From the Christian Science Monitor:
But the Urban Prep charter school, located in the city’s tough Englewood neighborhood, has produced a very different statistic. In March, this school, which is made up of young African-American men, announced that all 107 boys in its first graduating class have been accepted to a four-year college. Just 4 percent of those seniors were reading at grade level as freshmen.
There are I’m sure many lessons to be taken from this one shining example of American secondary education. Others have already spoken well on the transformative capacity of the charter school model. But that’s not all that’s at work here. One less obvious lesson is that Urban Prep is active in one of the most vibrant debate leagues in America through the sanction of the Chicago Debate League.
Here is Alfred Snider with more:
Even more dramatically, in schools with 90% or more Title I students, participation in the CDL grew by 192%, almost tripling the number of debaters in one year. Moreover, a substantial portion of this growth is from returning schools, not simply the addition of new schools. Returning school growth adds to our overall participation numbers in a very cost-efficient manner.
Low-income students in Chicago are in greatest need of the transformative benefits of competitive academic debate. The Chicago Debate Commission focused a substantial share of its own human and organizational resources to build interest in debate in our schools with high Title I rates. Increasing the percentage of first-generation college students and decreasing the racial achievement gap are proven outcomes of the CDL’s research-driven intervention.