Our partnership with the New York City Urban Debate League was featured in the Chancellor's Letter, highlighting the impact of scholastic debate. On March 28th the NYC Urban Debate League and Bronx Debate League hosted a debate tournament at MS 45 for the Middle School Quality Initiative.
On Saturday, March 28, the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) partnered with the New York City Urban Debate League to host its third debate tournament of the 2014-15 school year. The topic, or resolution, once again was drawn from Word Generation, a research-based program designed to help middle school students acquire academic vocabulary in language arts, math, science, and social studies classes. More than 250 middle school students from 25 MSQI schools participated in the most recent tournament, and over 50 high school debaters from the Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, and ACORN Community High School volunteered as debate mentors, facilitating workshops on debate strategy and on navigating the high school admissions process. MSQI Debate League is led by its founder Ben Honoroff, one of the MSQI coaches. Matthew Doran, coach of the host school, M.S. 45, presented me with a team t-shirt sporting their team motto, “We Have Issues.” Hunters Point Community Middle School, M.S. 45, and North Star Academy took home the highest honors, but all participants were winners for dedicating their Saturday to engaging in a text-based, Common Core-aligned, academic activity. MSQI will hold its annual Debate Championships on June 12 where students will be discussing whether the federal government should provide amnesty to undocumented immigrants.