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ABOUT THE MANHATTAN DEBATE LEAGUE
In 2011, there were less than ten schools in Manhattan with competitive debate teams. This was an educational travesty because Manhattan if counted as a city would be the sixth largest city and school system in the United States. The mission of the Manhattan Debate League is that every school in Manhattan 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 Manhattan.
“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.
Manhattan is home to some of the most successful debate teams in the United States. Schools such as the Institute for Collaborative Education, Stuyvesant High School, and Regis High School. Manhattan teams have won city, state, regional and national debate championship tournaments and have been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, and television.
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 in the borough: Anderson School, Computer School, Institute for Collaborative Education, Salk School, Stuyvesant High School, Equity Project Charter School, Simon Baruch, TAG, Success Academies, and PS 161.
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. We work with the following schools in the borough: MS 256 Academic & Athletic Excellence, PS 007 Samuel Stern, Renaissance School of the Arts, Global Neighborhood Secondary School, Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, JHS 143 Eleanor Roosevelt, and Middle School 322.
Manhattan 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.
Manhattan 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. The Manhattan Summer Debate Institute is our largest summer debate camp with several weeks of instruction for all grade levels - elementary school, middle school, and high school. We are honored that Hunter College hosts our debate camp each summer at both their undergraduate and graduate schools.
Manhattan 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.
"In this room I'm sure there is a US President, is a Governor of New York, is a US Supreme Court Justice, is the next Steve Jobs, is the next Mozart. That's the kind of brilliance and enthusiasm and passion that these kids are here today." - - Fox Executive, Vincent Cordero, Executive of Fox Deportes
“The prizes aren’t just the trophies and the medals, but the knowledge that you will keep with you forever”-Amy Ovando, 8th grade, PS 161
"The Manhattan Debate Institute has been a great help to me. It has helped me speak better, write better, and socialize better. I hope that others will gain as much from MDI as I have. Thank You MDI!" - Ifeoluwa
“When I started debate I assumed I would lose. But after one year in debate,I’ve changed a lot. Debate makes me feel alive. I am not afraid to raise my hand in class. I’m an open person. Having debate in my life means havingfreedom. Debate has taught me that sometimes you can rise above. And it brings me hope.”-Feiry Guaba, 7th grade, PS 161
Stuyvesant High School
Equity Project Charter School
Quest to Learn Middle School
Manhattan MSQI Debate Schools
MS 256 Academic & Athletic Excellence
PS 007 Samuel Stern
Renaissance School of the Arts
Global Neighborhood Secondary School
Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change
JHS 143 Eleanor Roosevelt
Middle School 322.