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ABOUT THE BROOKLYN DEBATE LEAGUE
ABOUT THE BROOKLYN DEBATE LEAGUE
In 2011, there were less than five schools in Brooklyn with competitive debate teams. This was an educational travesty because Brooklyn if counted as a city would be the third largest city and school system in the United States. The mission of the Brooklyn Debate League is that every school in Brooklyn should have a debate team and every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Thanks to support from the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Council our program is free for Title I schools in Brooklyn.
“Competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity. In a number of respects, competitive urban debate is uniquely suited to building what’s been called the ‘Four C’s’ of 21st century skills—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. And to that list I might add a fifth ‘C’— for civic awareness and engagement.” - US Secretary of Education honoring our debaters in Washington DC. Our debaters won 1st in the nation and visited the White House to meet the President.
Through independent peer-reviewed research we know that urban debate prepares students to succeed in school and in life.
90% of urban debaters graduate on time.
72% of urban debaters with the highest risk of dropping out graduate on time.
Each semester that a student debates, his/her grades will improve.
At graduation, the average GPA of an urban debater is 3.23, significantly above the college readiness benchmark.
Debaters are more likely to test as college ready.
After graduating from high school, 86% of urban debaters enroll in college.
Urban debaters are 80% more likely to graduate from college.
Urban debate prepares students for twenty-first century careers.
Brooklyn is home to some of the most successful debate teams in the United States. ACORN Community High School won 1st place at the National Association of Urban Debate League’s National Championship. KIPP Academy won top awards at the National Middle School Debate Championship - the largest academic competition in the world. Brooklyn Tech High School and ACORN Community High School have won numerous city, regional, state and national debate titles including qualifying debaters to the nation’s most prestigious debate tournament - the Tournament of Champions. Brooklyn Tech also was a Finalist in the International Debate Championships as well.
Interscholastic Debate Program
Our interscholastic debate program or after school debate program supports school based debate teams. We provide monthly tournaments, workshops, professional development, and any other support to start and sustain successful debate teams. We work with the following schools: All City High School, Benjamin Banneker High School, Frederick Douglas Academy, KIPP Academy, Berkeley Carroll, Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, Excellence Boys Charter School, J.H.S. 302 Rafael Cordero, Hunters Point Community, MS 318
Curricular Debate Programming
In partnership with the Middle School Quality Initiative we work with schools to implement debate across the curriculum in every subject area. These schools include: Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts, J.H.S. 050 John D. Wells, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, P.S. 157 Benjamin Franklin, I.S. 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos, J.H.S. 088 Peter Rouget, J.H.S. 057 Whitelaw Reid, P.S. 308, Clara Cardwell, School of Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship, Upper School @ P.S. 25, M.S. 246 Walt Whitman, I.S. 340, M.S. K394, I.S. 211 John Wilson, The Science and Medicine Middle School, East Flatbush Community Research School, Middle School of Marketing and Legal Studies, I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington, J.H.S. 062 Ditmas, I.S. 096 Seth Low, J.H.S. 014 Shell Bank, P.S. 109, Andries Hudde, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School, Kappa V
Brooklyn Debate Tournaments
Our core program are monthly Saturday tournaments. We provide at least three rounds of debate competitions, workshops, breakfast, lunch and an awards ceremony for all students.
Brooklyn Summer Debate Institute
Our debate program is year round. During the summer we offer a free summer debate institute for students. Our Debate Institute offers a rigorous curriculum of public speaking, research, rhetoric, current events, and public policy. Mornings include lectures on debate skills and topics and afternoons are devoted to small lab groups to practice debate skills. The debate institute culminates with a summer debate tournament.
Brooklyn Travel Debate Team
We also support travel scholarships for the top high school debaters. This allows students the opportunity to travel and compete at some of the top tournaments on the East Coast including Harvard University, Yale University, and other out of state and national tournaments.
We have a program director and outreach staff who visit schools to help train teachers who are new to debate and start and sustain successful debate programs.
New York City Urban Debate League Citywide Programs
All our programs throughout the city are available for all students. We offer tournaments nearly every weekend, workshops and Debate Nights every month, citywide debate invitationals, summer debate institutes in each borough, the New York City Debate Championships, and other debate opportunities year round.