Mission and Goals

Our Mission is to enrich the academic experience of all students from Duval County Public Schools through participation in competitive team policy debate.  DUDL is especially interested in students with untapped potential, who are disengaged from the contemporary classroom setting. Through debate, students prepare to become engaged learners, critical thinkers and citizens who are effective advocates for themselves, their families, and their community.


The data from Minneapolis-St. Paul substantiates  DUDL’s position that debate significantly boosts academic achievement among participants. Highlights from Professor Collier’s findings include:

80% of debaters reported no attendance problems compared to 49.02% of the controls.

Debaters scored 36% higher on the reading post-test than on the pre-test. This improvement is 61% higher than that of controls.

• Debaters average 15% higher self-esteem than controls; the longer they debate, the wider the differential.

• The gross average of debaters’ 2006 GPAs is 2.97. The control’s average 2006 GPA is 2.5875.

• Returning debaters averaged a .13 increase in their GPAs in contrast to returning controls who lost an average of .10 points on a 4.0 scale.

2009/2010 DUDL Program Goals
* Free two week summer debate workshops for students and coaches.
* Six one day debate tournament during the school year, including a city championship.  Monthly tournaments will be held on Saturdays ONLY with possible inclusion of Friday competition early next year.
* Four instructional academic seminars/workshops led by lawyers, college professors, and other experts on competitive debate for coaches, students and parents.
* Student and coach access to volunteer, debate expert mentors who are assigned to participating schools.
* Competition honors and Scholarship awards for selected participating students to advance their knowledge at university sponsored summer workshops.

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