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education debate topics 2021

60 Debate Topics for High Schoolers

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What’s Covered:

What makes a good debate topic, good debate topics for teens.

  • Where to Get Feedback on Your Debate Topics

Learning to view, think, and discuss ideas from contrasting viewpoints builds a host of skills that will benefit high schoolers both in and out of the classroom—including improving public speaking, reinforcing listening, and sharpening research. Good debate topics for high school students are key to lively discussion and an engaged classroom; they’re issues that students care about. 

A good debate topic for high school is one that inspires students to think and learn about both sides of the issue. There are a few factors to consider when searching for good debate topics for high school students.

  • Clear Idea: A good debate topic clearly, simply, and specifically states an often complex idea that students can argue the affirmative (pro) side of and the negative (con) side of.
  • Interest: The more interesting the topic is, the more engaged and excited students are to take positions and defend them. 
  • Passion: Topics that students feel strongly about work well. If students are super-passionate about a particular issue, it can challenge them to see both sides of the argument. 
  • Argument: Good debate topics do not have a clear “right” answer—rather, they have opposing views that participants can make persuasive arguments in favor of or against. 
  • Evidence: The availability of evidence and data is key to a good debate topic; without them, participants are merely stating a personal position on a topic. 
  • Avoid Cliches: There are a handful of topics that seem to always materialize for debates and can cause students to lose interest. 

education debate topics 2021

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  • Are the arts an important aspect of education? 
  • Should we make financial education mandatory? 
  • Should students attend school year-round? 
  • Should schools punish students for bullying that occurs outside of school?
  • Will computers replace teachers in the future?
  • Should students grade their teachers?
  • Should all high school sports become gender-neutral?
  • Is a college education as valuable as it once was? 
  • Are student loans exploitative? 
  • Is it time to eliminate standardized tests? 

Science and Technology

  • Is social media making us less social?
  • Is Google the best search engine or just the one we’re accustomed to using? 
  • Is Android better than iOS? 
  • Will technology save the world or destroy it? 
  • Can the law keep pace with technology?
  • Is the future of school online?
  • Will cryptocurrencies replace cash?   
  • Is technology taking jobs or creating them? 
  • Should every American have the right to access the internet? 
  • Are electronic libraries more equitable than traditional ones? 

Government and Politics

  • Should the government make vaccinations mandatory?
  • Is it time for Supreme Court justices to have term limits? 
  • Should we make voting mandatory?
  • Should we make all drugs legal?
  • Is it time to decriminalize sex work? 
  • Is our privacy more important than national security?
  • Is it fair to take the right to vote away from felons? 
  • Should we raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour?
  • Should the government provide universal basic income? 
  • Is providing healthcare the job of the government?
  • Can governments implement policies that will actually combat climate change?   
  • Should we allow the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports?
  • Should we remove racial epithets from books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ?
  • Can the U.S. achieve gender equality?
  • Is nationalism beneficial or dangerous? 
  • Does religion do more harm than good?
  • Should we bar police from using lethal force?
  • Do we still need the institution of marriage? 
  • Can the U.S. ever achieve racial equality?
  • Are we living in a dystopian society?
  • Should we punish or help drug addicts? 
  • Is bad parenting responsible for the rise in childhood obesity?
  • Should we sell birth control over the counter? 
  • Is it time to ban cigarettes and vaping? 
  • Are alternative medicines helpful or harmful?
  • Should we ban businesses from advertising to children?
  • Is the eight-hour workday outdated? 
  • Should we treat corporations like people?
  • Should corporations be involved in politics? 
  • Is remote work the future of employment? 
  • Is gaming a sport? 
  • Are books a better entertainment option than television?
  • Should social media companies censor content? 
  • Is civil disobedience the most effective form of protest? 
  • Should we ban football? 
  • Should Black Friday sales start on Thanksgiving Day?
  • What better determines success: skill or will?
  • Should you feel guilty for killing zombies during the zombie apocalypse? 
  • Should you choose pizza toppings based on taste or nutrition? 
  • Are hot dogs sandwiches?

Where to Get Feedback on Your Debate Arguments 

A vital part of debate preparation is to test your arguments to ensure they specifically address the topic and collectively form a cohesive point. Make sure you consider both sides of the argument to better be prepared for a rebuttal.

Before stepping up to argue your side of the issue, test your argument on CollegeVine’s free peer review essay tool to get feedback for free from a peer!

As you get ready for college, it is important to understand how your extracurriculars, like debate, factor into your chances of acceptance. Check out our free chancing calculator to find the best-fit school for you.

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70+ Engaging Education Debate Topics

By Med Kharbach, PhD | Last Update: May 16, 2024

Education Debate Topics

Debates have been a cornerstone of intellectual and rhetorical development since ancient times. As educators, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to nurture a culture of debate in our classrooms.

Besides sharpen students’ speaking and rhetorica l skills, debates also enhance their research abilities and expand their knowledge base. In this era where education discussions and educational debates are increasingly important, the art of debating becomes an essential skill for our students.

Our focus today is on a variety of education debate topics especially suited for high school and college students. These topics are designed to spark deep, meaningful discussions and challenge students to articulate their viewpoints while respecting others’ perspectives.

From the latest in internet and technology debates to thought-provoking education and learning debates, and from culturally significant social debates to the pressing political debates of our time, this post covers it all.

Education Debate Topics for Students

The purpose of this post is to share with you this collection of debate topics that you can use as prompts to deep and meaningful discussions with your students (especially ideal for high school or college students). 

For practical reasons, I organized these debate topics into 3 broad categories: Internet and Technology debate topics,  Education and Learning debate topics, Social and Cultural debate topics, and Political debate topics.

Internet and Technology Debate Topics 

This category explores a range of contemporary issues that students encounter daily. From the impact of social media to the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence, these debate topics encourage students to critically analyze the technological world they are growing up in. They provide a platform for discussing how digital advancements are reshaping society, education, and personal interactions.

1. Should mobile phones be banned in schools?

2. Should parents limit kids’ screen time?

3. To what extent can parents control their kids’ mobile devices?

4. Should schools ban/allow access to social media websites ?

5. Should teens be allowed to play violent video games, why or why not?

6. Which do you prefer: to socialize online or hang out with friends in real life?

7. Are social media websites making people asocial?

8. Spending more time online makes people dumb/smart.

9. The Internet is eliminating more jobs than it provides.

10. Using the Internet for help with homework is cheating.

11. Technology is revolutionizing our life. Yes or no and why.

12. Kids should be allowed to interact with digital technology from an early age.

13. Artificial intelligence technology encourages cheating.

14. Robots will soon take all human jobs.

15. Self-driving cars should be banned.

16. Laws still have not caught up with cyber-crimes.

Education Debate Topics

Related: 70 of the most controversial topics of our time

Education and Learning Debate Topics 

This category delves into various aspects of the educational system, questioning its current state and future direction. Topics range from the value of academic degrees to the effectiveness of different teaching methods. These debates challenge students to think about the role of education in shaping individuals and consider how it can be adapted to meet the needs of the 21st century.

17. What is the real value of academic education?

18. Are academic degrees worth the pain and hassle?

19. Should higher education be totally free? Why or why not?

20. Online academic and scholarly literature should be/shouldn’t be free. Why?

21. Post-pandemic classrooms are different from the pre-pandemic ones. Do you agree?

22. 21st century teaching/education/schools/classrooms are different. Do you agree?

