[eDebate] do y'all even remember the original question?

Josh Hoe jbhdb8
Fri Apr 6 18:06:23 CDT 2007

I dont know if this is entirely fair either, there were many answers and
suggestions directly related to debate and responsibility throughout this
exchange....There have also been ad homs and goofs,


On 4/6/07, V I Keenan <vikeenan at gmail.com> wrote:
> things we have learned from the preceding exchanges:
> A. Debate does NOT, as previously thought, develop critical reading skills
> B. Critical thinking skills may be developed, but it's obscured by the
> fact that we STILL can't interpret humor and sarcasm correctly via
> electronic media.  (maybe we all need more emoticons).
> C. We are capable of engaging in a meaningful discussion of an issue for
> about a maximum of 3 posts in a row.
> I have found myself agreeing with a korcok post on edebate.  perhaps the
> snow outside my window is hell freezing over . .  .
> alas, despite the "hilarity" (cause that's what I read edebate for?) none
> of it answers the original question at hand:
> School systems are screwed up and unequal.  Bright kids with potential
> develop more potential via debate.  However; debate does not solve for all
> of the inadequacies of the educational system.  Therefore, bright students
> with potential will not have the opportunity to attend more privileged or
> competitive institutions via debate because entrance requirements do not
> account for these inadequacies.
> Theorectically, some of us care that the higher ed system we coach in is
> replicating the elitism and privilege of society because of these access
> issues.  This is problematic for any number of reasons (poor policymaker
> training in a "democratic" society as the opinions heard are not
> representative of the population served by said policies, poor activist
> training as it prevents widescale practice of coalition building, FAILURE at
> the basic pedagogical impulse that if debate teaches so many damn great
> skills then they ought to available to others or else we replicate unequal
> educational opportunities, true claims of elitism - to quote Bring It On, I
> define being the best as competing and beating the best, which isn't true if
> people just can't get to the game).  If we care, we hope to implement
> policies and practices that may address the issue.
> We have heard a few ideas thrown out:
> 1.  sue the system (colleges?) to demonstrate that admissions policies
> have racist implications in an unequal educational world wrought by de facto
> segregation
> 2. personal activism - change one mind at a time to get a critical mass to
> care (vote, hold hands, wear buttons, sing kumbaiya)
> 3. recruit, and when they can't get in your institution, hope to find them
> someplace else to go
> 4. identify alternative access programs which account for these
> discrepancies (ie HEOP) and publicize and exploit them to the students we
> know.  Identify similar programs or initiatives in other states/schools
> 5. accept the system is flawed and screwed up and focus on COMMUNITY
> COLLEGES to access the students we are talking about where they are and go
> from their
> 6. pay lip service because it makes you look better but in reality do
> nothing
> 7. say AND do nothing because you just don't care - and own up to it.
> 8.  make a joke out of it
> 9.  lobby ad hom's at folks until the issue is forgotten in the blur
> I'll also throw out:
> 10. "Coalition" build by sharing resources between more and less
> privileged institutions so that larger educational access at least does not
> deny a certain kind of debate access which can supplement education.
> Did I miss anything?  Anyone notice where the discussion may have gone
> awry . . .?  Seriously, other thoughts on the possibilities of institutional
> change?
> if not, I'm going back to playing with Jimbo's Bard Coaching puppets.
> Collect them all.  I hear the HegeMom controls the strings of the others
> :)
> or, if you don't want to talk about this subject - JOIN THE DAMN TOPIC
> -VIK
> --
> Vik Keenan
> Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
> Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
> 212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
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