[eDebate] Chicago UDL in the News

Illinois Debate illinoisdebate
Wed Jun 21 23:09:13 CDT 2006

Thought people would be interested in knowing that there was a recent NPR
story on a Chicago UDL. Just go to the link on the bottom and scroll down to
April 18, 2006 and the piece is called "*Against the Odds" *by Lynette

Below is straight from the June edition of the "Urban Debate: *News Blast*":

The National Public Radio affiliate in Chicago (WBEZ 91.5 FM) produces a
series of reports each year in the spring, linked by theme, called *Chicago
Matters*.  This year's series, *Valuing Education*, featured an excellent,
11-minute story on the Chicago UDL.  The show highlights the gritty
performance of one neighborhood school (Kelly H.S.) in the Urban Debate
League and against more affluent and well established debate programs in the
suburbs and private schools.   NPR documents the impact of academic debate
on lesser-privileged kids, paralleling it to debate's impact in the
"traditional circuit," and depicts the cost-efficiency of the Urban Debate
League model.   There is also reference made to the effect that having a
debate team can have throughout an inner-city school.  From the broadcast's

                        Principal Al Pretkelis has the right to boast that
Kelly's debate team is among

                        the city's best.  He credits the students'
dedication and his exceptional coach.

But Pretkelis is hoping for even more.   He sees the team as the spark that
could kindle achievement throughout the school.  [Pretkelis:] "[Debate] lets
people, not only in Chicago but outside of Chicago, know that we're an okay
school.  We accept the challenges, we accept the work that's involved in
debate, and our kids are as good as anybody else."

The full story is available for free download here --


Policy Debate Team
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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