23. What skills should every 21st century teacher master?

24. What do you think of school segregation?

25. School staff and teachers should be allowed to carry guns.

26. Which do you prefer studying at home, in class, or in a hybrid (flipped) setting? Why?

27. What do you think about online teaching?

28. Should homework be abolished?

29. Athletics is the least important subject in school.

30. Smart students occupy the front rows in class.

31. Should Teachers have a uniform dress code?

32. Sex education should/shouldn’t be taught in schools.

33. Recess periods should be longer.

34. Standardized tests should be banned.

35. Students should be allowed to eat in class.

36. STEM subjects are more important than other school subjects.

37. Schools should/should not be given the freedom to ban books from their libraries.

38. Which do you prefer, reading a book or watching its movie version? Why?

39. Is reading non-fiction a waste of time?

Social and Cultural Debate Topics

This category includes topics that touch upon important societal themes like racial equality, gender roles, and ethical dilemmas. These debates encourage students to reflect on their values and the societal norms that shape our world. They offer a space for discussing how cultural and social dynamics influence individual and collective behavior. 

40. What do you think of defunding the police?

41. Social, racial and linguistic profiling increases crime rate.

42. Should the government control people’s choices of whether to have an abortion or not?

43. Should same sex marriage be legalized?

44. Does bad parenting contribute to teens’ delinquency?

45. Should people be allowed to wear religious symbols in public?

46. Are you with or against euthanasia and assisted suicide?

47. Are you with or against government policing of social media websites?

48. Does social media contribute to the rise of hate crimes and crimes against minorities?

49. Are you with or against social media websites collecting users personal data and selling it to advertising companies?

50. Eating meat unethical?

51. Money does not necessarily bring happiness.

52. Animals should be liberated from zoos.

53. Marijuana should/should not be legalized.

54. Women are paid less than men.

55. Dogs are the best pets.

56. What do you think of interracial marriage?

57. Drinking and smoking should/shouldn’t be banned.

58. What do you think of teen pregnancy?

59. Are you pro or against abortion and why?

60. Should people be free to choose the gender they want to identify with?

61. What’s the role of religion in our life?

62. Why are there different religions?

Education Debate Topics

Political Debate Topics 

This category addresses a wide array of political topics, from the debate over democracy’s efficacy to the role of governments in regulating personal freedoms. These topics encourage students to dissect political ideologies, policies, and their implications for society. Engaging in these debates helps students understand the complexity of political systems and the importance of informed civic participation.

63. Should democracies continue doing business with dictatorships and autocratic regimes?

64. When it comes to relations with foreign countries, which comes first:national interests or human rights and ethical considerations?

65. ‘Our’ political values are universal values that every nation should embrace. Discuss?

66. Democracy is the only viable political system.

67. The Constitution should/should not include references to religion.

68. Rich countries should/should not encourage immigration.

69. Monarchies are a waste of money and resources and should be abolished.

70. Voting should be compulsory for all citizens.

71. Nationalism and patriotism are harmful to global peace.

72. Politics should not infiltrate into sports.

73. Powerful countries should be allowed to bully their neighboring countries.

74. World peace is currently at stake. Why?

75. Countries should not interfere with the electoral systems of other countries.

76. Lobbying for foreign countries should be abolished.

77. Female politicians are better than their male counterparts.

Final thoughts

By engaging in education debates on topics ranging from internet and technology to education, social issues, and politics, students not only develop their argumentative skills but also learn to approach issues with an open mind and a critical perspective. Remember, the topics we discussed are not just for classroom debates but are also educational debate topics that can lead to broader discussions and understanding.

education debate topics 2021

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education debate topics 2021

Meet Med Kharbach, PhD

Dr. Med Kharbach is an influential voice in the global educational technology landscape, with an extensive background in educational studies and a decade-long experience as a K-12 teacher. Holding a Ph.D. from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, he brings a unique perspective to the educational world by integrating his profound academic knowledge with his hands-on teaching experience. Dr. Kharbach's academic pursuits encompass curriculum studies, discourse analysis, language learning/teaching, language and identity, emerging literacies, educational technology, and research methodologies. His work has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in various esteemed academic journals.

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education debate topics 2021

Are you a teacher who is looking for education-themed debate topics to use with your students? Well, look no further because we have a list of topics that you can use in your classroom today.

  • A college degree is needed to get a good job.
  • Are learner loans exploitative?
  • All learners should have to purchase a laptop.
  • Boarding school is harmful to learners.
  • Cell phones should be banned in schools.
  • College should be free for everyone.
  • Contact sports should be required in school.
  • Do you need homework in order?
  • Education should be privatized.
  • Education should focus on math and science rather than music and art.
  • Fast food should be banned in schools.
  • Girls should be encouraged to enter STEM fields.
  • Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
  • Public schools are better than private schools.
  • Religion should be taught in schools.
  • Should free STD testing be offered in schools?
  • Schools should have armed guards.
  • Should schools teach abstinence-only sex education?
  • Should schools teach LGBT+ inclusive sex education?
  • Should standardized testing be abolished?
  • School uniforms should be mandatory.
  • Studying a second language should be compulsory.
  • Teachers should be given guns to defend learners.
  • Teachers should be paid as much as doctors.

Environmental Themes to Debate

Political debate topics.

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General Education

bill-oxford-OXGhu60NwxU-unsplash

A debate is a formal discussion about a topic where two sides present opposing viewpoints. Debates follow a specific structure: each side is given time to speak either for or against the topic at hand.

Many students study debate in high school to improve their speaking skills. As a debater, you learn how to clearly structure and present an argument. The skills you develop as a debater will help you on everything from a college admissions interview to a job presentation.

Selecting debate topics is one of the most important parts of debating. In this article, we’ll explain how to select a good debate topic and give suggestions for debate topics you can use.

How to Select Good Debate Topics

A good debate topic is one that lets the participants and the audience learn about both sides of an issue. Consider the following factors when selecting a debate topic:

Interest: Are you interested in the topic? Would the topic be interesting to your fellow classmates, as well as to the audience listening to the debate? Selecting a topic that you’re interested in makes the preparation part of the debate more exciting , as well as the debate more lively.

Argument Potential: You want to choose a debate topic that has solid argument potential. If one side is clearly right, or if there isn’t a lot of available information, you’ll have a hard time crafting a solid debate.

Availability of Data: Data points make an argument more robust. You’ll want to select a topic with lots of empirical data that you can pull from to bolster your argument.

Now that we know how to select a debate topic, let’s look at a list of good debate topics.

Debate Topics Master List

If you’re searching for your next debate topic, here are some suggestions.

Social and Political Issues Debate Topics

  • All people should have the right to own guns.
  • The death penalty should be abolished.
  • Human cloning should be legalized.
  • All drugs should be legalized.
  • Animal testing should be banned.
  • Juveniles should be tried and treated as adults.
  • Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today.
  • Violent video games should be banned.
  • The minimum wage should be $15 per hour.
  • All people should have Universal Basic Income.
  • Sex work should be legal.
  • Countries should be isolationist.
  • Abortion should be banned.
  • Every citizen should be mandated to perform national public service.
  • Bottled water should be banned.
  • Plastic bags should be banned.

