About the MSQI Initiative

In 2014, the New York City Urban Debate League and the New York City Department of Education partnered up to bring curricular debate and after school debate programs to over 100 New York City middle schools to close the achievement gap.  The MSQI debate initiative uses an evidence based argumentation curriculum to increase student literacy, writing, public speaking, and critical thinking skills.  The NYCUDL team provides schools with on site teacher training, debate resources, workshops, and monthly debate opportunities for MSQI students. Preliminary results show substantial gains in literacy for students participating in debate versus their peers who do not participate in debate.


Additional Resources about the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI)

“Middle Schools Start Longer Days with a Focus on Participation” 

“Schools Chancellor Walcott and City Council Speaker Quinn Announce Pilot Program to Extend School Day & Expansion of Middle School Quality Initiative”

A Literacy Intensive Expanded School Day

The Word Generation Curriculum 

Upcoming Tournaments

#2 January 29:

Topic: Public schools should have the ability to ban books.

There are over 600 students registered to compete in the tournament. We are beyond thrilled!

#3 May 14:

Topic: MSQI Topic 3

Location: TBA

#4 June (exact date TBA)

Topic: MSQI Topic 4

Location: TBA

Past Tournaments

#1 November 20

Topic: All public schools should begin after 8:30am.

We welcomed over 500 middle school debaters at our first MSQI tournament of the year. Thank you to Arts and Letters School in Brooklyn for hosting!