Topicality “Its”

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Topicality “Its”

1NC — Topicality “Its”


A. Interpretation — “Its” is possessive — it refers to the USFG and excludes the states.

Updegrave 91 (W.C., “Explanation of ZIP Code Address Purpose”, 8-19,

More specifically, looking at the map on page 11 of the National ZIP Code Directory, e.g. at a local post office, one will see that the first digit of a ZIP Code defines an area that includes more than one State. The first sentence of the explanatory paragraph begins: "A ZIP Code is a numerical code that identifies areas within the United States and its territories for purposes of ..." [cf. 26 CFR 1.1-1(c)]. Note the singular possessive pronoun "its", not "their", therefore carrying the implication that it relates to the "United States" as a corporation domiciled in the District of Columbia (in the singular sense), not in the sense of being the 50 States of the Union (in the plural sense). The map shows all the States of the Union, but it also shows D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, making the explanatory statement literally correct.

B. Violation — the “Common Core STATE STANDARDS Initiative” is a states’ program — the federal government is only nominally involved.

Common Core State Standards Initiative, No Date — Common Core State Standards Initiative, Copyright 2015 (“Myths vs. Facts,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, Available Online at, Accessed 06-29-2015)

Myth: The federal government will take over ownership of the Common Core State Standards initiative.

Fact: The federal government will not govern the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core was and will remain a state-led effort. The NGA Center and CCSSO are committed to developing a long-term governance structure with leadership from governors, chief state school officers, and other state policymakers to ensure the quality of the Common Core and that teachers and principals have a strong voice in the future of the standards. States and local school districts will drive implementation of the Common Core.

C. Vote Negative

1. Limits — their interpretation massively expands the size and scope of the topic by including plans that curtail surveillance done by private contractors, foreign companies, and states and localities. These cases moot functional limits by making the topic “resolved: curtail surveillance.” That’s an impossible standard for the neg.

2. Ground — surveillance by the USFG is the foundation of meaningful neg ground. They deny core private sector, state, and international counterplans and disadvantages to federal surveillance. “Not-the-USFG” arguments should be neg ground.

2NC/1NR — Interpretation

“Its” is possessive – belonging or relating to.

OED No Date Oxford English Dictionary, no date (“Its, adj. and pron.,” Oxford English Dictionary, Available Online at, Accessed 08-29-2014)

B. pron.

Categories »

As possessive pronoun: its one, its ones; that or those belonging or relating to it. Cf. his pron.1 rare.

Posessive pronouns show ownership.

Using English No Date – Using English is an online resource to aid in the proper grammatical usage of the English language. (“Term: Possessive Pronoun,” Using English, Available Online at, Accessed 08-29-2014)

Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs are the possessive pronouns used to substitute a noun and to show possession or ownership. EG. This is your disk and that's mine. (Mine substitutes the word disk and shows that it belongs to me.)

2NC/1NR — Violation

Common core is a state led program — federal incentives don’t imply control because they have already been distributed

Think Progress 15 — Think Progress, 2015 ("Every Claim In This Ted Cruz Statement Is Completely False," Byline Judd Legum, March 15th, Available Online at, Accessed 7-6-2015)

On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz — who is exploring a run for president — tweeted that he would “repeal every word” of Common Core.

We reported on the fundamental problem with this tweet: Common core is not a federal law and, therefore, cannot be repealed by the federal government.

At Bloomberg News, Dave Weigel noted that Cruz had been making similar statements for months and sought an explanation. Here is what Cruz’s spokeswoman said:

Common Core is a federally created curriculum that the state’s ‘Race to the Top’ grants are tied to. So if the state does not adopt the standards, it gives up the grant money. But since the federal government created this mess, there should be a way to undo it.

Literally every claim in that statement is false.

First, Common Core is not “federally created.” It was created by the states, on a voluntary basis. As NPR reported, “the federal government played no role in creating the standards, nor did it require that states adopt them.”

Second, Common Core is not a “curriculum.” Federal law actually prohibits the federal government to “to endorse, approve, or sanction any curriculum designed to be used in an elementary school or secondary school.” Common Core is a set of math and English guidelines that outline a set of skills one should have at the end of each grade. The curriculum used to obtain those skills is left to school districts, schools and teachers.

Third, “Race To The Top” grants were never tied to the adoption of Common Core. Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan explained in a June 2013 speech:

Our big competitive reform fund, Race to the Top, awarded points—40 points out of 500—to states that were collaborating to create common college- and career-ready standards.

It was voluntary—we didn’t mandate it—but we absolutely encouraged this state-led work because it is good for kids and good for the country.

And at the time, no one knew how many groups of states would come together to create their own set of common standards. It turned out to be one big group of 46—but it could have been several, or even many, groups of states uniting around different sets of standards. So this notion of our pushing for one set of standards was never correct. In fact, we were totally agnostic on the number of state consortia. We just didn’t want 50 states to continue to work in complete isolation from each other.

In other words, states were not required or even incentivized to create a unified “Common Core” — they chose to do so.