Education Debate Topics

  • Homework should be banned.
  • Public prayer should not be allowed in schools.
  • Schools should block sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram on their computers.
  • School uniforms should be required.
  • Standardized testing should be abolished.
  • All students should have an after-school job or internship.
  • School should be in session year-round.
  • All high school athletes should be drug tested.
  • Detention should be abolished.
  • All student loan debt should be eliminated.
  • Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
  • All schools should have armed security guards.
  • Religion should be taught in schools.
  • All schools should be private schools.
  • All students should go to boarding schools.
  • Sexual education should be mandatory in schools.
  • Public college should be tuition free.
  • All teachers should get tenure.
  • All school districts should offer school vouchers.

daniel-sandvik-18B9D4q9ESE-unsplash-1

Health Debate Topics

  • Healthcare should be universal.
  • Cosmetic procedures should be covered by health insurance.
  • All people should be vegetarians.
  • Euthanasia should be banned.
  • The drinking age should be 18.
  • Vaping should be banned.
  • Smoking should be banned in all public places.
  • People should be legally required to get vaccines.
  • Obesity should be labeled a disease.
  • Sexual orientation is determined at birth.
  • The sale of human organs should be legalized.
  • Birth control should be for sale over the counter.

Technology Debate Topics

  • Social media has improved human communication.
  • The development of artificial intelligence will help humanity.
  • Individuals should own their own DNA.
  • Humans should invest in technology to explore and colonize other planets.
  • Governments should invest in alternative energy sources.
  • Net neutrality should be restored.
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be encouraged or banned.
  • Alternative energy can effectively replace fossil fuels.
  • Cell phone radiation is dangerous and should be limited.

How to Prepare for a Debate

Once you’ve selected your debate topic, the next step is to prepare for your debate. Follow these steps as you get ready to take the podium.

Read Your Evidence

The most important step to building your debate confidence is to familiarize yourself with the evidence available. You’ll want to select reputable sources and use empirical data effectively.

The more well read on your topic you are, the better you’ll be able to defend your position and anticipate the other side’s arguments.

Anticipate the Other Side’s Arguments

As part of your debate, you’ll need to rebut the other side’s arguments. It’s important to prepare ahead of time to guess what they’ll be talking about. You’ll bolster your own side’s argument if you’re able to effectively dismantle what the other side is saying.

Plan to Fill Your Speech Time

Each speaker at a debate is limited to a certain amount of time. You should plan to use every second of the time that you’re allotted. Make sure you practice your talking points so that you know you’re within the time frame. If you’re short, add in more evidence.

Practice to Build Confidence

It can be scary to take the stage for a debate! Practicing ahead of time will help you build confidence. Remember to speak slowly and clearly. Even if your argument is great, it won’t matter if no one can understand it.

Final Thoughts

Debate is a great way to hone your public speaking skills and get practice crafting and defending an argument. Use these debate topics if you're searching for a focus for your next debate.

What's Next?

Looking for ways to keep the debate going in non-academic life? Then you'll love our list of 101 "this or that" questions to argue over with your friends.

Thinking about how you can use your argumentative skills in a future career? Read up on the five steps to becoming a lawyer to see if that's a path you want to pursue.

Getting ready to take an AP test? Here’s a list of practice tests for every AP exam, including the AP literature exam .

It can be hard to schedule time to study for an AP test on top of your extracurriculars and normal classwork. Check out this article on when you need to start studying for your AP tests to make sure you’re staying on track.

author image

Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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125 Winning Debate Topics for Middle School Students

Teach students to make effective arguments.

education debate topics 2021

When students learn to debate, they gain valuable life skills. Debates teach kids to research their topic, make informed choices, and argue effectively using facts instead of emotion. This list of middle school debate topics encompasses both serious and lighthearted ideas for kids ages 10 to 14. Each topic includes a link to an article from a reliable source that provides pros and/or cons to help kids make their arguments.

School and Education Debate Topics

Technology and entertainment debate topics, life and ethics debate topics, fun and funny debate topics.

  • Controversial Debate Topics
  • It’s better to be good at academics than to be good at sports.
  • Homework should be banned.
  • Schools should require all students to wear uniforms.
  • We should punish students for using curse words.
  • Year-round school is better for students.

Year-round school is better for students.- middle school debate topics

  • Schools should require physical education (gym class) through 12th grade.
  • All students should be required to volunteer in their community.
  • Junk food should be banned in schools.
  • All middle school students should learn a foreign language.
  • Single-gender schools are better for students.
  • Math is the most important school subject.
  • Letter grades should be abolished.
  • Teachers should be replaced by computers.
  • Students should be graded on their handwriting.
  • Kids who get better grades in school will be more successful in life.
  • Sometimes it’s OK to cheat on homework or a test.
  • Students who fail a test should be given the chance to take it again.
  • Students should be allowed to grade teachers.
  • Kids should be able to bring their pets to school.
  • Schools should give middle school students more recess time.

Schools should give middle school students more recess time.- middle school debate topics

  • The school day should be shorter.
  • Schools should eliminate dress codes.
  • College should be free for everyone who wants to attend.
  • Schools should be allowed to ban some books from their libraries.
  • Book smarts are better than street smarts.
  • All people should have free internet access.
  • Playing violent video games makes people more likely to be violent in real life.
  • Reality television depicts real life.
  • The minimum age to own a smartphone should be 16.

The minimum age to own a smartphone should be 16.

  • Students should be allowed to use phones in class.
  • Macs are better than PCs.
  • Androids are better than iPhones.
  • Kids under 13 should be allowed to use social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • Students should not be allowed to watch TV on school nights.
  • Social media does more harm than good.
  • Video games are better than board games.
  • Reading books is better than watching TV.
  • All paper documents should be replaced with electronic versions.
  • Books are always better than the movies that are made from them.
  • Parents should use their kids’ cell phones to track where they are.
  • Playing video games makes you smarter.

Playing video games makes you smarter.- middle school debate topics

  • Scientists should try to develop a way for everyone to live forever.
  • Paper books are better than e-books.
  • Schools should have surveillance cameras in classrooms and hallways.
  • Movie ratings (G, PG, PG-13, and R) should be done away with.
  • Professional athletes and celebrities deserve to make more money than the average person.
  • People have a responsibility to help one another out.
  • No one should ever tell a lie.
  • Girls face more peer pressure than boys.
  • We should lower the voting age to 12.
  • Every member of a family should have daily chores.
  • All museums and zoos should be free to everyone.
  • All people should be vegetarians.

All people should be vegetarians.

  • Democracy is the best form of government.
  • All Americans should be required to vote.
  • Cigarette smoking and vaping should be banned entirely.
  • Parents should be allowed to read their children’s private diaries.
  • Giving is better than receiving.
  • Receiving a regular allowance is good for kids.
  • Parents should be punished for their children’s mistakes.
  • Real Christmas trees are better than artificial ones.
  • We should not keep animals in zoos.
  • All kids should play on the same sports teams, regardless of gender.
  • It is better to save some of your allowance than to spend it all.
  • Kids should be allowed to stay up as late as they want.
  • Happiness is more important than success.
  • The driving age should be lowered to 14.

The driving age should be lowered to 14.- middle school debate topics

  • We should completely ban plastic bottles.
  • Parents should have to take a parenting class before having a child.
  • If you find money on the ground, it’s automatically yours to keep.
  • It is better to be kind than to be truthful.
  • All kids should have a playground or park within walking distance of their home.
  • Kids should be allowed to have credit cards.
  • It’s important to spend money exploring space.
  • All families should have a pet.
  • Dogs are better pets than cats.
  • Summer is better than winter.
  • Pepperoni is the best pizza topping.
  • Teachers shouldn’t give rewards and prizes in the classroom.
  • Clowns are more scary than funny.
  • Every home should have a robot.
  • There is intelligent life on other planets.

