DEBATE CLOSES THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT GAP
“The New York City Urban Debate League is a program that empowers underserved students while immersing them in public speaking, research techniques, civics, law and ethnic studies. Along with countless debating trophies, the program boasts years of data showing that their alums have higher grade point averages, high school graduation rates, college acceptances and number of scholarships than their peers.”– Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the First Lady of the United States, and the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, honoring us with the National Arts and Humanities Award for one of the top after school programs in the nation in the arts and humanities
“Those who think public education is a lost cause should look no further than M.S. 50 in Williamsburg. There, Principal Ben Honoroff has leveraged his school’s Renewal resources, including additional learning time, to create a championship debate team. The debate program has not only won city-wide tournaments, but it has sharpened students’ critical thinking skills and helped them perform better on State ELA and math exams.”Carmen Farina
IN-Tech’s debate coach and Middle School Dean Wendy Spector said the skills learned from debating also help writing, research, reading and speaking skills for participants. “It’s a structured environment to prove your point, to go back and forth. We all know that teenagers love to do that [and] prove their point,” laughed Ms. Spector. IN-Tech has participated in middle-school debates for four years.
In addition to boosting academic skills, IN-Tech assistant principal Jim O’Toole said, he has seen more self-confidence and increased classroom participation and social skills in students.
According to figures from the Education Department, IN-Tech students’ performance on the state English test has improved dramatically over the past couple of years. In the 2013-2014 school year, only 14 percent of middle school students at the Kingsbridge school met New York State standards on the state English test, compared to 27 percent in the city and 15 percent in the district. The following year, the number rose slightly to 16 percent, but then nearly doubled to 30 percent in the 2015-2016 school year.
http://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/Debates-help-students-improve-skills,61282Dean Wendy Spector and Assistant Principal Jim O’Toole