Greenpoint Gazette

MS 50 Wins Big at Citywide Debate Tournament


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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