Monday, December 12, 2005

Improvements To Our Debate Program


We here at Public School 315 are always looking for ways to improve not only the inner city students in our care, but the opportunities that we have to offer those students. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I'm writing to tell you about some exciting changes we've made in our debate program.

Traditionally debate has lacked a certain cache among students in inner city areas, with interest lagging far behind other activities like basketball or football. And the disinterest is not just restricted to students, but their parents as well, many of whom have failed to show up for, or remain conscious through, our various debate events. And perhaps most importantly, even our most successful debaters have told us that on the whole, the experience has been less that positive. It seems they've been honing their argumentative abilities while other students are increasing their physical skills, and so when an 'argument' breaks out in the halls, debaters often find themselves winning the discussion and yet losing blood.

To address all of these shortcomings we've decided to take an 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach and are offering two new courses this year, Greco-Roman Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Boxing. These exciting new classes will offer students the opportunity to improve both their bodies and their minds, and train them for the types of 'debate' they're most likely to face in the real world. Not only will students be able to effectively take either side of difficult issues like migrant worker policies or nationalized health care, they'll be able to knock a few teeth loose while doing it. We're also hoping that this will greatly improve spectator appeal and help bring in not only parents, but allow us to build a paying fan base of people who might otherwise ignore educated discourse were it not fused with the bone shattering violence that seems so popular these days.

Should this approach prove successful, and we think it will, we're hoping to extend it to other unpopular subjects and activities that we think might benefit our students, such as Hip-Hop Calculus, Gang Sign Foreign Literature, and Professional Athlete Ideation Physics.

Sadly, because of the economic and cultural conditions in our neighborhoods many of our students see their options as limited and they lack the hope to truly aim high. It's our belief that by offering them new opportunities that combine familiar activities with beneficial content we can co-opt the violence and apathy that has marred our campus, and use it to educate students in spite of themselves. We'll be putting that theory to the test this Monday night with a fifteen round, bare knuckle exhibition that will see two of our best Lincoln-Douglas Boxing prospects try to deliver well thought out arguments before their opponent's blows impair their ability to form coherent sentences. We hope that you'll not only join us, but encourage your young ones to give thought to signing up for this exciting and change embracing new class.


Anonymous said...

HA! Your approach just might have what it takes to light a fire under some students.

Anonymous said...

Nationalized health care would be a great aspect to our health care system.