Tulsa Debate League

Debate education for all Tulsa students

aka 46-4405458   |   Tulsa, OK   |  www.tulsadebate.org

Mission

The mission of the Tulsa Debate League ("TDL") is to provide students in under resourced public schools in Tulsa the opportunity to participate in debate programs which build the critical thinking, communication, and literacy skills to succeed in college and career, and to become engaged citizens in our democracy.

Research shows that debaters in low-income, urban schools are more likely to graduate high school, meet college-readiness benchmarks, and achieve greater gains in cumulative GPA and SAT/ACT scores than their peers.

TDL organizes debate tournaments, trains teachers and students in debate skills, and funds travel and other expenses such as summer camp. The organization serves students from grades 4-12 in schools across the city.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Ross Faith

Main address

P.O. Box 35711

Tulsa, OK 74153 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4405458

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There is an opportunity gap in low-income schools in our city when it comes to high quality education programs that develop critical thinking skills. When schools are unable to offer debate education programs that are accessible and rigorous, students in those schools miss out on opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, self-confidence and voice. These skills are vital to postsecondary success.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Urban Debate League

The Tulsa Debate League supports an urban debate league for Tulsa area public schools to participate in competitive debate.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Urban Debate League

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our impact is measured by the number of debaters times the average tournaments attended per debater. Students who attend 3 or more tournaments are more likely to be college ready.

Average daily attendance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Urban Debate League

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric is actually "average student tournament attendances" per year. Our goal is an average greater than or equal to 3.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Modeled after the most effective urban debate leagues in the country, we aim to transform Title 1 public schools by organizing competitions, operating summer camps, and provide professional development to teachers and coaches. As a result, students in our program will develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, communication, and creativity that are the cornerstone of postsecondary success. Research shows that debate can dramatically close the achievement gap in urban school districts - debaters are more likely to graduate from high school, meet college-readiness benchmarks and achieve greater cumulative grade point average than their peers.

Our core strategy is to develop inclusive but challenging debate programming. Debate teaches students how to support ideas with evidence, how to analyze the weaknesses in opposing arguments, but also how to empathize with and understand differing viewpoints. Delivering debate education to a large number of students in low-income schools means creating the right community for debate to flourish - one where all students are welcome and where effort and participation are emphasized over competition. This manifests itself in every aspect of our organization, from the training of teachers and volunteers, to the attitude of staff at tournaments.

It is important to acknowledge that many students in our schools are not reading on grade level or have other skill deficits. While our goal is the same - to challenge every student to becomes their best selves, we recognize that we first have to meet students where they are. Therefore, we have created a curriculum that differentiates for student ability levels.

Teacher professional development is the core of our work. Most of our teachers come to us with no or little background in debate. We create workshops, curriculum, and systems of support that build novice teachers into effective debate educators.

Finally, we operate a two to three week summer camp, free to our students, which provides students with an intensive learning experience during months when learning loss is high.

1. Partnerships with local school districts and mission-aligned charter schools.
2. Mobilization of dedicated school day partners and community members as debate coaches.
3. Relationships with key community leaders
4. Partnerships with key like-minded organizations like the Opportunity Project.
5. Our two 21st Century Learning Communities at Will Rogers High School and Daniel Webster
High School.
6. Philanthropic relationships we have cultivated over the past several years.
7. Placing our staff in positions that play to their individual strengths and passions.
8. Our unwavering organizational belief that debate, in some form, is for every student.
9. Our Debate For All program at McLain High School, Monroe Demonstration Academy and
Central High School. This program will launch in the fall of 2020. We have partnered with TPS
and each school’s administration to provide access to debate to significant portions of their
respective student bodies.

The organization has grown from a small fund supporting one debate team to an integral part of our district partners' education offerings, supporting 35 schools and over 550 students in 2020. We were recognized for our achievements as a finalize for the Oklahoma Nonprofits Excellence (ONE) Awards, Oklahoma's most prestigious nonprofit recognition. https://www.oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org/tulsa-debate-league-2020-one-awards-finalist/

Next year, we plan on pioneering the Debate for All Program, a new initiative by the Tulsa Debate League to transform the academic culture of middle and high school student body through debate education..We are partnering with Tulsa Public Schools to bring debate education to three mission aligned schools in our league. Typically our debate program is limited to a few classes during the school day for our high schools and afterschool programs for our elementary and middle school partners. With Debate for All we are partnering to expand debate education is a multi-year program that teaches debate’s powerful critical thinking and communication skills to an entire grade level. We provide a complete curriculum, professional development that provides instructors with a framework to implement debate’s critical thinking and communication skills into their daily lessons, an expert consultant to train and support the instructors, and a schedule of tournaments and events for students to put their new knowledge to the test. We also provide an after school debate practice for students to continue learning during out-of-school time

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Tulsa Debate League
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Tulsa Debate League

Board of directors
as of 7/15/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Drew France

Community Action Project Tulsa

Term: 2015 -

Drew France

Community Action Project Tulsa

Daniel Blaho

DSB Creative

Conor Cleary

United States Department of Interior

Marianne Brett

Mary Huckabee

Conner & Winters

Taylor Burke

Barber & Bartz

Emily Fuller

Oklahoma Caring Foundation

Aba Hammond

ONEGas