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Making the Case for Student Debate Leagues

Education Next

Boston Debate League (BDL) uses debate as a tool to boost academic performance, improve critical thinking and public speaking skills, and increase high-school graduation rates and college enrollment. The program, which includes novice, junior varsity, and varsity divisions, is designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all students. Research shows that participating in policy debate as an extracurricular activity can have a positive impact on students’ academic performance, particularly for low-achieving students. BDL also provides students with a sense of community and social and emotional support, and helps them develop advocacy skills that can be applied in the classroom, college, and workplace.

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