- Impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement: Evidence from the Chicago Urban Debate League. By Briana Mezuk, Irina Bondarenko, Suzanne Smith, and Eric Tucker. (Educational Research and Reviews Vol. 6(9), pp. 622-635, 5 September, 2011) This study evaluates the relationship between participating in a policy debate program and academic achievement in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district from 1997 to 2006. Key findings showed that debaters were more likely to graduate, more likely to meet ACT college-readiness benchmarks, and had greater gains in cumulative grade point average (GPA) over the course of high school relative to comparable peers. This is the largest evaluation study of a debate program on achievement, and these findings suggest that debate programs may offer a means to extend learning time and promote engagement with scholastic materials in a manner that translates into academic performance.
- Urban debate and high school educational outcomes for African American males: The case of the Chicago Debate League. By Briana Mezuk, PhD. Abstract: This study examines whether participating in competitive policy debate influences high school completion, academic achievement, and college-readiness for African American male students. The analysis examines data from the Chicago Debate League over a 10-year period from 1997 to 2006. Debate participants were 70% more likely to graduate and three-times less likely to drop out as those who did not participate, even after accounting for 8th grade test scores and GPA. Debater participants were more likely to score at or above the ACT benchmarks for college-readiness in English and Reading, but not in Science or Mathematics, than those who did not participate. While peripheral participation in debate had little impact on academic outcomes, more intense involvement significantly influenced scholastic achievement for young African American students in this urban setting.
Impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement: Evidence from the Chicago Urban Debate League, Educational Research and Reviews, September 2011 (PDF)
You can order a full print copy of the Journal of Negro Education Special Issue for the Summer 2009, Academic Success for School-age Black Males today. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Briana Mezuk or Dr. Eric Tucker.
Overview of the Ten Year Retrospect Assessment of Urban Debate and High School Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the Chicago Debate League
For more information, please contact
Dr. Briana Mezuk
Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health
Richmond, VA 23298