New York City Urban Debate League

Doubles Out of School Time Learning

A typical debater engages in an additional 597 academic instruction hours each year or 85 extra school days, which is over triple the length of summer school. A debater participates in daily practices and workshops every week (160 hours/year), tournaments every weekend (360 hours/year), summer camps (77 hours/summer). But it is not simply quantity – its the quality of that intellectual engagement. A debater researches, analyzes, criticizes, writes, reads, thinks, listens, speaks and argues on subjects not covered in the typical high school curriculum – even the most elite high schools in the nation – philosophy, critical theory, rhetoric, logic, law, ethnic studies, international studies, feminism, and many other college level disciples. “Those 4 years in debate were the educational foundation of everything I did. And I don’t mean that in some simple form…I’m saying the finest education I got from any of the institutions I attended, the foundation of my mind that I got during those 4 years of competitive policy debate; that is, 90% of the intellectual capacity that I operate with today–Fordham [University] for college, Fordham for the Ph.D., Harvard for law school–all of that is the other 10%.” 

– John SextonPresident of NYU, and former New York City High School Debate Coach of 10 years in Brooklyn