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High School Debate Benefits Reading Scores And Soft Skills, New Study Finds

Policy Debate Improves Students' Reading and Literacy Test Scores

August 3, 2023 ( – People in the debate world have long touted the benefits of the activity on the academic performances of students. Now, a recent study that will be published in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis journal has provided evidence that participating in debate can boost secondary-education students’ test scores.

Beth Schueler, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia who studies education policy, K-12 education and politics, along with Katherine Larned, a doctoral student at Harvard University, conducted a study over the course of 10 years to determine the impact of participation in debate on students in the Boston Public Schools.

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