The Season in Review

The 2009/10 Chicago Debate League season is officially over and with summer vacation set to begin, now is an appropriate time to report on salient season-long data and late-season highlights. These particular results for the CDL stand out:

* The total number of tournament debaters increased 7%, further surpassing our historic growth last year.

* Sustained participation increased. Compared to last season’s second half, participation grew by 7% at Tournament Four, 18% at Tournament Five and 38% at the Chicago Debate Championship, which is Tournament Six.

* Middle School participation jumped by 25% compared to last year, in part due to the increased role of the Chicago Debate Commission in administering and supporting that division.

* Corporate-sponsored events reached new heights, as 19 high schools participated in events administered by the CDC and sponsored by our corporate partners.

* Available resources for the CDC grew by approximately 20%, primarily due to higher levels of private-sector sponsorship. For example, corporate sponsorship revenues, which are entirely used to directly support the CDL, grew by 81%.

Through the tremendous support of our private sector allies and the Chicago Public Schools, the 2009-10 season surpassed an increasingly high standard that the CDL is setting. Working together with these partners, our outstanding teachers and administrators provided our students a great, great opportunity this year. The CDC thanks you!

The Chicago Debate Chronicle, is the voice of the CDL and the articles in this issue dig a little deeper into many of the league’s late-season stories.

Most notably, the Chicago Debate League won its sixth consecutive national urban debate title at the 2010 Chase Urban Debate National Championship.

The team that brought home the trophy, from Whitney Young H.S., had a season of accomplishment that was unprecedented not only in the history of the Chicago Debate League, but never before seen in the history of urban debate. Take a moment to get to know Misael Gonzalez and Kevin Hirn a little better.

The truly remarkable success story of Champaign Central H.S., who regularly traveled a 140-mile stretch of highway to participate in CDL events as a guest school, is every bit as impressive as that of Whitney Young.

We also report on two recent events for younger debaters. The law firm of McDermott Will and Emery hosted the first Urban Debate Junior Varsity Invitational at their downtown law offices. And the third Chicago Middle School Debate Championship, a wonderful event for the younger debaters from across the city, was hosted by Lindblom Math and Science Academy in March.

We introduce you to the Manager of the CDL for Chicago Public Schools and the Office of Student Services and Engagement, Sylvia Nelson Jordan, a dynamic and very effective central office administrator for Chicago Public Schools — whom we’re lucky to have as our partner!

Finally, this issue of the Chronicle continues to bring you the voices of our city’s debaters, as they describe their experience in the CDL — always well worth listening to.