Good arguments lead to success

Dallas ISD and the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance collaborate to offer debate opportunities to secondary students and provide resources to debate coaches, including curriculum, alumni visits, and workshops.

Neri Sandoval, debate coach at the School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, has seen his students benefit from this collaboration and resources with their  recent qualification for the UIL State CX Debate Meet.

TAG and four other high schools advanced to the UIL State CX Debate Meet, which will be held at The University of Texas in Austin on March 15-16. Additionally, four schools have qualified for the Texas Forensic Association State Tournament in Houston, taking place from March 6-10.

Sandoval thinks that participation in debate has improved his students’ chances of maximizing the benefits from the forensic experience, such as scholarships, networking opportunities, and academic skills that are essential for completing college.

“Our students are strong competitors due to the invaluable support and intricate debate strategies provided by DUDA and Dallas ISD,” Sandoval said.

Evan Gilbert, the Program Director for DUDA and an alumnus of Dallas ISD, conducts campus visits throughout the year to support students and coaches in enhancing their skills.

“Campus visits with experienced individuals can be highly effective in helping Dallas ISD students connect to larger events outside of DUDA, as well as gain a better understanding of debate and its impact,” Gilbert said.

Michelle Read, Student Activities coordinator, said having access to the necessary support makes a significant difference for debaters.

“Debate coaches and their teams receive the level of assistance they need to excel, and as a result, students are being recognized and rewarded for their hard work,” she said.

Dallas ISD has 109 debate coaches from 66 campuses who work with debaters in middle and high schools to engage them in real-time, real-world issues while preparing them for competitions.

Since 2019, Student Activities has observed a 14% increase in the number of secondary students participating in debate. More than 1,100 secondary students are currently participating in Dallas ISD debate programs, making it the second-largest debate program in the United States, according to the National Alliance of Urban Debate Leagues.

Read said because of the increase in support, the district is witnessing more students qualifying for state and national-level competitions compared to previous years.

In addition to receiving accolades from the University Interscholastic League and the Texas Forensic Association, DUDA organized six local tournaments and conducted two debate workshops for secondary debate programs. These events were held in preparation for the City Championship in December. The top-performing schools were recognized and awarded in three debate categories: Policy, World Schools, and Community Action Debate.

Future opportunities for scholarship and national-level competitions are on the horizon.

In April, the National Alliance of Urban Debate Leagues Championship takes place at Northwestern University in Chicago. In May, Dallas ISD will host the annual Parrish Scholarship Debate, in which participants become eligible to receive funding for college. To date, Dallas ISD debaters have received $81,000 from the Parrish Charitable Foundation. Finally, in June, Des Moines, Iowa, will host the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament for middle and high school debaters who qualify.

CX Debate Teams Advancing to UI State Meet in Austin:

  • Sunset High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • W.W. Samuell High School
  • Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet
  • School for the Talented and Gifted

Policy & World Schools Debate Teams Qualifying for TFA State in Houston:

  • North Dallas High School
  • Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School
  • Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet
  • North Lake Early College High School

DUDA Fall High School Community Action Debate Champions:

  • Moisés E. Molina High School
  • Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy

DUDA Fall High School World Schools Debate Champions:

  • North Dallas High School (Novice)
  • Irma Rangel YWLS (Novice)
  • Seagoville High School (Novice)
  • Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet (Varsity)
  • Irma Rangel YWLS (Varsity)

DUDA Fall Policy Debate Champions:

  • North Lake ECHS
  • North Dallas High School
  • Sunset High School

DUDA Fall Middle School Community Action Debate Champions:

  • George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Academy
  • Solar Prep for Boys

 DUDA Fall Middle School World Schools Debate Champions:

  • Billy Earl Dade Middle School
  • Solar Prep for Girls
  • Irma Rangel YWLS

 DUDA Fall Middle School Policy Debate Champions:

  • Dallas Environmental Science Academy
  • William B. Travis Academy
  • Dealey Montessori



You may also like