Role of Federal Government in Transportation Selected as 2013 High School Debate Topic, ARTBA to Become Major Sponsor of National Association for Urban Debate Leagues Initiative
(WASHINGTON)—“Should the federal government substantially increase transportation infrastructure investment in the United States?” That’s the question that will be debated in schools across America in 2013 as part of the 2013 Urban Debate National Championship Tournament.
The Washington, D.C.-headquartered American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is lending its support next year by becoming a major sponsor of the tournament held annually by the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). The tournament is in its sixth year.
The NAUDL Urban Debate National Championship, which will bring together more than 75 high school students and their coaches from 19 cities to determine the top urban debaters in the U.S., takes place April 18-21 in the Nation’s Capital and includes events at Georgetown University.
ARTBA’s sponsorship will also allow its member firms and state chapters to build public awareness and participate as volunteers in the local tournaments that will ultimately determine which teams and coaches square off in the finals in Washington.
The association said it would be preparing an online information resource for students to access information about the historic role of federal government on transportation issues, along with data that shows the many impacts of infrastructure investment on U.S. mobility, economic development, job creation and quality of life.
“We’re grateful for the support from ARTBA. Ninety percent of urban debaters graduate from high school on time. Because they debate, urban debaters are three times more likely than non-debaters to graduate. We’re excited that ARTBA member firms and state chapter affiliates across the country will have a chance to learn about the impact of urban debate in their community and volunteer with local tournaments. And as debaters learn about this important industry, making a local connection may influence a future career choice. That’s a victory for everyone, debaters, their families and local business,” said Linda Listrom, executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues.
“This national competition provides an excellent platform to increase student and public understanding of public policy issues impacting U.S. transportation development, while also supporting educational opportunities for America’s future leaders,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the National Association for Urban Debate League on this project, and look forward to a lively and spirited discussion.”
Founded in 2002 and based in Chicago, NAUDL serves as the national leadership organization for 19 local urban debate leagues, representing nearly 500 middle and high schools across the U.S. Urban debate leagues provide competitive policy debate programs to middle and high school students in low-income school districts, and helps young adults develop literacy, critical thinking, research, communication, and organization skills. Debate also prepares urban students for college by helping them achieve ACT college-readiness benchmarks in reading, English, math and science.
ARTBA is celebrating its 110th year of service to the public and private sectors of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry. The association was founded in 1902 in New York City by Michigan public official Horatio S. Earle, whose vision was to gain federal support for construction of a “Capital Connecting Government Highway System”—a paved road network that would “connect every state capital with every other state capital and with the United States’ capital, Washington.” That vision came to fruition in 1956 when Congress authorized funding and construction of the Interstate Highway System, which today stands, arguably, as one of the greatest accomplishments ever achieved by a national association.
The National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare urban youth for college, career and community engagement. NAUDL supports middle and high school debate leagues in nineteen cities nationally, serving nearly 500 middle and high schools, and approximately 7,000 teens annually. Our goal is to triple the number of urban debaters nationally over the next five years. Debate is a highly competitive academic activity that builds reading, research, communication and critical thinking skills. Urban debaters debate a single complex policy question, or resolution, for an entire year, in 2013, they will debate the following: “Resolved that the United States federal government should increase investment in transportation infrastructure.”