It's about teaching and it's about time - Book Title
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE ASSOCIATED LEADERS OF URBAN DEBATE
In all of my years as a Program Officer at the Open Society Institute (OSI) and now as a Manager with the NYC Department of Education, I have seen no program that has exemplified effective service delivery better than urban debate. OSI’s investment yielded accelerated academic improvements, increased college participation, measurable gains in self-confidence and self-esteem and an unending series of anecdotes about the transformative effects of debate on the lives of young people in under-served communities. The expressions of excitement and pride that emanated from the young people as they won their first trophies or as they traveled outside of NYC for the first time will remain with me forever. I have no doubt that this work not only saved resources by decreasing the need for academic remediation and by improving teacher retention, but it also saved lives. The Associated Leaders of Urban Debate is the ideal organization to continue this work.
Beth Breger, NYC Department of Education, former program officer Open Society Institute
The Goldsmith Family Foundation has been pleased to be a supporter of the urban debate initiative. The Foundation is particularly impressed with the successful efforts of Urban Debate League programs in recruiting from among the most disaffected and disadvantaged students and their effectiveness in motivating and preparing these students such that they achieve academic success, graduation from high school and go on, in large numbers, to college careers. As our Foundation has decided in the last few years to focus much of its efforts on improving middle schools, we have been happy that the urban debate movement is addressing the needs of this age group, encouraging academic exploration and rigor and preparing middle school students for a smooth transition to high school. We are proud to provide our ongoing support to this effort.
Wendy Samet, Program Officer, Goldsmith Family Foundation
The work being done by the Associated Leaders of Urban Debate is simply outstanding. To see these students engaged in the important activities of critical thinking, research and public speaking is a promising signal of hope for our collective futures. Corporations should be investing heavily in this program. It pays massive returns in visible and tangible ways very quickly.
Priyal Subramanian, Harvard Business School, formerly of Goldman Sachs
WHAT PARTICIPANTS VALUE ABOUT URBAN DEBATE COMMUNITIES
Students who are disengaged in a traditional classroom setting gravitate to debate. The excitement of debate tournaments ignites their intellectual curiosity. Once their mind catches fire, the curiosity spreads to other areas of their life. They begin to ask critically-in-formed questions about their history textbooks, their neighborhoods, and the nightly news. I've seen the reading scores of students who join debate jump two grade levels in a single semester. They learn how to read passages critically and actively.
- Betty Maddox, Consultant, Atlanta Public Schools
"When I became an assistant debate coach in college at a local high school I realized that UDLs do much more than traditional academics. Through debate, students are given the opportunity to make sense of their society and learn to formulate and support rational and logical arguments. Competitive debate forces students to look outside their pre-conceived views, at both sides of an issue, and thereby deepens their ability to cope with complexity and to understand nuance."
- Van Nguyen, Brown University, UDL Alumna, Oakland
"As a result of debate, my students have developed strong interpersonal and communication skills. They present themselves and their ideas with greater confidence. In addition, they have gained better study habits and learned how to write complicated, research-based essays. These skills will serve them well in college, on the job market, and throughout life."
- Sal Tinajero, Teacher and School Board Member, Fullerton-Union High School, Los Angeles
"The economy of the United States depends to an even greater extent on the productivity and preparedness of all of our workforce. To protect and secure our way of life, we must provide all of our youth with a world-class education. Urban Debate Leagues take us a solid step closer to that goal. UDLs work with teachers to build creative and innovative classrooms. These debate leagues can help reduce the educational-opportunity gap that separates rich and poor communities and thus they can help our children's chances and our nation's future."
- Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley, former U.S. Secretary of Labor