The great debate 

Students prepare for the Chicago Debate Championship this week.

March 23, 2009

The Chicago Debate League’s (CDL) 12th season will culminate with the Chicago Debate Championship on March 27 and March 28 at the Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 E. 87th St. 


The CDL is the nation’s largest Urban Debate League with more than 1,000 debaters from 50 high schools participating. 


CPS Conference Championships
Last month, 392 debaters from 45 CDL high schools participated in the Allstate CPS Conference Championships. The competition featured the top debaters from Conference "A" and "AA," and two of the three conferences in the CDL. The season-long competition ended declaring one school the champion in each conference and awarded college scholarships funded with the support of Allstate. Harlan High School, 9652 S. Michigan Ave., won the 2009 Allstate CPS "AA" Conference Championship in Debate. Lincoln Park High School, 2001 N. Orchard St., won the 2009 Allstate CPS "A" Conference Championship in Debate. 


Debaters at Whitney Young, 211 S. Laflin St., also won the Regional Circuit Conference tournament at Lane Tech. They were recently invited to the Northwestern University National Round Robin for Juniors. With only 12 teams selected from around the country (three from Illinois), this tournament is considered to be one of the most prestigious debate events in the country for high school juniors.


Partnerships lead to success

Facilitated by CPS and the Chicago Debate Commission (CDC), the Chicago Debate League has significant partnerships with some of the city’s leading law firms, including McDermott, Will and Emery, Jenner and Block, and Mayer Brown. 


The partnerships benefit both the businesses and the students. “The Chicago Debate Commission intends to bring private sector supporters and partners to the table to help CPS extend competitive academic debate to all public school students through the city of Chicago,” said Les Lynn, CDC Executive Director and one of the founders of the CDL.


Last year, CPS won its first 2008 J. P. Morgan Chase Urban Debate National Championship.


Learn more about the Debate League.