Our Mission

Integrate argumentation and competitive debate into Boston Public Schools to develop critical thinkers ready for college, career, and engagement with the world around them.

Principles that Guide BDL’s Growth

Urban debate is for everyone: All students can realize the benefits from competitive policy debate. In fact, the students who benefit the most are those students who are currently not engaged in school and are in danger of dropping out or not going on to college. In particular, we believe that policy debate can help reduce the achievement gap for urban students of color.

We have the potential to have a school-wide and district-wide impact: Traditionally debate teams are too small. We have an opportunity to test the scale and scope of what is possible in our schools and believe that we can expand our reach to impact the academic achievements and expectations of entire schools and BPS district-wide.

We are part of a larger support network for our students: We understand that BDL cannot achieve its desired outcomes alone. We depend on the talent and support of educators in BPS. We also seek to connect to other specialized support networks at the regional and national level as needed, to ensure that our debaters are receiving the skilled and knowledgeable resources they need to reach their own potential


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