Tulsa Debate League

Think. Communicate. Engage.

About Tulsa Debate

Debate prepares students to thrive in the 21st century. Debaters learn how to think critically - to unpack arguments, dissect research, and evaluate choices. They learn how to communicate - to explain complex concepts and articulate them to diverse audiences. And they learn how to engage in the world - to understand multiple perspectives and make an impact on the world. Research shows that debate can dramatically close the achievement gap in urban school districts - debaters are more likely to graduate from high school, meet college-readiness benchmarks and achieve greater cumulative grade point average than their peers.

 

The Tulsa Debate League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting students and teachers in Tulsa Public Schools. As an urban debate league, we are dedicated to expanding access to the activity to schools and students who have traditionally lacked access. We organize competitions, fund programs and summer camps, and provide professional development to teachers and coaches.

 

The Tulsa Debate League serves seven TPS high schools in 2015: Will Rogers, Daniel Webster, Central, East Central, Nathan Hale, McLain, and Booker T. Washington.

Our Program

The Tulsa Debate League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner of Tulsa Public Schools. Modeled after the most effective urban debate leagues in the country, we organize competitions, fund programs and summer camps, and provide professional development to teachers and coaches.

 

How we help TPS schools:

  • Provide professional development to coaches, including hosting coaches workshops and mentoring coaches
  • Organize tournaments (see schedule)
  • Fund travel and tournament costs
  • Support summer camp opportunities for students
  • Partner with universities to offer college access resources

We support two types of debate:

Policy Debate

The League primarily supports “policy” or “cross-examination” debate. Policy debate involves teams of two students each who argue for and against a year-long resolution. The resolution for 2015-2016 is:

 

The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance programs.

 

Teams alternate sides throughout competitions, requiring them to prepare to support or refute plans to, for example, decrease surveillance. Policy debates contain eight speeches, and four periods of “cross-examination,” where the debaters are allowed to ask each other questions.

Public Forum Debate

The League will also support Public Forum debate, which is similar to policy debate, but topics alternate more frequently.

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