Program Evaluation

Evidence of program success

While not a panacea, evaluation data of the Minnesota Urban Debate League show that participation increases reading proficiency by as much as three grade levels, boosts self-esteem, decreases risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, and assists in graduating from high school and finding pathways to higher education.

Our own MNUDL boasts two very impressive statistics, namely:

  • 100% on-time high school graduation for all participating debaters
  • 99% college acceptance for all graduating debaters

 Student Academic Performance

Studies show that Urban Debate Leagues across the nation have a major impact on its participating students’ academic performance:

  • Increased literacy scores by 25%
  • Grade-point average increases of 10% or more
  • National high school graduation rates near 100%
  • Substantial increases in spoken and written communication skills

Benefits to School Districts

School districts with debate programs benefit through improved test scores in the critical areas of literacy and communication.  Inside the classroom, debaters create critical dialogue on assigned topics and have the necessary research skills to truly benefit their peers through classroom participation.

Urban debate is also highly efficient and cost-effective when compared to other out-of-school-time programming.  A full academic season nationally costs under $750 per student served, compared with an industry average of nearly $1,500.