I’m happy to announce that Ethos’ first NSDA LD Sourcebook (on the Sept/Oct topic of standardized testing) is available for purchase!

At over 90 pages, this release is a little bit smaller than the sourcebooks that will be coming in the future (125+ pgs), but will come with a free bonus release in late September! All who purchase the brief can provide input into what you’d like to see for our bonus release! What to expect in the brief:

Topic Analyses:

  1. First Glance: Definitions, Background
  2. Debating Exclusion Frameworks
  3. Crafting & Refuting Alternative Standards
  4. Statistical Analysis and Decision-Making in Debate
  5. Negative Framework Strategy and Analysis

Key Arguments:

  1. AFF – Value Frameworks
  2. AFF – Criticism of Admissions Standardized Testing
  3. AFF – Alternatives Better
  4. NEG – Value Frameworks
  5. NEG – Alternatives Worse
  6. NEG – Benefits of Admissions Standardized Testing
  7. NEG – Alt Causes to Inequality / Alt Solutions
  8. NEG – Homeschooling Application

Excerpt of Crafting and Refuting Alternative Standards by Cayleigh Soderholm:

“A major portion of this debate lies in the counterfactual world. In a world where colleges and universities do not use standardized tests for undergraduate admissions decisions, there will still be admissions processes, and these processes will necessarily be more or less just than the status quo. On both sides, having a clear and articulate conception of what those processes look like will make the debate better and more winnable in several ways. This analysis seeks to sum up the arguments covered within the sourcebook relating to alternative methods of admissions and provide a broader picture of this pivotal evidence-based clash point in the debate. Wise debaters will understand the debate is necessarily comparative, and craft arguments to win on the comparative.

Every wise negative should push affirmatives to specify what admissions processes would look like without standardized testing, enabling them to engage in argumentation to disarm affirmative offense on the contention-level. As a result, every affirmative should be prepared to provide answers, and pre-emptively engage in the comparison of worlds. Let’s explore some specific arguments.

Affirmatives and Alternatives

On aff, your job is to prove that college admissions officers can do their jobs just as well as, if not better than they do now, without standardized tests. Just listing the disadvantages of standardized tests won’t be enough, especially against a well-prepared neg that has good evidence about the likely alternatives. These alternatives will probably include, at the very least, the other factors currently present in existing admissions processes—think GPA, essays, extracurriculars, and interviews. As I’ll cover later, there is lots of evidence that these alternatives are more arbitrary and subject to human error and bias than standardized tests are. There are three main ways to respond to this argument…”

Want to learn more and prepare yourself for debates?

Buy a copy of our Sept/Oct LD Sourcebook!

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