This site is filled with resources for active participants in the Chicago Debate League-debaters, coaches, judges and tournament volunteers. For general information about debate in Chicago Public Schools, click here.

CDL News

  • I have been able to overcome my obstacles because debate gave me a purpose. Debater, Prosser Career Academy
  • Debate made me realize that I was more than a C student. I was an A student ready to burst out. Debater, Harlan Community Academy
  • Growing up in special education made me doubt my reading abilities. Starting in my first year of debate, I was able to bring both my reading and speaking skills up. After three years on the debate team I became captain and started helping others who doubted themselves. Debater, Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy
  • When you have the kind of education [that debate provides], you are able to voice your opinion more and really make a difference in things that are important to you. Debater, Lane Tech
  • The Chicago Debate League encourages us to be civically engaged in our communities… and to apply our advocacy skills to solve issues we face today. Debater, Kennedy High School
  • Debate certainly has helped prepare me for college. It introduced me to critical academic theories and writers, many of whom we are now discussing in my classes. It also taught me how to manage my time and do targeted research using specific scholarly databases. Debate also helped me articulate my ideas in a concise and persuasive manner. Alum, Walter Payton College Prep
  • The Chicago Debate League encourages us to be civically engaged in our communities. They want us to apply our advocacy skills to solve issues we face today. Debater, Kennedy High School
  • Debate has unquestionably made me the best version of myself. … While debate trained me to respond directly to my opponent’s arguments, it also taught me to advocate for my own. It made more cognizant of the privileges I have and more active about the ones I don’t. Debater, Walter Payton College Prep 2015
  • Thanks to my school’s debate team, a lazy, arrogant kid with no real direction dragged his terrible GPA to above a 3.0 and become a true leader in his school. Debater, Perspectives Joslin High School
  • Debate has played a leading role in my decision to go to college. I’ll be a first generation college student. My family never saw the importance of college until they saw how much debate inspired me to perform better in the classroom. Debater, King College Prep
  • Debate has allowed me to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves, specifically for my parents… Spanish and debate are two completely different languages but when combined, they can have a powerful impact on our communities in poverty. Debater, Phoenix Military Academy
  • When I joined debate, it ignited a spark inside of me that made me feel like I could pursue big things that I didn’t think I could do before. Debater, Urban Prep Bronzeville
  • Urban debate allows inner-city youth to see a world beyond high school, beyond home … and to have a voice. Debater, Lindblom College Prep
  • By engaging students in real, complex public policy questions, competitive debate is nurturing a new generation of engaged, committed citizens. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, April 2012