How Debate Can Lessen Educational Inequities for Students Across Diverse Socioeconomic Backgrounds


  • Ryyan Siddiqi Sage Hill School
  • Nicole Yates Sage Hill School



Debate, Education, Socioeconomic Inequity


Public schools are failing to provide a sound education for students in low socioeconomic status communities (SES). With the rise of COVID and online schooling, the education quality gap has widened due to disparities in access to resources and funding. With this divide, debate programs can be a viable, inexpensive solution to the education imbalance that is evident across the United States. Debate allows students to use their voice and develop public speaking skills, which support their intellectual ability to become stronger communicators. Public speaking is an invaluable skill that, unfortunately, receives little attention in the public school system. Adding debate to a school’s offerings can lead to great improvements for the students who take part. Debate increases the academic ability of students as they learn to research, do document reading, and present their work to a large audience. Through practice, students develop a greater self-esteem and become disciplined in their work. When adapting and crafting their speech techniques, students learn how to be efficient communicators and develop essential tools to be leaders in the workforce. Although education policy makers may doubt the effectiveness of debate programs in reducing the SES achievement gap, research shows that debate programs can give students in underserved communities the opportunity to develop skills that will support their future success. 


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Author Biography

Nicole Yates, Sage Hill School


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How to Cite

Siddiqi, R., & Yates, N. (2022). How Debate Can Lessen Educational Inequities for Students Across Diverse Socioeconomic Backgrounds. Journal of Student Research, 11(3).



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