The BAUDL has partnered with school districts and Title 1 high schools in San Francisco, Oakland,
and Emeryville so that the young people of the Bay Area can participate in rigorous, exciting
academic competition and become articulate and informed leaders in their schools and
communities. According to BAUDL alum & Gates Millenium Scholar, Nick Ross, “Debate is open to
all and gives you structure so you can argue and express yourself in a way that will get through to
Debate benefits students who remain underserved by most programs
Many competitive academic programs exclusively serve high-achieving youth. In a district as diverse as the districts of the Bay, it is not enough to lift higher those who would already succeed. Every student in every classroom deserves a path to success. Urban debate leagues have a long history of providing these paths – of targeting, recruiting, and making a real impact in the lives of students who otherwise struggle in school. High achievers tend to find a welcome place in debate teams, but also welcome are all students who enjoy mouthing off or getting into a good argument – and, as any teacher knows, this includes many students at risk of failing classes or even dropping out. For these students, the UDL offers a compelling way in to the academic enterprise that would not otherwise exist.