Mezuk, B. (2009). Urban Debate and High School Educational Outcomes for African American Males: The Case of the Chicago Debate League. The Journal of Negro Education, 78(3), 290 – 304.
This study examines whether participating in competitive policy debate influences high school completion, academic achievement, and college readiness for African American male students. The analysis examines data from the Chicago Debate League from 1997 to 2006. Debate participants were 70% more likely to graduate and three times less likely to drop out as those who did not participate, even after accounting for 8th grade test scores and grade point average. Debate participants were more likely to score at or above the ACT benchmarks for college readiness in English and reading, but not in science or mathematics, than those who did not participate. Recurrent participation in policy debate positively influences scholastic achievement among African American male students in this urban setting.
Full article can be found here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25608747