There is intelligent life on other planets.

  • The egg came before the chicken.
  • Pop music is better than classical music.
  • Xbox is better than PlayStation.
  • Peanut butter is better than Nutella.
  • Football is better than soccer.
  • Everyone should make their bed every day.
  • It would be better to be able to fly than to be able to turn invisible.
  • Harry Potter is better than The Lord of the Rings .
  • Pluto should still be considered a planet.
  • Santa Claus’ elves should be paid minimum wage.
  • Hot chocolate is better than a chocolate milkshake.
  • Fruit counts as dessert.
  • People should be allowed to go barefoot anywhere if they want to.
  • Fiction is better than nonfiction.

Fiction is better than non-fiction.

  • Everyone should learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Werewolves are more dangerous than vampires.
  • Kids shouldn’t have to go to school on their birthdays.

Controversial Middle School Debate Topics

These middle school debate topics are pretty contentious and might not be appropriate for all students or every classroom. But if your middle schoolers are ready to take on more serious debates, try these important questions.

  • We should abolish the death penalty.
  • Stricter gun control laws help stop mass shootings.
  • It’s necessary to continue building a wall between the United States and Mexico.
  • Segregation still exist in the United States.
  • Religion does more harm than good.
  • We will never achieve world peace.
  • We shouldn’t allow young children to play contact sports like football.

We shouldn't allow young children to play contact sports like football.

  • Parents shouldn’t be allowed to pierce a baby’s ears.
  • Beauty pageants are sexist.
  • Kids shouldn’t get participation trophies for sports.
  • It’s possible to be an ethical hunter.
  • Some stereotypes are accurate.
  • People have a responsibility to step in when they see a crime in action.
  • War is sometimes necessary.
  • There are times when we must limit freedom of speech.
  • Security is more important than freedom.
  • We should do away with gender-specific public bathrooms.
  • Anyone over age 12 should be tried as an adult in court.
  • Electric vehicles are better than gas-powered ones.

Electric vehicles are better than gas-powered ones.

  • Our society has a harmful “diet culture.”
  • All countries should have to give up their nuclear weapons.
  • We should ban testing on animals.
  • We should ban the use of fossil fuels.
  • Human cloning should be legal.
  • Vaccines should be mandatory.

What are your favorite middle school debate topics? Come share in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, check out 75 funny debate topics for kids of all ages ..

Looking for debate topics for middle school and junior high students? This roundup ranges from lighthearted to serious, ideal for any class.

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National Speech & Debate Association

Interested in suggesting a potential topic, learning about how topics are selected, or applying to be part of a topic wording committee? 

Learn more about the topics and topic areas to be discussed at the 2024 National Speech & Debate Tournamment this June! 

Current Topics

Lincoln-douglas.

Lincoln-Douglas

A Note About the LD Topic Release Schedule: Each summer, the Lincoln-Douglas Wording Committee assigns a set of three topics to each bi-monthly topic cycle. All potential topics for the year are released the Monday following the conclusion of the National Tournament. In June, chapter advisors and member students will know, “These three topics will be voted on for September/October. These three topics will be voted on for November/December,” etc. One week prior to the topic being released for that topic cycle, chapter advisors and member students will vote on which of the three topics they prefer. The topic that receives the most votes will be the topic for that cycle. 

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2024 March/April Topic

  • Resolved: The primary objective of the United States criminal justice system ought to be rehabilitation.

A total of 910 coaches and 3,285 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 41% of the coach vote and 41% of the student vote.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2024 National Tournament Topic

Lincoln-douglas debate – novice topic.

Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be mandatory.

Note: The novice Lincoln-Douglas topic is an optional topic that coaches and tournaments may choose to use each year in September/October, or the first two months of the novice season. The same topic is used each year and is created to be accessible to new debaters so that coaches can have a consistent, beginner-friendly topic to guide their novice LD curriculum using educational materials provided by the NSDA. Coaches are encouraged to check with tournament hosts in their area before exclusively prepping for one topic over another.   Access sample cases   on the mandatory national service topic.

Public Forum

Public Forum

A Note About the PF Topic Release Schedule: Each summer, the Public Forum Wording Committee assigns a set of two topics to each topic cycle. All potential topic areas and resolutions for the year are released the Monday following the conclusion of the National Tournament. In June, chapter advisors and member students will know, “These two topics will be voted on for September/October. These two topics will be voted on for November/December,” etc. One week prior to the topic being released for that topic cycle, chapter advisors and member students will vote on which of the two topics they prefer. The topic that receives the most votes will be the topic for that cycle. 

Public Forum Debate – 2024 April Topic

Public forum debate – 2024 national tournament topic, policy debate.

Policy Debate

Policy Debate – 2023-2024 Topic

Read a synopsis of the problem areas proposed for the 2023-2024 Policy Debate resolution.

Novice Case Limits for the 2023-2024 Policy Debate Topic

  • Basic Income: Universal Basic Income
  • Basic Income: Basic Income for Persons at or near the Poverty Level
  • Federal Jobs Guarantee: Green New Deal
  • Social Security: Medicare for All

Policy Debate – 2024-2025 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should significantly strengthen its protection of domestic intellectual property rights in copyrights, patents, and/or trademarks.

Read a synopsis of the problem areas proposed for the 2024-2025 Policy Debate resolution.

Visit the NFHS website for a complete map of how states voted as well as the press release .

Novice Case Limits for the 2024-2025 Policy Debate Topic

  • Patents: Emerging Technologies
  • Patents: Green Technology
  • Copyrights: Protect the Creative Arts
  • Trademarks: Trademark Trolls

Big Questions

Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy Debate

Big Questions – 2023-2024 Topic

Resolved: Belief in the supernatural is incompatible with belief in science.

A total of 563 coaches and 1,557 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 55% of the coach vote and 65% of the student vote.

Check out the   Big Questions Topic Papers   for an overview of the two topics proposed for the 2023-2024 season.

We invite you to incorporate issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion into your speech and debate activities. Explore our Extemp questions , Impromptu questions , and Congress legislation focused on these important topics.

Congress Legislation

Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy Debate

A sample docket is provided monthly, on the first of the month.

Extemp Questions

Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy Debate

Sample questions are provided monthly, on the first of the month.

World Schools Debate

Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy Debate

Sample motions are provided monthly, on the first of the month

Potential Topics

Lincoln-douglas debate 2023-2024 potential topics.

The Lincoln-Douglas Wording Committee has developed a variety of potential resolutions for the 2023-2024 season. Member students and one chapter advisor per active school may vote for each topic one week prior to the topic release date. Topic voting for the September/October topic opens July 25, and the topic will be announced August 1.

2023 September/October

  • Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to substantially increase the use of nuclear power to generate electricity.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to establish a public option for banking.

2023 November/December

  • Resolved: States ought to prohibit resource extraction within the Arctic Circle.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to prohibit the extraction of fossil fuels from federal public lands and waters.
  • Resolved: The United States federal government ought to implement a Social Wealth Fund.

2024 January/February

  • Resolved: The United States federal government ought to substantially strengthen its obligation of trust responsibility toward Indigenous Nations.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to recognize Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to substantially reduce its military presence in the West Asia-North Africa region.

2024 March/April

  • Resolved: An inquisitorial justice system is preferable to an adversarial justice system.
  • Resolved: In the United States, the use of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust.

