Boston Debate League

Our Impact

“Research indicated that students learn better when they talk more – and with each other – in the classroom.”
– Mike Wasserman, BDL Executive Director 2016-2021

Since our founding in 2005, the Boston Debate League has served thousands of students in public schools across Boston through our two anchor programs, After-School Debate League and Debate-Inspired Classrooms. Both initiatives create inclusive learning communities that support all participants in achieving the transformative, lifelong benefits of debate, including developing academic abilities, confidence, leadership, and other 21st century skills.

Boston Debate League Receives Grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

We strive to offer the high-quality programming and academic rigor that our students deserve, and are committed to rigorous evaluation. The following documents share specific impact data from the most recent program year:

Impact of Debate-Inspired Classrooms Instructional Program

Impact of After-School Debate League Program

In the fall of 2018, we piloted a dual-enrollment program at Suffolk University. This was an opportunity to get a group of committed students – those whose potential often isn’t always obvious from their report cards, but who are dedicated and persistent – to connect the work they’re doing in debate to the work they’ll eventually do in college. Check out this video to hear two students, Joselyn and Rebecca, share more about their experience in this class.