It’s also worth noting that the Race To The Top funding has already been distributed. So whatever modest incentives existed to adopt standards — whether they were Common Core standards or otherwise — is largely dissipated. Only 20 states received any funding and, at this point, most of that money has been spent.

Common core standards are developed, adopted, and carried out by local authorities

Lahey 14 — Jessica Lahey, contributing writer for The Atlantic and an English teacher, 2014 (“Confusing Math Homework? Don’t Blame the Common Core,” The Atlantic, April 3rd, available online at, Accessed 7-8-15)

It is important to note that while the Common Core State Standards have been voluntarily implemented in all but five states, neither the Common Core State Standards nor curriculum are federally mandated. Education has always been locally controlled, and it is up to individual states, districts, or schools to teach the standards via a curriculum of their choosing, such as Everyday Math or Singapore Math, and this is where the blame for the confusing math methodology lies.

This distinction may seem like a nitpicky matter of semantics, but it is not. In order to have an honest and productive debate about the efficacy of the Common Core State Standards, we must separate fact from fiction, and the idea that a particular confusing math curriculum is part and parcel of the Common Core is fiction. Bill Schmidt, Director of the Center for the Study of Curriculum at Michigan State University, agrees. “The trouble is that many claim to represent the Common Core when they don’t, and that confuses parents.”

The USFG does not lead or implement Common Core.

Common Core State Standards Initiative, No Date — Common Core State Standards Initiative, Copyright 2015 (“Myths vs. Facts,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, Available Online at, Accessed 06-29-2015)

Myth: The standards will be implemented through No Child Left Behind (NCLB), signifying that the federal government will be leading them.

Fact: The Common Core is a state‐led effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind or any other federal initiative. The federal government played no role in the development of the Common Core. State adoption of the standards is in no way mandatory. States began the work to create clear, consistent standards before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided funding for the Race to the Top grant program. It also began before the Elementary and Secondary Education Act blueprint was released, because this work is being driven by the needs of the states, not the federal government. Learn more about the development process here.

The federal government did not require states implement Common Core.

Common Core State Standards Initiative, No Date — Common Core State Standards Initiative, Copyright 2015 (“Myths vs. Facts,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, Available Online at, Accessed 06-29-2015)

Myth: The Common Core State Standards were adopted by states as part of the Race to the Top grant program.

Fact: Recognizing the strength of having high standards for all students, the federal government gave competitive advantage to Race to the Top applicants that demonstrated that they had or planned to adopt college- and career-ready standards for all students. The program did not specify the Common Core or prevent states from creating their own, separate college- and career-ready standards. States and territories voluntarily chose to adopt the Common Core to prepare their students for college, career, and life. Many states that were not chosen for Race to the Top grants continue to implement the Common Core.

Common Core is a state program — federal involvement is supplementary at best.

Fitzgerald 11 — Corey Fitzgerald, Training and Development Manager for Scientific Learning, an education company applying brain-based research to classroom curriculum, former high school AP Bio Teacher, 2011 (“Endorsing the Common Core State Standards Initiative,” Scientific Learning, May 26th, Available Online at, Accessed 06-29-2015)

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to provide a nationally consistent framework that will ready American students for success in college and in the global workforce. To date, 44 states have adopted the common core standards approach and numerous public and private business partners, including Scientific Learning, have endorsed this vision of consistence and clarity in our nation’s education system.

What’s important to recognize is that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is NOT a directive from the federal government. Each state voluntarily adopts the standards based on timelines and context within their state; this is key. The role of the federal government will be to support states as they begin to implement this approach by providing flexibility in the use of existing federal funds, accountability metrics and revise or align existing federal education laws with the lessons learned from past initiatives. The outcome will be a more collaborative state- and federal-level relationship that will focus on employing the best practices and highest evidence-based outcomes from educational research across the country.

Common Core itself doesn’t require collecting any data — all data collection is state-led and separate from the program as a whole.

Common Core State Standards Initiative, No Date — Common Core State Standards Initiative, Copyright 2015 (“Myths vs. Facts,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, Available Online at, Accessed 06-29-2015)

Myth: The Common Core State Standards will result in a national database of private student information.

Fact: There are no data collection requirements for states adopting the standards. Standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Implementing the Common Core State Standards does not require data collection. The means of assessing students and the use of the data that result from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state and are separate and unique from the Common Core.

Common Core is state surveillance — the Federal Government only has access. The states collect and store the information.

Cook 13 — Joshua Cook, MBA, reporter, writer for whose work has appeared on DrudgeReport, InfoWars,, Daily Caller and, 2013 (“Common Core is the Most Dangerous Domestic Spying Program,” Freedom Outpost, September 2nd, Available Online at, Accessed 06-22-2015)

Like Common Core, states were bribed with grant money from the federal government to implement data mining, and 47 states have now implemented some form of data mining from the educational system. Only 9 have implemented the full Common Core data mining program. Though there are restrictions which make storing data difficult on the federal level, states can easily store the data and allow the federal government to access it at its own discretion.

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