Protests Across America

There is a new topic on our Flipgrid page for students to share thoughts, feelings and opinions about the protests happening around the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Officer. All debaters are invited to head over to the grid to record a response. Please stay safe, everyone.

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New Topic Announced

Calling all Debaters! The new topic is: What should be done to save the US Postal Service (USPS)? You can check out some resources on the topic and record your response on our new Flipgrid page. You will need to sign in with your school email account. Looking forward to hearing your ideas and arguments!

USPS Truck

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Breaking News for Debate and NYC

It was just announced that the MTA Will End Overnight Subway Service For Duration Of the Pandemic. 

When the Round 3 Topic was announced, we could not have imagined a situation whereby NYC would actually shut down 24 hour subway service in the near future. It was more of an intellectual exercise to explore the potential benefits and costs of taking a drastic step in order to improve service, cleanliness, and the infrastructure of a very old subway system. This is why debaters stay ahead of the curve. Our students have already weighed the pros and the cons, and know what considerations, steps and procedures need to be taken to put the closure into effect and secure the subway system overnight. They also know that busses and dollar vans will be more important now than ever, as they transport our essential workers from 1-5 am.

How does this news change your perspective? How would you refine your arguments in light of this new reality? What other information or sources are needed to enforce your positions? Head on over to the flipgrid and let us know where you stand.

 

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Round 3 Topic Now on Flipgrid

Greetings, Debaters! The Round 3 Topic: NYC should end 24 hour subway service is now on flipgrid. Students can head over to the grid to record a 90 second video taking either the Pro or the Con side. You can either use your prepared arguments or go off-script for this one. Please email Cara or Charles if you need the link. Let’s go!

subway station closed off with caution tape

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Dakota Oil Pipeline, Back in the News, Again

Do you remember the 2017 debate topic, “The US should immediately stop construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline?” If you recall from the news at that time, construction went ahead on the pipeline, and oil started flowing.

Recently, a judge stopped the oil flow and ruled that another environmental review should begin. The Standing Rock Sioux Native American tribe, whose land the pipeline skirted, was grateful.

Read about it in the National Public Radio website.

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Debate From Home?

Greetings, Debaters. As you all know, schools are closed and we’ve had to postpone our debate round. While schools and families get set-up for remote learning, we are brainstorming ideas for the best ways to use our virtual debate room to keep things going for a while. Remember that our online classroom is available from any internet connected device, including mobile. First idea… How about a speech competition that students can join from home?  Updates will be coming soon. In the meantime, please stay healthy, stay safe, and wear your debate swag to show love (send photos!).

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Round 3 on the Horizon

Round 3 begins March 16… Check the schedule tab above to support your favorite team- or to check out the competition! This round we are debating whether or not NYC should end our world famous 24 hour subway service. But why would we want to do that…? Tune in beginning on March 16 to see what the teams have to say.

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Debater Comes to District Office

Debater Vladmir, from the Q752 Debate Team, made an appearance at the district office, as part of his duties as Student Council president.

He was all smiles at the podium.

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Voting for Disabled Citizens

With all the hubbub over the next debate topic (whether election day should be a national holiday) and this November’s presidential election, did you ever wonder how New Yorkers with limited dexterity or other disabilities can exercise their right to vote?

This website shows how the Image Cast ballot-marking device (BMD) helps disabled citizens to vote.

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Bye-Bye No-Cash Restaurants, We Hardly Knew Ya

A debate topic several years ago discussed whether a cash-free society would be the right way to go in the future. And for a while it looked as if New York City was going cash-free. Many restaurants started implementing a no-cash policy, and only accepted credit cards or other “digital currency” instead of cash.

That may be about to come to an end. The government got involved, and the New York City Council may pass a law that prohibits credit-card-only stores.

The New York Times has more information on this story.

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Moving into Round Two

Round two begins next week! There is certainly a lot to debate about in the next election cycle, and we begin with the matter of whether or not Election Day should be a national holiday. Tune in beginning on Jan 31 to hear the arguments!

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721K Debate Team Comes to Student Advocacy Project

Daniel, of the 721K Knights of Reason debate team, came to the Student Advocacy Project on Thursday, December 12, at the District Office. It was nice to meet him in person.

Also, a big thanks to Daniel for his suggestion on improving the Debate website security!

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IBM Debates Itself!

IBM has created a computer that can debate itself! In an event at Cambridge University in England, the computer debated the topic of whether artificial intelligence would do more harm than good. Sounds like an interesting topic!

US News and World Report article

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Is Debate a Performing Art?

Some of you have been asking… what exactly counts as “performing arts?” Merriam-Webster defines the term as “types of art (such as music, dance, or drama) that are performed for an audience.” So… is debate a performing art? Depends who you ask, we guess…

thinking emoji

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Election Day Debating

Today is Election Day and there is a lot of debate going on about the 5 ballot questions that voters will decide. Even though there are only 5 questions, there are a total of 19 issues rolled into them, so even if you agree with some parts of the question, you may disagree with others, and will still have to choose either “Yes” or “No.” Is it fair? Is there a better way? Find a sample ballot online and let us know what you think!

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Debate Topic Announced!

Drumroll please…..
The 2019-2020 Round One Topic is:
All students in middle and high school should be required to take a performing arts class.
Ready, Set….. Debate!
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Fair Pay to Play?

Debate topics always seem to come back around. Not too long ago, our debaters took sides on the issue of whether or not college athletes should be paid, and today California passed a bill allowing them to do just that. The issue is far from settled, with the NCAA urging the governor not to sign the legislation into law. We will be watching to see how it unfolds in California and the rest of the nation. Here is an article and video clip from nbc news discussing the story.

 

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