[eDebate] The Big Picture

Duane Hyland privethedge
Sat Mar 22 07:14:49 CDT 2008


Hi, Just something to think about - According to Dr. Warner's statistics - both CEDA and NDT membership were at all time highs at a period when both events still embraced the notion of comprehensible, persuasive delivery. Both started to decline as the rounds got faster and faster and faster. Communications programs started dumping policy debate, from talks I've had with my old college coaches (both IE and Debate) when administrators saw the activity losing its "public speaking training" persona and when they saw it becoming just a high speed logic game without any pretense of speech instruction. 
   
  I don't think you can blame the decline of policy on MPJ or pies, because we don't have a lot of MPJ at the high school level (beyond the ciruit) and it's dying here. The Virginia High School state toureny this year will have 8 teams in the contemporary division - out of a max of 12 this year - because one region only managed to field 2 contemporary (fast) teams, one region skipped out all together, and the other two regions managed to field 3 teams each. Our classic division (slow, persuasive delivery required with closed Cross-Ex) will field a full 12 team tourney. THis is the second year in a row that Contemporary has seen declining numbers - 9 last year, 8 this year, ? next year? In our local CFL League we went from 22-26 teams a tourney last year to 12-15 this year...debate is dying because most kids don't want the 300+ word delivery (one of my 9th graders this year took one look at policy and fled to Public Forum because he though the delivery was, his words -
 disgusting) and the long work hours that policy requires. Meanwhile, LD is booming (we get 150+ LD debaters per tournament) and Public Forum is taking off (all new programs in our league this year came in either LD or Public Forum debate)
   
  It's not MPJ (who outside of the community would even understand MPJ???? I've tried to explain to co-workers of mine, who have no debate background, and they're mystified as to why would allow it - one guy said "Wow, wish I could pick who writes my review..." It's not pies, it's lots of things - but I think Dr. Warner's stats show, coupled to history, that as delivery rates increased, participation went down - looke at your community - IE's, booming, Parli, booming - why  because you've never seen a CA round at 300+ words a minute, or a Parli round.........
   
  Just my thoughts.
   
  H.


        "You may be whatever you resolve to be." Thomas J. Jackson"
 "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that person that he, if he had the power, would be in silencing mankind
 If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by  its collision with error." John S. Mill
  Who said Dr. Who isn't Funny: "Rose: You Didn't Have to Kill him! Dalek: "Neither did we need him to live."
Dalek to Cyberman: :"You are Superior to us in one respect." Cyberman: "What is that?" Dalek: "Dying!"

 








       
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