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Education & Enrichment

Plano ISD debate students advance in an international competition

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Students from three Plano ISD schools advanced to the “Top 32” round of the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF). The advancing schools are Jasper High School, Plano Senior High School and Plano West Senior High School. Plano Senior High School was the 2015-16 IPPF World Champion. By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on May 6, 2017.

Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only debate competition that gives high school students around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. “These students have excelled at the IPPF’s unique test of research, analytical, writing and advocacy skills,” said William A. Brewer III, chairman of the Brewer Foundation and a founder of the IPPF. “They now advance to the Round of 32—the next written round of the competition and a step closer to the IPPF Finals.”

This year, hundreds of teams submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the 2016-17 IPPF topic, “Resolved: The obligation to provide safe haven for refugees should outweigh a government’s right to control its borders.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the “Round of 64” teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay. In November, the “Round of 64” teams then began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. In that round, Jasper High School advanced over Montgomery Blair High School from Silver Spring, Maryland. Plano Senior High School advanced over Hathaway Brown School from Shaker Heights, Ohio. Plano West Senior High School advanced over William Mason High School from Mason, Ohio.

The “Top 32” round begins immediately. Jasper High School will compete in a written debate against Millburn High School from Millburn, New Jersey. Plano Senior High School will compete against Bilingválne gymnázium Milana Hodžu from Sucany, Slovakia. Plano West Senior High School will compete against Annapolis High School from Annapolis, Maryland. The top 32 teams include 26 U.S. teams from 17 U.S. states. There are six international teams from schools in China, Czech Republic, Kingdom of Bahrain, Nepal, Slovakia and Taiwan. The winning teams will be announced on February 13, and will proceed to the “Sweet 16” round. On March 23, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City. The Finals will take place on May 6, 2017, at the Harold Pratt House. The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. The winning team will take home the “Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.

The “Top 32” teams:

Beijing ENREACH, Beijing, China; Rato Bangala School, Lalitpur, Nepal; Hathaway Brown School (1), Shaker Heights, Ohio; Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida; The British School of Bahrain, Hamala, Kingdom of Bahrain; Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bridgewater, New Jersey; The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; Woodward Academy, College Park, Georgia; Solon High School, Solon, Ohio; Team Czech Republic, Říčany u Prahy, Czech Republic; duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Kentucky; Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis, Missouri; Unionville High School, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; La Cañada High School, La Cañada, California; Millburn High School, Millburn, New Jersey; Jasper High School, Plano, Texas; Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Connecticut; Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, Colorado; Plano West Senior High School, Plano, Texas; Annapolis High School, Annapolis, Maryland; Hendrickson High School, Pflugerville, Texas; North Allegheny Senior High School, Wexford, Pennsylvania; Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, California; Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York; Taipei American School, Taipei, Taiwan; Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista, California; ilingválne gymnázium Milana Hodžu, Sucany, Slovakia; Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas; East Mountain High School, Sandia Park, New Mexico; Westfield Academy, West Hartford, Connecticut; John Handley High School, Winchester, Virginia; Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana

About the IPPF and the Brewer Foundation:

The IPPF was founded in 2001 by the Brewer Foundation (formerly Bickel & Brewer Foundation), and is now jointly administered with New York University. The program is available to all high schools around the world – public and private – for free. The IPPF is endorsed by leading forensic agencies, such as the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, the International Debate Education Association, the Impact Coalition, Associated Leaders of Urban Debate Leagues, and the National Debate Coaches Association. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the IPPF on the NASSP Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities every year since 2012. The Brewer Foundation is a private, non-profit organization funded by companies, individuals and the national litigation firm of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors. With offices in New York and Dallas, the Foundation has achieved widespread recognition for its efforts to create, fund and manage a variety of educational outreach programs. Visit the IPPF at ippfdebate.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter at @IPPF1.

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