[eDebate] Re-thinking the States Counterplan

Pacedebate at aol.com Pacedebate
Sat Apr 4 19:55:34 CDT 2009

I wanted to start my responses to the various posts with two caveats:
1) I'm really speaking more about the high school community. I'm less  
concerned with college debate practice given that I see it,  particularly national 
circuit ndt competition, primarily as a game for  people who decide to do this 
instead of playing XBox or whatever. Not to say  there isn't educational value 
to debate in college but my perspective is  necessarily more focused on high 
school debate. Given the high school  environment I think we should be 
uniquely concerned with tying debate practices  to educational goals.
2) Even my high school perspective is an exclusive one focusing primarily  on 
high school students who attend summer institutes and compete on the national 
 circuit. So when I say "many high school students" those few folks willing 
to  wade through all this will know that I'm speaking about a particular group 
of  students and what practices I think will benefit them.
Now some line by line....
In a message dated 4/4/2009 1:38:21 P.M. Mountain Daylight Time,  
jbhdb8 at gmail.com writes:

Personally, I agree with most everyone on the "State CP = death of  poverty 
topic" tip......not hard to agree with this...I do have a few  questions for 
the extremely far right "don't teach the State CP" version of  this:
First, doesn't this kind of sellout many of our deepest held beliefs  about 
letting the best argument win the day and let debate lead  theory?

This is why I started with the caveat about high school. 10 years of  
coaching high school debate has radically changed my beliefs about this notion.  
Summer institutes and the work done there dominate the high school scene. There  
are a number of reasons why this is the case but the primary one is the large  
number of very successful debaters that receive little to no coaching during 
the  season. Very few people who haven't coached high school debate can  
understand how truly dominating the presence of camp work is during the season.  
Relative to the number of debates that take place in high school there is very  
little argument innovation. It isn't uncommon to find teams reading verbatim  
their camp aff at season ending tournaments. What they leave camp with is what  
they have. What they learn at camp is a large portion of the knowledge  they 
will use during the season.

Second, how does one get practice beating the states CP on a topic where  
people will 100% run the state CP when we don't even "introduce it" at camps  
etc.  Seems to me most of us got our hard opinions about this CP after  decades 
of debating it.....Removing it only means less well thought out  answers and 
discussion among judging pools on how best to defeat it.   

For the next few years people would run it. Just like people  still run 
Ashtar - the states cp will never totally disappear but if it isn't  taught at 
camps it will become less and less common. And, I didn't say don't  teach people 
how to beat the states cp. It's quite possible to talk about how to  defeat an 
argument without including that in a camp curriculum as a core  argument. As I 
stated, each instructor should definitely spend time talking  about their 
favorite theory argument to beat the states cp. If several camps  didn't teach it 
but did teach how to beat it this argument would be  substantially less 
common next year. 
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