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Author Topic: Education paper - what about sate refusal CP?  (Read 4029 times)
kelly young
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« on: May 07, 2010, 09:04:59 PM »

I agree with Malcolm that the education paper is much better than many give it credit. It rather clearly outlines the federal role in promoting a host of education problems.

However, my concern does come back to the lingering federalism/states refuse funding cp. At least 4-5 states currently are looking to refuse the 2nd round of Race to the Top funding in the SQ, despite highly strapped budgets. I know that the disad to this CP would be loss of millions in funding for certain states, but this seems like a fairly viable neg option (notwithstanding the great all 50 states cp fiat debate that is in limbo at the moment).

In fact, it seems too good. I am concerned--although not necessarily to an extent to not consider education a good topic--that this CP option will become something like the voluntary CP on the Indians topic--an A strat that is run every round that is rather difficult beat or turns every debate into a state spending DA vs. federalism/politics debate that takes us far from a education discussion.

This discussion came up as a side discussion in the larger 50 states fiat thread, but I'd like to see some more discussion of how this cp impacts the larger education topic.

Kelly
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 09:18:32 PM by stables » Logged

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Wayne State University
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stables
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 09:20:28 PM »

Ed note - I split Kelly' last post into a new thread because I think it raises an important question about the education paper and I want to make sure it is reviewed by folks as such. There was some other discussion of education, but this is a very specific item that warrants consideration.

We obviously want to promote discussion and keeping the threads organized is an important way to help our conversations.

Substantive reply to follow.
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Gordon Stables
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stables
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 09:35:34 PM »

Good question and I think this highlights why there are versions of state fiat that could be still educationally and competitively valuable.

The biggest distinction I would offer is that the Race to the Top is an important, but still relatively small aspect of the larger educational budget. Some states have certainly opted out of the second phase of the process but the evidence in the controversy paper speaks to how many states had to submit to the first phase because they had no practical alternative. The evidence about Gov Patrick having to capitulate on supporting charter schools is relevant here.

In terms of the CP, I think there are both fiat problems of all of the states choosing to decline federal funding (see the controversy paper's discussion of propensity) but also there are tremendous problems of how states would fund education. I know in the past folks view the State Spending DA as a relatively weak argument, but much of this experience pre-dates the collapse of state budgets. There really isn't a choice between federal funding and state funding. It is federal funding or no funding. This also perfectly spills back into the topic area. If bankrupt states were forced to finance their own education, it is easy to see how the privatization option would become more pressing. The discussion about Detroit having to consider wholesale privatization of their schools gives a preview of how this might develop. In other words, beyond the State Budget DA there is also the real likelihood that the CP would magnify the neoliberal influence in public schools.

There are a host of other problems, such as leadership and political problems from the states walking away from the Education Department, but the affirmative also offers an opportunity to provide a rationale for states to accept th funding (i.e, the new mandates) as well as solvency rationale for why a uniform federal approach would be better (see the civil rights discussion in the controversy paper).

Finally, this gets back to my broader concern with the States CP. If the primary argument to not debate this (or any) domestic social policy topic is that the uniform state fiat makes it undebatable I would suggest that our priorities are out of line.  There is ample literature to have this debate. The reason is found in our practices, which are within our purview to adjust.
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Gordon Stables
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Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
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kelly young
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 09:46:32 PM »

Thanks for the clarification, Gordon. Very helpful.
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