Based on the arguments that have been produced at camp, the education topic is quite large – there are many different affirmative cases, and many of those cases have different advantages.
The only place the topic is narrow is on the negative – there are few arguments, and those are certainly of varying quality.
Generally speaking the disadvantages are quite weak, but the states counterplan and the kritiks are strong.
So, the question of the topic starts to narrow a bit to three essential questions:
What are the cases the states counterplan can’t solve (well) for, and what are the most reasonable net-benefits to that counterplan (politics, federal spending, federalism)? ON a related matter, will those net-benefits be able to outweigh any solvency deficit to the counterplan?
Two, what cases provide the most leverage against the capitalism/neoliberalism and race kritiks? These are strong kritiks on this his topic, and just like debating the states counterplan, you will need a affirmative that is well positioned against these two arguments to win. And not only will it need to be well-positioned against these two arguments, but it will need to defeat the popular states counterplan strategy as well. Oh, and it will need to be topical.
Passing all of these tests will be easier said than done.
Although strategic necessity and natural inertia will limit the topic to a degree, it is important for debaters and coaches to understand the full bread of the topic, both so they can choose the best arguments, but also so they can understand any arguments they may encounter during the season. For this reason, this set of articles covers all known arguments written at debate camps this summer.
The article is broken down into the following sections – advantages, plans/cases, disadvantages, counterplans, and kritiks.
I break it down this way for a couple reasons.
First, you will see that although there are many cases that there are only so many advantages. Even if you are not prepared to debate particular cases, if you are prepared to debate the advantages you can minimize any solvency deficits to your and outweigh any deficit with a disadvantage. And, well, you may not need a counterplan at all. Even if you lack evidence on a specific case, you may be able to simply outweigh what’s left of the advantage if you are able to play strong defense.
Second, with the disadvantages and kritiks, you need to strongly think both about what you want to develop as offense for the negative and how you defeat the offense when you are affirmative.
Third, you want to choose the best case that you can use to defeat these arguments. Often, that will mean selecting the most strategic advantages.
A Note about Topicality
This year’s debate resolution reads,
Unlike in previous years, there are not a lot of strong topicality arguments, but there are a few topicality issues you need to keep in mind when preparing for your debates.
Regulation. Most definitions say that a regulation is a binding dictate. A regulate is not merely a suggestion. This is important because if the plan is based on a regulatory action, it must be a binding one.
Funding is money. This seems obvious, but Affirmative teams should not be able to argue that funding is simply technical assistance or non-monetary support. If their plan is topical under, “funding,” they must spend money.
Federal government. The federal government is the central government in Washington, DC. Winning this interpretation (it is the commonly understood one), is important to link the disadvantages to federal action– spending, politics, federalism, court disadvantages (see the disadvantages section for more details)
Should is mandatory/obligatory. This argument is simply used to set-up the process counterplans (conditions, referendums – see the counterplan essay), because if should is obligatory than there can’t be any chance the plan won’t be implemented.
In means throughout. This is just a “cheap” topicality argument that says the plan has to be done everywhere in the US, not just in a particular part of the United States.