Broward schools expand debate programs

Broward County Public Schools partners with National Forensics League

Published On: Oct 17 2012 02:07:09 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 17 2012 05:00:00 PM EDT
DAVIE, Fla. -

A push is underway to expand debate programs in Broward County Public Schools.

The district has partnered with the National Forensics League, an honors society dedicated to speech and debate programs in schools.

Just like the presidential debates, these students are taking on national and foreign policy.

"I get to speak for 10 minutes about something that I care about in society," said said Julie Cole, a Nova student. "It's the one time that I can stand there and speak to adults and have them listen to everything I want to say."

The School Board of Broward County has expanded debate programs in 15 high schools as part of the partnership. Their mission -- to prove that students who debate have higher GPAs and test scores, making them hot prospects for colleges.

"Debate is everything as educators and as parents that we want in our schools," said Lisa Miller, a Nova High School debate coach. "It engages kids in ideas. It teaches them critical thinking. It gets them excited."

Miller has guided her students to hundreds of wins in debates over the years, and now she mentors other Broward debate coaches and teams.

Students Local 10 spoke with plan to use the skills they are learning to help them get ahead in the future.

"I think it's going to help me get the job interview I want and become successful in life and show that I'm confident about myself," said Darren Miller, a Hallandale High student.

"Presenting arguments, presenting cases, it's a completely new concept for me," said Zachary Rosen, a Flanagan High student. "I'm not used to doing all this research and presenting arguments in a certain fashion."

Click here to learn more about the National Forensic League.