In 1997, the Chicago Debate Commission and Chicago Public Schools joined together to launch the Chicago Debate League (CDL), one of the first urban debate leagues in the country, in five CPS high schools. Since then, the league has grown into the largest and most successful urban debate league in the nation, with debate teams in over 70 schools. The Chicago Debate Commission works closely with CPS’ Office of College and Career Success to administer the CDL and assure that the program provides high-quality competitive debate programming to approximately 1400 students each year.
This vibrant and unique public-private partnership has proven to be highly successful. With strong ongoing commitment from both the CDC and CPS, the partnership has become a model for urban debate leagues nationwide.