MS 50 Wins Big at City Tournament

Greenpoint News

MS 50, a small middle school on the Southside of Williamsburg, scored big in a citywide debate tournament last week.

Students from the school attended the championship organized by NYC Urban Debate League and the city Department of Education’s Middle School Quality Initiative.

Thirty students and eight parent chaperons attended the event, where MS 50, coached by Jason Warren, Matthew Mason, and Michael Schober, placed 2nd overall in the city.  Eight MS 50 students, (Mohommad, Hendriny, Heaven, Ariel, Sasha, Anaya, Lisbeth, Ingrid) went undefeated

According to MS 50 Principal Ben Honoroff, MS 50’s team was the largest at the tournament, which featured over 200 students from across the city.

The topic up for debate was whether the benefits of animal cloning outweigh its risks.

It was the first major tournament for the school since Honoroff took over as Principal during the summer. His tenure has already seen the integration of evidenced based argumentation into everyday learning methods at the school.  According to Honoroff, this is a victory for the entire school community as all teachers took an interdisciplinary approach to preparing for the debate.  Students studied statistics of cloning in math class, the science of cloning in science, the ethics of cloning in social studies, and practiced rhetorical strategies in ELA.

The next big tournament for the students will be in January when students will argue about the death penalty.

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About The New York City Urban Debate League

Our mission is that every school should have a debate team and every student should have the opportunity to the best debate education opportunities. One of the most critical problems in education today is the academic and civic achievement gaps. Our solution is to provide the best college, career, civic, communication and community opportunities through year round academic debate. Each month we work with thousands of students and hundreds of schools. We support debate practices every day, debate centers every week, tournaments every weekend, workshops every month, debate camps all summer, and year round support for any student and teacher. We are one of the the city’s most award winning curricular and extracurricular programs. We have received awards from the White House, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Presidential Commission on the Arts and Humanities, National Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Social Index of Top 100 Nonprofits, BoardSource, Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator, Teach for America, and by the First Lady as “one of the top arts and humanities based programs in the country.” Why Debate? Debate teaches every academic skill and every academic subject. A Great Debater means a person who has the skills and confidence to lead, to speak up, to argue, to question, to read and write to right the wrongs, to know about the world around you, and to change the world around you.

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