An Argument is More Than a Debate Essay

An Argument is More Than a Debate

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The Editorial

            In the editorial Ending the ‘Race to the Bottom’, the author writes about the policies which Obama had mentioned in his speech for improving the quality of education in some states. The author points out that how Obama differed from his predecessor in numerous aspects while speaking about this issue. Obama was frank and forthright; as he went on to mention the name of the states, in which the quality of education was lower compared to the quality of education in other states. The author comments on the various policies that Obama has decided to implement to bring changes in the field of education. The author supports some of Obama’s policies while criticizes a particular policy.

Writing Style

            The author utilizes a style of writing which is aimed at convincing the reader. The author presents his opinions in a manner which makes the reader to think about the issue. For instance when the author writes about Obama’s policy which allowed the opening of charter schools, he first mentions about the policy. “In an effort to broaden innovation, the president called for lifting state and city caps on charter schools.” (The New York Times). Then he proceeds to explain its benefits, “This could be a good thing, but only if the new charter schools are run by groups with a proven record of excellence.” (The New York Times). But immediately, he goes on to mention about its negative impact in the field of school education. “Once charter schools have opened, it becomes politically difficult to close them, even in cases where they are bad or worse than their traditional counterparts.” (The New York Times). The manner in which the author has presented his thoughts makes the reader to judge the policy by considering its pros and cons. The decision regarding the effectiveness of the policy is questioned by the author, but at the same time he refrains from giving his judgment. It is the reader who has to decide whether the policy is effective or not.

            The author provides his judgment on some points. After explaining the various policies announced by Obama to improve the quality of education in schools across all the states, the author states his judgment. “The stimulus package can jump-start the reforms that Mr. Obama laid out in his speech.” (The New York Times). Along with his judgment, the author offers some of his suggestions which will aid in successful working of these policies. “But Congress will need to broaden and sustain those reforms in the upcoming reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.” (The New York Times). The author concludes his article with a final statement which presents his opinion in a firm manner. “Only Congress can fully replace the race to the bottom with a race to the top.” (The New York Times).  The concluding sentence of the article sums up the whole message the author wants to convey through his article.


            The opinion of the author cannot be taken as an accurate assessment of the policies, announced by Obama. The author has judged the situation on the basis of his views and thoughts. The policies that Obama aims to implement can bring drastic changes in the schools all over America. The author fails to provide this aspect in his article. The reader should be made aware of the positive impacts of the policies also.

            Some of the reforms that Obama announced in his speech seemed to be very effective. “He also called for incentive pay for teachers who work in shortage areas like math and science and merit pay for teachers who are shown to produce the largest achievement gains over time.” (The New York Times). These steps may prove beneficial in encouraging the teachers to perform at their optimum levels. The author fails to mention about the impact these steps can have on the attitude of the teachers and the quality of education being imparted in the schools. Another significant thing mentioned by Obama is the removal of teachers who fail to perform up to the expected level. “At the same time, the president called for removing underperforming teachers from the classroom.” (The New York Times). The author overlooks the changes that these reforms will bring in the field of school education. Although these steps cannot alter the scenario completely, they can aid in bringing positive changes in schools by inspiring the teachers to give their best while teaching the students. The reader is persuaded by the author to look at the drawbacks of the policies which Obama had mentioned in his speech. But there are numerous positive aspects regarding these policies and it is here that the author fails to bring it to the notice of the reader.

            The article should provide the positive and negative aspects of an issue. In this article, the author seems to focus more on negative side than the positive side. The opinion of the author is influenced by his thoughts rather the need of presenting the accurate facts to the reader. The reader is convinced by the author regarding the negative effects, but the question related to the chances of the positive changes is left unanswered.


The New York Times. [2009]. Ending the ‘Race to the Bottom’.   Retrieved  March, 22 2009 from


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