Debate transforms lives. A fun, engaging and academically rigorous after-school activity that builds on adolescents’ natural interests in peer learning and argument, debate inspires students to take charge of their learning, dive deeply into complex issues, become critical thinkers and problem-solvers, and find their voice.
Policy debate provides students with unparalleled 21st century skills in reading, research, critical thinking, public policy analysis, evidence-based argumentation, civic engagement, teamwork and communication. Debate is research-proven to increase GPA’s, ACT scores, and graduation rates. Debate prepares students for college and career success, and creates a culture of excellence at schools throughout the city.
A non-profit organization governed by a Board of community members, the Chicago Debate Commission was founded in 1995 and launched the Chicago Debate League in partnership with Chicago Public Schools in 1997. Starting with just five schools, the Chicago Debate League has grown into the largest and most successful of the 22 urban debate leagues around the country, serving approximately 1,300 students each year from 60-70 schools. The CDC has reached in excess of 14,000 students since its inception.