This week our class debated the statement, “Public Education has sold its soul to corporate interests”. Liz took the pro side, agreeing with this statement. Meanwhile, Shaleen represented the con side, disagreeing with this statement. Like always, our debate began with our jazzy theme song and then we had our pre-debate vote. As you can see, the agree side had about 10% more followers at the beginning, but this would be an interesting debate for each side.
The Pro Side: Here are some of Liz’s main points found within her video, suggested reading/recordings, and in the debate itself.
- The Common Core Standards: here Liz discussed how every student will learn the same curriculum. This becomes problematic as the common core standards does not account for things such as the hidden curriculum or place-based learning.
- Push for Standardized Testing: In this point, Liz examined the systemic issues with standardized testing and how that creates an environment where teachers are teaching to the test rather than taking part in other valuable learning experiences. Liz also pointed out how corporations, such as Pearson the textbook company, profits from each exam written; which is pointed out, in this video, how this becomes problematic for students as can potentially be made harder in order for students to have to repeat exams and thus corporations reaping the benefits.
- Corporate Sponsorship: As identified in Liz’s video and during the debate, corporations such as coke or pepsi sponsors schools. The problem with this is that through these advertisements corporations are looking to gain consumers at a young age to participate in lifelong consumerism. Liz pointed out that it is important for schools to consider the implications these types of sponsorships have on their students, which is further identified by this article Liz shared. (Additionally, Aurora made a great point during our debate, in regards to consumerism being found in students and recommended the resource: Consumerism Kids)
The Con Side: Here are some of Shaleen’s main points found within her video, suggested reading/recordings, and in the debate itself.
- Technology in the Classroom is Beneficial: In this point, Shaleen discussed how schools rely on technology. With that being said, technology is needed for schools to function in today’s society. Just as this article indicates, technology is improving students learning experiences and it is important to continue investing in that. Shaleen also addresses the Chromebook ‘takeover’, as many schools and divisions are using Chromebooks in schools K-12; in addition to the use of programs such as google classroom and drive.
- Schools determine what platforms to use: Shaleen also mentioned how schools/divisions are their reasoning for using the platforms in which they do. These decisions may be made based on available funding, ease of use, connectivity, etc. as such there are numerous factors to consider when making these types of decisions.
- Moving Away from Bad Business: Lastly, there was also the discussion of the ethical consumption of products from corporations and how schools are beginning to realize there are problems with standardization and are beginning to take actions to address this such as presented in this article shared by Shalene.
In concluding our debate, these were our results. The results were more drastic then I thought they would be, but I think it is important to acknowledge that both debaters presented a strong argument. Overall, I think this debate encompassed a conversation that was about more than technology. This debate was an interesting topic because, like our other debates, there seems to be such a middle ground; Additionally, I feel as though this topic may have been one that our class possibly had less background information about, at least it was for me. In any case, both debaters did a great job – thank you for sharing your insights on this topic.