July 6, 2007

Speech and debate preferred over other extracurriculars?

This article suggests that college applicants who have participated in speech or debate programs may be looked upon more favorably than other applicants, especially by scholarship programs, as this demonstrates the preparation and critical thinking skills of the student.

Sounds good to me! But how many kids these days are participating in debate or speech teams - or should I say, how many schools offer them? In addition, how many low-income kids get the opportunity to participate in such programs?

With the exception of a few special programs like the Urban Debate Leagues, designed to bring debate to underfunded urban high schools (there are currently 19 Urban Debate Leagues around the country), most debate programs are features of upper middle class high schools and primarily serve overprivileged students.

There's some interesting reading about high school debate culture here and here.

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