2024 National Tournament

  • Resolved: In a democracy, a people ought to have the right to secede from their government.
  • Resolved: Democracies ought to have electoral gender quotas.
  • Resolved: In a democracy, non-citizen residents ought to have the right to vote in national elections.

Public Forum Debate 2023-2024 Potential Topics

The Public Forum Wording Committee has developed a variety of potential resolutions for the 2023-2024 season. Member students and one chapter advisor per active school may vote for each topic one week prior to the topic release date. Topic voting for the September/October topic opens July 25, and the topic will be announced August 1.

  • Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its military presence in the Arctic.
  • Resolved: The benefits of European Union enlargement outweigh the harms.
  • Resolved: The United States federal government should forgive all federal student loan debt.
  • Resolved: On balance, the benefits of school choice programs in the United States outweigh the harms.

2024 January

  • Resolved: The United States federal government should repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  • Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Chevron deference doctrine outweigh the harms.

2024 February

  • Resolved: The Federative Republic of Brazil should prioritize its environmental protection over its economic development.
  • Resolved: The United States federal government should ban single-use plastics.
  • Resolved: In the United States, collegiate student-athletes should be classified as employees of their educational institution.
  • Resolved: The United States federal government should restore the banking regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
  • Resolved: The Republic of Korea should develop nuclear weapons.
  • Resolved: The United Nations should abolish permanent membership on its Security Council.
  • Resolved: The United States should establish a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the European Union.
  • Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the EU-Mercosur free trade deal outweigh the harms.

Past Topics

Past topics - big questions.

2022-2023 – Resolved: Humans are primarily driven by self-interest.

2021-2022 – Resolved: On balance, societies benefit from religious belief and practice.

2020-2021 – Resolved: Mathematics was discovered, not invented.

2019-2020 – Resolved: Objective morality exists.

2018-2019 – Resolved: Humans are primarily driven by self-interest.

