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

V I Keenan vikeenan
Fri Apr 6 19:00:47 CDT 2007

true - not entirely fair.

it is not entirely fair that we as a community have the privilege to
dismiss, obscure, joke about or deny issues based on the intellectual and
academic privilege we posses because OUR access to educational systems is
not what is in jeopardy.

it is not entirely fair that this is an issue that members of our community
can choose NOT to give a crap about because it's not important to some and
their version of the activity can go on just fine in its privileged little
enclave because no one loses funding or the opportunity to debate who is
currently included if there is no change

it is not entirely fair that we fail to regularly recognize as a college
community our collective influence on the development and expectations of
the high school debate community at all levels and where we are complicit
with the inactions of institutions that already underserve some students and
continue the privelege of others without question

it is not entirely fair that the same exact lipservice is paid year after
year in many programs and the old "throw up our hands, admissions, what do I
do?" is thrown out as the reason.

it is not entirely fair that when we try to address the above issue the
answers include,  "I'm doing enough, what else do you want from me?"

yeah . . . let's talk about "personal responsibility" . . . .

yes - there has been some discussion of what to do. Thanks to Eli and Chris
for some thoughts on the legal options, and to others with alternative
suggestions.   The last suggestion that was thrown out was really
interesting, but mostly devolved into the Andy Ellis debate biography,
rather than perhaps a more necessary discussion of a) assuming the community
college system as an answer assumes a still inadequate ed system which is
not changed or b) the resource disparities for competitive debate between
community colleges and other institutions and perhaps the unique challenges
of engaging that model.  That's my point- there is more area for
discussion.  It could be had.  I just feel that if we're not going to have
it, let's all be up front about the collective apathy and antipathy, rather
than use it as an opportunity to mock each other yet again until it dies and
we bring it up haphazardly again next year.

and just as a thought . . perhaps our willingness to engage each other in
this manner is indicative of why we have trouble with inclusion on a larger
scale.  I thought another thing we learned in this activity was how to
engage in communication constructively so that persuasion was possible.
this is what I'm calling out.  but what do I know, i think rain is wet.

I actually am asking what other options are there in states, colleges, or
other institutions. i am asking personally so that conversations I have with
high school students can take place in a realistic, open, and informed
atmosphere about where to apply to college.  I am asking for the community
because as Dave pointed out, it would be nice if when faced with the
impossibility of not getting a student with potential into our institution
we could give other information and possibilites.  I am asking because I
don't really know . . . and I was interested in community conclusions about
legal possibilites after a year on the topic because I think topic education
is  important and I'm trying to assess what we learned.

but I'm probably not being entirely fair, so let's pat ourselves on the back
again for managing to get out the 12 relevant responses we did before
mocking omri's blog and pretending we did something . . .

On 4/6/07, Josh Hoe <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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,
> Josh
> 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
> > _______________________________________________
> > eDebate mailing list
> > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> >

Vik Keenan
Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
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