensured. 

Just a normal public system suffices. 
According to who? PRO would like to us, just because CON feels the way he has no right to interject his opinion on any other person. Who has said a normal public opinion suffices ? The US government ? UNICEF ? 

There is a logical fallacy in the studies which has already been highlighted by PRO. Pennsylvania state is a living example of it, why is the number of charter schools in Pennsylvania above the national average if the education is subpar. As highlight on numerous occasions by PRO a number of charter schools close if they don't attract a lot of like minded students. Unlike the public school system these schools can be closed down, if these schools are not being closed down there is only one logical conclusion that can be drawn from it, parents want to stay away from public school system. It is their right and it cannot be taken away from them. Right to education is basic and universal. 

CON sources: PRO will not drop CON's usage of opinion pieces such as wordpress, and claim source points from the judges. Most of PRO sources have been official websites or relevant pages directing people to marking parameters that PRO has critisized for being discriminatory. CON again opts for same opinion pieces, a district superintendent feels " charter schools are cash cows". The article does not state  how or cites and corruption allegations, in a normal world it is characterized as an opinion piece. Even ISIS has opinion pieces highlighting how great they are how they are relieving the world. 

This is again one of CON's sources that PRO highlighted, CON claimed charters were racially divisive which was proved wrong by one of CON's own sources. 
Central High School's case study has been highlighted. 
Central was not just a renowned local high school. It was one of the South’s signature integration success stories. In 1979, a federal judge had ordered the merger of the city’s two largely segregated high schools into one. The move was clumsy and unpopular, but its consequences were profound. Within a few years, Central emerged as a powerhouse that snatched up National Merit Scholarships and math-competition victories just as readily as it won trophies in football, track, golf.

What happened ? 
In 2000, the local district pursued the case and called for transfer of power. How politics ruined the public high school, can be highlighted with what the district administration did next. 

Freed from court oversight, Tuscaloosa’s schools have seemed to move backwards in time. The citywide integrated high school is gone, replaced by three smaller schools. Central retains the name of the old powerhouse, but nothing more. A struggling school serving the city’s poorest part of town, it is 99 percent black.

 Not only did the local administration divide the the schools in the name of race, it destroyed a highly competitive school environment. This is exactly the scenario a charter avoid by being autonomous, it cannot be mingled or distorted to suit the local politicians. 

CON's source claims: (here is PRO's source) CON claims it supports CON, CON avoid the primary essence of the article which highlights the dramatic increase in charter school education. With CON false claims PRO will demand conduct point , as CON falsified stance. 

Concluding remarks: The essense of the debate as led by CON has been a comparison between public and charter schools, but the debate specifically said to determine whether or not charter schools are beneficial to US education and PRO's stance has been in that light. There is some added expense, but it is no financial burden for a country that spends 738 billion on defense and another 115 billion on policing. From the beginning PRO has highlighted a key stance for charters it bridged the gap of public and private education, providing an alternative to the parents. Charters shield students from politics as highlighted by one of CON's own sources and provides them with a safe environment. A six fold increase since 2000, only suggest a swing in public opinion and willingness to opt for charter education, in such a scenario any attempt by the state to limit the right of parents and children, in direct violation of universal right of education. In the recent light of CON's infrigements of falsifying stance and usage of opinion pieces to substantiate his claims, PRO claims source points. PRO's claim is also substantiated by how local politics destroyed a fully functional school as highlighted by CON's source. 
I politely concede, sadly. My opponent's points are solid and feel free to vote him.
Round 4
CON concedes. 
Thank you for reading this debate.