Past Topics - Lincoln-Douglas Debate

  • Nationals 2024 – Resolved: In a democracy, a people ought to have the right to secede from their government.
  • March/April – Resolved: The primary objective of the United States criminal justice system ought to be rehabilitation.
  • January/February – Resolved: The United States ought to substantially reduce its military presence in the West Asia-North Africa region.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to prohibit the extraction of fossil fuels from federal public lands and waters.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.
  • Nationals 2023 – Resolved: Government employees have a moral obligation to leak classified information to address injustice.
  • March/April – Resolved: The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States ought to be term-limited.
  • January/February – Resolved: Justice requires open borders for human migration.
  • November/December – Resolved: The People’s Republic of China ought to prioritize environmental protection over economic growth.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States ought to implement a single-payer universal healthcare system.
  • Nationals 2022 – Resolved: Radicalism is preferable to incrementalism to achieve social justice.
  • March/April – Resolved: In a democracy, a free press ought to prioritize objectivity over advocacy.
  • January/February – Resolved: The appropriation of outer space by private entities is unjust.
  • November/December – Resolved: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike.
  • September/October – Resolved: The member nations of the World Trade Organization ought to reduce intellectual property protections for medicines.
  • Nationals – Resolved: A public health emergency justifies limiting civil liberties.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal child care.
  • January/February – Resolved: States ought to ban lethal autonomous weapons.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to provide a federal jobs guarantee.
  • September/October – Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.
  • Nationals – Resolved: The intergenerational accumulation of wealth is antithetical to democracy.
  • March/April – Resolved: Predictive policing is unjust.
  • January/February – Resolved: States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.
  • September/October – Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.
  • Nationals – Resolved: Violent revolution is a just response to political oppression.
  • March/April – Resolved: The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.
  • January/February – Resolved: The United States ought not provide military aid to authoritarian regimes.
  • November/December – Resolved: In a democracy, the public’s right to know ought to be valued above the right to privacy of candidates for public office.
  • September/October – Resolved: In the United States, reporters ought to have the right to protect the identity of confidential sources.
  • Nationals – Resolved: The United States’ use of targeted killing in foreign countries is unjust.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.
  • January/February- Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system.
  • November/December – Resolved: Wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations.
  • September/October – Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.
  • Nationals – Resolved: A just government ought to prioritize civil liberties over national security.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.
  • January/February – Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.
  • September/October – Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.
  • 2016 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.
  • January/February – Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.
  • September/October – Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.
  • 2015 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Inaction in the face of injustice makes individuals morally culpable.
  • March/April – Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.
  • January/February – Resolved: Just governments ought to require that employers pay a living wage.
  • November/December – Resolved: The “right to be forgotten” from Internet searches ought to be a civil right.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased.
  • 2014 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The United States ought to prioritize the pursuit of national security objectives above the digital privacy of its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.
  • January/February – Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.
  • 2013 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
  • January/February – Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal health care for its citizens.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.
  • 2012 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: A government has the obligation to lessen the economic gap between its rich and poor citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.
  • January/February – Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
  • November/December – Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.
  • September/October – Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.
  • 2011 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: When forced to choose, a just government ought to prioritize universal human rights over its national interest.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.
  • January/February – Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • November/December Topic – Resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.
  • September/October – Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.
  • 2010 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Compulsory inclusion of non-felons’ DNA in any government database is unjust.
  • 2010 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the United States government has a moral obligation to afford the same constitutional rights to all people on United States soil.
  • March/April – Resolved: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.
  • January/February – Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
  • November/December – Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.
  • September/October – Resolved: Public High school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
  • 2009 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Military conscription is unjust.
  • 2009 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: When in conflict, the preservation of minority cultural values ought to be valued above the preservation of a unified national culture.
  • March/April – Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
  • January/February – Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.
  • November/December – Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.
  • September/October – Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.
  • 2008 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Limiting economic inequality ought to be a more important social goal than maximizing economic freedom.
  • 2008 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics.
  • March/April – Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.
  • January/February – Resolved: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States, plea-bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just society ought not use the death penalty as a form of punishment.
  • 2007 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: On balance, violent revolution is a just response to political oppression.
  • 2007 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That judicial activism is unjust in a democracy.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United Nations’ obligation to protect global human rights ought to be valued above its obligation to respect national sovereignty.
  • January/February – Resolved: The actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals.
  • November/December – Resolved: A victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is a just response to repeated domestic violence.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just government should provide health care to its citizens.
  • 2006 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means.
  • 2006 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: When in conflict, an individual’s freedom of speech should be valued above a community’s moral standards.
  • March/April – Resolved: Juveniles charged with violent crimes should be tried and punished as adults.
  • January/February – Resolved: The use of the state’s power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust.
  • November/December – Resolved: Judicial activism is necessary to protect the rights of American citizens.
  • September/October – Resolved: In matters of U.S. immigration policy, restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals.
  • 2005 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be constrained by concern for societal good.
  • 2005 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the primary purpose of formal education ought to be to impart knowledge.
  • March/April – Resolved: to better protect civil liberties, community standards ought to take precedence over conflicting national standards.
  • January/February – Resolved: democracy is best served by strict separation of church and state.
  • November/December – Resolved: the United States has a moral obligation to promote democratic ideals in other nations.
  • September/October – Resolved: individual claims of privacy ought to be valued above competing claims of societal welfare.
  • 2004 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.
  • 2004 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: a nation’s citizens’ rights ought to take precedence over its security.
  • March/April – Resolved: as a general principle, individuals have an obligation to value the common good above their own interests.
  • January/February – Resolved: a government’s obligation to protect the environment ought to take precedence over its obligation to promote economic development.
  • November/December – Resolved: the U.S. has a moral obligation to mitigate international conflicts.
  • September/October – Resolved: in the U.S. judicial system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over privileged communication.
  • 2003 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: rehabilitation ought to be valued above punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system.
  • 2003 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: capitalism is the most just economic system.
  • March/April – Resolved: when in conflict, the letter of the law ought to take priority over the spirit of the law.
  • January/February – Resolved: when in conflict, globalization ought to be valued above national sovereignty.
  • November/December – Resolved: when in conflict, academic freedom in U.S. high schools ought to be valued above community standards.
  • September/October – Resolved: when the United States is engaged in military conflict, the demands of national security ought to supersede conflicting claims of individual rights.
  • 2002 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.
  • 2002 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the people’s right to know outweighs the government’s need for confidentiality.
  • March/April – Resolved: limiting the freedom of expression of adults is justified by society’s interest in protecting children.
  • January/February – Resolved: oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • November/December – Resolved: a lesser developed nation’s right to develop ought to take priority over its obligation to protect the environment.
  • September/October – Resolved: decentralized governmental power ought to be a fundamental goal of democratic society.
  • 2001 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: on balance, violent revolution is a just response to oppression.
  • 2001 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: providing for basic human needs of citizens in a society ought to be valued above individual property rights.
