This weekend I stopped by the All-City Finals of the new Bay Area Urban Debate League, held at East Oakland’s Fremont campus. I watched just one of the competitions and strained to follow the intricate and rapidly spoken arguments and rebuttals about environmental policy.
“It’s a fusion between adrenaline and creativity and competitiveness,” Street Academy senior Tevah El Ehmet, known as V, told me after the round I observed.
If the rush of competition is one way to get Oakland teens to spend hours each week synthesizing policy journals and international news, maybe the city’s high schools should offer more of these academic challenges.
You can read a story about debate in Oakland here.