Study Highlights Achievements of CDL Students

The ground-breaking research by Dr. Mezuk has thrown a national spotlight on the Chicago Debate League. As the source of the data that serves as the basis of her reports, the CDL has been recognized nationally for its successful model of an Urban Debate League.

Examples of this notoriety include newspaper articles in Denver, Memphis, Baltimore and Houston. Education periodicals such as Education Week and have also focused attention on the CDL. Urban Debate Leagues across the nation – from Boston to the Bay Area – have used the results of Dr. Mezuk’s work to make the case for greater support for their programs.

The data from Chicago proved essential for Dr. Mezuk’s research. “In terms of the data, this project would not have been possible without the collaboration and participation of the CPS Office of Research Evaluation & Accountability and the Consortium for Chicago School Research,” she commented. “Undoubtedly, the CCSR houses the most comprehensive dataset on any urban public school district, and their partnership with CPS is what makes projects like our debate study possible. In particular, Sylvia Nelson of CPS and Sue Sporte of CCSR have been critical in the success of both linking the debate records to to CPS records and providing expertise in executing the study. ”

Dr. Mezuk concluded, “Simply put, this study demonstrates the value, effectiveness, and utility of the data-sharing relationship between CPS and CCSR, an academic-practicioner partnership that is worth emulating in other school districts.”

CDC Executive Director Les Lynn remarked: “The Chicago Debate Commission has kept very careful records of every debate tournament that the CDL has conducted since the very first, at Bogan High School on October 6, 1997. It was this unique archive of empirical data that Dr. Mezuk’s researchers examined to measure student participation and performance. The CDC is extremely pleased to be a partner in this groundbreaking research on urban debate, sited here in Chicago.”