  • March/April – Resolved: the public’s right to know ought to be valued above the right to privacy of candidates for public office.
  • January/February – Resolved: the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.
  • November/December – Resolved: establishing a safe educational environment in grades K-12 justifies infringement of students’ civil liberties.
  • September/October – Resolved: colleges and universities have a moral obligation to prohibit the public expression of hate speech on their campuses.
  • 2000 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable.
  • 2000 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: discriminations made by society on the basis of chronological age alone are justified.
  • March/April – Resolved: the intervention of one nation in the domestic affairs of another nation is morally justified.
  • January/February – Resolved: violent juvenile offenders ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • November/December – Resolved: the use of economic sanctions to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals is moral.
  • September/October – Resolved: when they conflict, respect for cultural sensitivity ought to be valued above the commercial use of free speech.
  • 1999 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: capitalism is superior to socialism as a means of achieving economic justice.
  • 1999 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the objectives of democracy are best fulfilled through a separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers.
  • March/April – Resolved: human genetic engineering is morally justified.
  • January/February – Resolved: in the United States, a journalist’s right to shield confidential sources ought to be protected by the First Amendment.
  • November/December – Resolved: capital punishment is justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: the individual ought to value the sanctity of life above the quality of life.
  • 1998 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: in the United States’ justice system, due process ought to be valued above the pursuit of truth when they are in conflict.
  • 1998 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: individuals ought to sacrifice their ideals for the sake of compromise.
  • March/April – Resolved: civil disobedience is justified in a democracy.
  • January/February – Resolved: a just social order ought to place the principle of equality above that of liberty.
  • November/December – Resolved: an adolescent’s right to privacy ought to be valued above a parent’s conflicting right to know.
  • September/October – Resolved: global concerns ought to be valued above conflicting national concerns.
  • 1997 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the public’s right to know is of greater value than the individual’s right to privacy.
  • March/April – Resolved: on balance, individuals ought to have a greater obligation to themselves than to their community.
  • January/February – Resolved: in United States policy, the principle of universal human rights ought to take precedence over conflicting national interest.
  • November/December – Resolved: when they are in conflict, a business’ responsibility to itself ought to be valued above its responsibility to society.
  • September/October – Resolved: when in conflict, society’s goal of eliminating discrimination ought to transcend an individual’s right to participate in exclusive, voluntary associations.
  • 1996 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That limiting constitutional freedoms is a just response to terrorism in the United States.
  • March/April – Resolved: when in conflict, American cultural unity ought to be valued above cultural diversity.
  • January/February – Resolved: an oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • November/December – Resolved: the pursuit of feminist ideals is detrimental to the achievement of gender equality.
  • September/October – Resolved: individuals with disabilities ought to be afforded the same athletic competition opportunities as able-bodied athletes.
  • 1995 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when in conflict, the safety of others is of greater value than the right to privacy of those with infectious diseases.
  • March/April – Resolved: on balance, institutional censorship of academic material is harmful to the educational development of the students.
  • January/February – Resolved: laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: when in conflict, community standards are of greater value than individual liberty.
  • September/October – Resolved: an individual’s freedom of expression is of greater value than political correctness.
  • 1994 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when in conflict, protection of the innocent is of greater value than prosecution of the guilty.
  • March/April – Resolved: terminally ill patients have the right to die when and how they choose.
  • January/February – Resolved: when called upon by one’s government, individuals are morally obligated to risk their lives for their country.
  • November/December – Resolved: the public’s right to know is of greater value than the right to privacy of candidates for public office.
  • September/October – Resolved: secondary education in the United States ought to be a privilege, not a right.
  • 1993 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the protection of domestic order justifies the curtailment of First Amendment rights.
  • March/April – Resolved: the principle of majority rule ought to be valued above the principle of minority rights.
  • January/February – Resolved: when in conflict, the spirit of the law ought to take priority over the letter of the law.
  • November/December – Resolved: in the criminal justice system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over privileged communication.
  • September/October – Resolved: the U.S. military interference in the internal affairs of other countries is justified.
  • 1992 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the United States government ought to provide for the medical care of its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.
  • January/February – Resolved: a victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is justified as a response to physical abuse.
  • November/December – Resolved: human genetic engineering is morally justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: a liberal arts curriculum is preferable to an employment-readiness curriculum in U.S. secondary schools.
  • 1991 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: members of the United States Congress ought to value the national interest above constituent’s interests when the two are in conflict.
  • March/April – Resolved: the pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be limited by a concern for societal good.
  • January/February – Resolved: showing disrespect for the American flag is antithetical to fundamental American values.
  • November/December – Resolved: government limits on the individual’s right to bear arms in the United States are justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.
  • 1990 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: individual obedience to law plays a greater role in maintaining ethical public service than does individual obedience to conscience.
  • March/April – Resolved: development of natural resources ought to be valued above protection of the environment.
  • January/February – Resolved: communities in the United States ought to have the right to suppress pornography.
  • November/December – Resolved: all United States citizens ought to perform a period of national service.
  • September/October – Resolved: that the United States ought to value global concerns above its own national concerns.
  • 1989 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the American criminal justice system ought to place a higher priority on retribution than on rehabilitation.
  • March/April – Resolved: the public’s right to know ought to be valued above U.S. national security interests.
  • January/February – Resolved: limitations upon the content of student publications by secondary school administrators are justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: affirmative action programs to remedy the effects of discrimination are justified.
  • 1988 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: violent revolution is a just response to oppression.
  • March/April/May – Resolved: when they are in conflict, the principle of privileged communication ought to be subordinate to the maintenance of law and order.
  • December/January/February – Resolved: the protection of society’s health interest through broad based mandatory testing of AIDS ought to be more important than personal privacy rights.
  • September/October/November – Resolved: the protection of public safety justifies random, mandatory drug testing throughout society.
  • 1987 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when they are in conflict, the right to a free press is a higher priority than the right to a fair trial.
  • March/April – Resolved: a parliamentary system of government would better fulfill the values underlying the American Constitution.
  • January/February – Resolved: That decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in criminal cases ought to reflect the values of the American people.
  • November/December – Resolved: an unjust government is better than no government at all.
  • 1986 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: giving sanctuary to illegal refugees in the United States justifiably places moral law above positive law.
  • March/April – Resolved: allowing innocent people to be harmed is preferable than giving into terrorists’ demands.
  • January/February – Resolved: the restriction of civil liberties in the United States for the sake of combating terrorism is justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.
  • September/October – Resolved: the use of sanctions to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals ought to be immoral.
  • 1985 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the American media works against the best interest of the American public.
  • March/April – Resolved: a just social order ought to place the principle of equality above that of liberty.
  • January/February – Resolved: nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.
  • Resolved: U.S. immigration policy is inconsistent with American ideals.
  • 1984 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: uniformity in education leads to mediocrity.
  • January/February – Resolved: even in a democratic society morality can be legislated.
  • 1983 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Liberty is more precious than law.
  • March/April – Resolved: protection of the environment should take precedence over the development of natural resources.
  • January/February – Resolved: funding for human services programs should take precedence over a balanced budget.
  • Resolved: the right to a free press outweighs the right to a fair trial.
  • Resolved: the right to die takes precedence over other ethical and moral considerations.
  • 1982 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the economic health of a nation is more important than the social programs for its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: it is undesirable to expend societal resources on the enforcement of laws against victimless crimes.
  • January/February – Resolved: the rights of the victim should take precedence over the rights of the accused in felony cases.
  • 1981 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the protection of human rights should have a higher priority in shaping America’s foreign policy.
  • March/April – Resolved: military conscription is a superior alternative to a voluntary army.
  • January/February – Resolved: it is morally unjustifiable to require an individual to join a labor organization as a condition of employment.
  • 1980 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The strength of the present methods of funding the social security system outweighs the weaknesses.

