Year-End 2011 CMSDL Tournament Reporting Notebook

The final 2011 Chicago Middle School Debate League Tournament Reporting Notebook documents school performance on the most important metric in an Urban Debate League: the level at which each school has engaged student participation in competitive academic debate this season.

The story of the 2011 CMSDL performance on this key measurement is an extremely positive one, overall. The CMSDL grew in total tournament participation this season by 12% over last season — 18% over the Allstate baseline. That’s a robust level of expansion in a League that was already fairly large last year, with 12 schools, and it means we successfully engaged significantly more middle schoolers in competitive academic debate, and at even greater levels of programming depth.

Here are several other highlights from the Tournament Reporting Notebook.


We had a very high percentage of schools attain the CDL Participation Standard (8 debaters per tournament, 4 debaters per tournament for first-year schools). In fact, leaving off one school, Franklin Elementary (which had to travel 165 miles from Champaign, Illinois to get to our tournaments), only two middle schools missed the Participation Standard at any tournament during the year, and one of those schools (Shoop) only missed the standard once (making standard at the other three tournaments).


The second half of the season really picked up steam. At MS T3 and T4 combined, this year’s participation levels were 23% higher than they were at MS T3 and T4 last year. This is great momentum to take into next season.


Three schools that should be recognized for building their debate programs with exceptional effectiveness this year are the top three schools in student engagement-participation growth this season (over last):

1. Ariel (150%)
2. Spencer (105%)
3. Shoop (52%)


And our overall Top Five schools in Total Student Participation this season were:

1. Lincoln (82)
2. Zapata (80)
3. Ariel (55)
4. Ogden (43)
5. Spencer (41)

Congratulations to all schools. This is a very rigorous activity, even more so at the younger grades than the HS grades. And the data is clear that coaches in this year’s CMSDL took a very substantial step forward in their mastery and effectiveness as leaders of their debate programs and as professional academic debate coaches.

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