City Council District #2 Debate Initiative

Our Mission

Every school  should have a debate team. Every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Debate is one of the best academic programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic success.


Tournaments Hosted


Our flagship program is our Saturday Debate Tournaments. We host debate tournaments every month during the school year and summer for high school and middle school students. Each monthly debate tournament will feature different topics including current events, economics, environmental affairs, philosophy, international politics, law and justice, and every other topic - topics traditionally not covered in school curriculums.  Students practice every academic skill preparing for these tournaments including reading, writing, researching, listening, practicing, public speaking, questioning, team work, and every other academic skill.  Academic learning time basically doubles through this out of school time program and culminates with the monthly debate tournament. At each tournament we serve over 300 students, teachers, family members and volunteers. Tournaments are all day from 7:00am-5:00pm and include breakfast, lunch, debate rounds and an awards ceremony.  Our Tournaments are free thanks to City Council support.


District #2 High School Tournament (first Saturday of every October)


The Institute for Collaborative Education hosts the first high school tournament of the school year. There are over 300+ total participants including over 200 students and 100 adults (parents, teachers, judges, families and community volunteers)


Tournament Photo Album


Website Landing Page of the Tournament


Tournament Results Page


High School City Championships (March) hosted by District #2


District #2 also hosts our High School Championships each year at the end of the school year. Hosted every year at the Institute for Collaborative Education. 300+ total participants. Over 200 students served. Over 100 volunteers, guests, parents from the community. This is a Saturday and Sunday Tournament. We provide breakfast, lunch, debate rounds all day and an awards ceremony. On Sunday we host elimination rounds for the top teams including quarterfinals, semifinals and the Final Round.


Tournament Photo Album


Website Landing Page of the Tournament


Tournament Results Page



District Schools and Students Served


Half of our work is debate tournaments every Saturday. The other half of our work is how we support our teachers, schools and students through outreach and starting and sustaining debate programs in schools. We have outreach coordinators in each Borough to support schools, train teachers, provide curriculum and professional development, coordinate local debate scrimmages, year round virtual support (webinars, emails, phone calls, etc), help teachers recruit and start debate programs at their school, and anything else needed to start and sustain a successful debate team. We provide assistant coaches and volunteers to schools to support their debate programs. We have all day teacher training conferences at least four times a year.


As a result we have successfully partnered with the following schools in the district to create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:


Schools Served:


Institute for Collaborative Education (High School)


Institute for Collaborative Education (Middle School)


Simon Baruch Middle School


School of the Future


Salk School


Bard HS Early College of Manhattan



Special Awards & Recognition:


Each year, District #2 wins the City and State Championships. Debaters specifically from the Institute of Collaborative Education win each year and qualify to the National Association of Urban Debate League Championships.



Other District Debate Programs

  • Debate Club.   All students are able to participate in our debate programs. We have a Debate Club that serves students without debate teams at their schools.