Past Topics - Public Forum Debate

  • Nationals 2024 – Resolved: The United States should establish a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with the European Union.
  • April – Resolved: The United Nations should abolish permanent membership on its Security Council.
  • March – Resolved: In the United States, collegiate student-athletes should be classified as employees of their educational institution.
  • February – Resolved: The United States federal government should ban single-use plastics.
  • January – Resolved: The United States federal government should repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States federal government should forgive all federal student loan debt.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its military presence in the Arctic.
  • Nationals 2023 – Resolved: The United States should adopt ranked-choice voting for its federal elections.
  • April – Resolved: The United States Federal Government should ban the collection of personal data through biometric recognition technology.
  • March – Resolved: The Republic of India should sign the Artemis Accords.
  • February – Resolved: In the United States, right-to-work laws do more harm than good.
  • January – Resolved: The United States Federal Government should increase its diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve internal armed conflicts in West Asia.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States’ strategy of Great Power Competition produces more benefits than harms.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its investment in high-speed rail.
  • Nationals 2022 – Resolved: The United States should establish a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan.
  • April – Resolved: Japan should revise Article 9 of its Constitution to develop offensive military capabilities.
  • March – Resolved: In the United States, the benefits of increasing organic agriculture outweigh the harms.
  • February – Resolved: On balance, Turkey’s membership is beneficial to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
  • January – Resolved: The United States federal government should legalize all illicit drugs.
  • November/December – Resolved: Increased United States federal regulation of cryptocurrency transactions and/or assets will produce more benefits than harms.
  • September/October – Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially increase its defense commitments to the Baltic states.
  • Nationals 2021 – Resolved: In the United States, social media is beneficial for democratic values.
  • April – Resolved: The benefits of the International Monetary Fund outweigh the harms.
  • March – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of creating the United States Space Force outweigh the harms.
  • February – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of urbanization in West Africa outweigh the harms.
  • January – Resolved: The National Security Agency should end its surveillance of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States should adopt a declaratory nuclear policy of no first use.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States federal government should enact the Medicare-For-All Act of 2019.
  • Nationals 2020 – Resolved: On balance, charter schools are beneficial to the quality of education in the United States.
  • April 2020 – Resolved: The United States should remove nearly all of its military presence in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.
  • March 2020 – Resolved: The United States should increase its use of nuclear energy for commercial energy production.
  • February 2020 – Resolved: The United States should replace means-tested welfare programs with a universal basic income.
  • January 2020 – Resolved: The United States should end its economic sanctions against Venezuela.
  • November/December 2019 – Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.
  • September/October 2019 – Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Nationals 2019 – Resolved: The United States federal government should enforce antitrust regulations on technology giants.
  • April 2019 – Resolved: The United Nations should grant India permanent membership on the Security Council.
  • March 2019 – Resolved: The United States should promote the development of market rate housing in urban neighborhoods.
  • February 2019 – Resolved: The United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
  • January 2019 – Resolved: The United States federal government should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth.
  • November/December 2018 – Resolved: The United States federal government should impose price controls on the pharmaceutical industry.
  • September/October 2018 – Resolved: The United States should accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea without reservations.
  • Nationals 2018 – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of United States participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement outweigh the consequences.
  • April 2018 – Resolved: The United States federal government should increase its quota of H-1B visas.
  • March 2018 – Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.
  • February 2018 – Resolved: The United States should abolish the capital gains tax.
  • January 2018 – Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.
  • December 2017 – Resolved: NCAA student athletes ought to be recognized as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • November 2017 – Resolved: The United States should require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers of ownership.
  • September/October 2017 – Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.
  • Nationals 2017 – Resolved: In East Africa, the United States federal government should prioritize its counterterrorism efforts over its humanitarian assistance.
  • April 2017 – Resolved: The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote.
  • March 2017 – Resolved: The United States should no longer pressure Israel to work toward a two-state solution.
  • February 2017 – Resolved: The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.
  • January 2017 – Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.
  • December 2016 – Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.
  • November 2016 – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.
  • September/October 2016 – Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.
  • 2016 National Speech & Debate Tournament – On balance, a one-day national primary would be more beneficial for the United States than our current presidential primary process.
  • April 2016 – Resolved: To alleviate income inequality in the United States, increased spending on public infrastructure should be prioritized over increased spending on means-tested welfare programs.
  • March 2016 – Resolved: The United States should withdraw its military presence from Okinawa.
  • February 2016 – Resolved: The United States federal government should adopt a carbon tax.
  • January 2016 – Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.
  • December 2015 – Resolved: On balance, standardized testing is beneficial to K-12 education in the United States.
  • November 2015 – Resolved: In response to the current crisis, a government should prioritize the humanitarian needs of refugees over its national interests.
  • September/October 2015 – Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.
  • 2015 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The benefits of First Amendment protection of anonymous speech outweigh the harms.
  • April 2015 – Resolved: Committing United States ground combat troops to fight ISIL is in the best interest of the United States.
  • March 2015 – Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.
  • February 2015 – Resolved: On balance, economic globalization benefits worldwide poverty reduction.
  • January 2015 – Resolved: United Nations peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
  • December 2014 – Resolved: For-profit prisons in the United States should be banned.
  • November 2014 – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of genetically modified foods outweigh the harms.
  • September/October 2014 – Resolved: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities.
  • 2014 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: NATO should strengthen its relationship with Ukraine in order to deter further Russian aggression.
  • April 2014 – Resolved: Prioritizing economic development over environmental protection is in the best interest of the people of India.
  • March 2014 – Resolved: Single-gender classrooms would improve the quality of education in American public schools.
  • February 2014 – Resolved: The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution.
  • January 2014 – Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.
  • December 2013 – Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
  • November 2013 – Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency outweigh the harms.
  • September/October 2013 – Resolved: Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation.
  • 2013 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The benefits of American drone strikes against foreign targets outweigh the harms.
  • April 2013 – Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.
  • March 2013 – Resolved: The U.S. government should not require its citizens to have health insurance.
  • February 2013 – Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
  • January 2013 – Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.
  • December 2012 – Resolved: The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.
  • November 2012 – Resolved – Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security.
  • October 2012 – Resolved: Developed countries have a moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • September 2012 – Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
  • 2012 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Stand Your Ground laws are a legitimate expansion of the doctrine of self defense.
  • April 2012 – Resolved: State mandated administration of childhood vaccinations is justified.
  • March 2012 – Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.
  • February 2012 – Resolved: Birthright citizenship should be abolished in the United States.
  • January 2012 – Resolved: The costs of a college education outweigh the benefits.
  • December 2011 – Resolved: In the United States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals.
  • November 2011 – Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.
  • October 2011 – Resolved: Private sector investment in human space exploration is preferable to public sector investment.
  • September 2011 – Resolved: The benefits of post-9/11 security measures outweigh the harms to personal freedom.
  • 2011 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should intervene in another nation’s struggle for democracy.
  • April 2011 – Resolved: The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to encourage organ donation.
  • March 2011 – Resolved: North Korea poses a more serious threat to United States national security than Iran.
  • February 2011 – Resolved: Wikileaks is a threat to United States national security.
  • January 2011 – Resolved: In the United States, plea bargaining undermines the criminal justice system.
  • December 2010 – Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense.
  • November 2010 – Resolved: High school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.
  • October 2010 – Resolved: NATO presence improves the lives of Afghan citizens.
  • September 2010 – Resolved: Allowing deep water offshore oil drilling is in the best interest of the United States.
  • 2010 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Current trends in American political dialogue compromise meaningful democratic deliberation.
  • 2010 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the constitutional right of freedom of religion has wrongly evolved into freedom from religion.
  • April 2010 – Resolved: On balance, government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States.
  • March 2010 – Resolved: Affirmative action to promote equal opportunity in the United States is justified.
  • February 2010 – Resolved: In the United States, organized political lobbying does more harm than good.
  • January 2010 – Resolved: President Obama’s plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States’ best interest.
  • December 2009 – Resolved: That merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.
  • November 2009 – Resolved: Failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than stable nations.
  • October 2009 – Resolved: When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.
  • September 2009 – Resolved: United States policy on illegal immigration should focus on attrition through enforcement rather than amnesty.
  • 2009 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should normalize relations with Cuba.
  • 2009 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: A society has an obligation to ensure adequate health care for its citizens.
  • April 2009 – Resolved: That the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 serves the best interest of the American people.
  • March 2009 – Resolved: That, on balance, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has improved academic achievement in the United States.
  • February 2009 – Resolved: That, on balance, the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has had a positive impact on the United States.
  • January 2009 – Resolved: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels.
  • December 2008 – Resolved: That, on balance, social networking Web sites have a positive impact on the United States.
  • November 2008 – Resolved: That the United States government should implement universal health care modeled after the French system.
  • October 2008 – Resolved: The United States should significantly increase its use of nuclear energy.
  • September 2008 – Resolved: That the United States should implement a military draft.
  • 2008 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: US policies established after September 11, 2001 have substantially reduced the risk of terrorist acts against the United States.
  • 2008 NCFL° Nationals – Resolved: That the US Government should increase social services for indigenous peoples in America.
  • April 2008 – Resolved: That the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will successfully mitigate economic slowdowns over the next year.
  • March 2008 – Resolved: The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.
  • February 2008 – Resolved: That Russia has become a threat to U.S. interests.
  • January 2008 – Resolved: In a democracy, civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.
  • December 2007 – Resolved:That the United States would be justified in pursuing military options against Iran.
  • November 2007 – Resolved: That eliminating United States government budget deficits should be prioritized over increasing domestic spending.
  • October 2007 – Resolved: That the United States should encourage the implementation of a soft partition of Iraq.
  • September 2007 – Resolved: That the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.
  • 2007 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the private ownership of handguns should be banned in the United States.
  • 2007 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the President and Vice-President of the United States should be elected by a direct vote of the American citizens.
  • April 2007 – Resolved: United States corporations should honor all prior commitments to employee pensions.
  • March 2007 – Resolved: That the quantity of credit available to American consumers should be significantly reduced.
  • February 2007 – Resolved: The costs of legalized casino gambling in the United States outweigh the benefits.
  • January 2007 – Resolved: That lobbyists negatively influence the legislative process in the United States.
  • December 2006 – Resolved: Colleges and Universities in the United States should end their early admission programs.
  • November 2006 – Resolved: That participating in multinational diplomatic efforts is beneficial to U. S. interests.
  • October 2006 – Resolved: Current immigration laws in the United States should be enforced.
  • September 2006 – Resolved: That the benefits of NASA’s space exploration programs justify the costs.
  • 2006 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States government should ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
  • April 2006 – Resolved: That the American media work against the best interest of the American public.
  • March 2006 – Resolved: That big box retailers benefit the communities in which they are located.
  • February 2006 – Resolved: That the policy decisions of the current Israeli government toward the Palestinian state have improved prospects for peace in the Middle East.
  • January 2006 – Resolved: In the United States, public high school science curriculum should include the study of the Theory of Intelligent Design.
  • December 2005 – Resolved: That the National Basketball Association (NBA) should rescind its dress code.
  • November 2005 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should fund Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding by ending President Bush’s tax cuts.
  • October 2005 – Resolved: That the United Nations should be the primary agent to lead and direct the fight against terrorism around the world.
  • September 2005 – Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities should be permitted to pay stipends to their Division I athletes.
  • 2005 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That, when a choice is required for public high schools in the United States, government funding should prioritize vocational education over college preparatory education.
  • April 2005 – Resolved: The United States should issue guest worker visas to illegal aliens.
  • March 2005 – Resolved: Student aptitude should be assessed through standardized testing.
  • February 2005 – Resolved: In the United States, the current system of federal income taxation should be replaced by a flat rate income tax.
  • January 2005 – Resolved: The United States Constitution should be amended to establish a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices.
  • December 2004 – Resolved: Corporate offshoring aids in the economic development of the United States.
  • November 2004 – Resolved: The United States government should allow Americans to purchase prescription drugs from other countries.
  • October 2004 – Resolved: In the United States, public opinion polls positively affect the election process.
  • September 2004 – Resolved: That he United States should establish a cabinet-level position to oversee its entire intelligence community.
  • 2004 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: All young adults in every nation should be required to perform at least one full year of national service.
  • April 2004 – Resolved: English should be the official national language of the United States.
  • March 2004 – Resolved: The United States should provide universal health care insurance to all U.S. citizens.
  • February 2004 – Resolved: Americans should be allowed to share copyrighted media over the internet.
  • January 2004 – Resolved: The United States is losing the War on Terror.
  • December 2003 – Resolved: Congress should repeal the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • November 2003 – Resolved: That Federal judges should be elected in their district for a limited term rather than appointed by the President for a life term.
  • October 2003 – Resolved: That the United States should comply with United Nations’ decisions concerning international peacekeeping operations.
  • September 2003 – Resolved: Use of a cell phone should be prohibited while operating a motor vehicle.
  • 2003 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should assume primary responsibility for the rebuilding of Iraq.
  • April 2003 – Resolved: Awards for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases should be limited to $250,000.
  • March 2003 – Resolved: Affirmative action should not be practiced in college and university admission.
  • February 2003 – Resolved: The death penalty should be abolished in America.
  • January 2003 – Resolved: The Federal Government should authorize oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
  • December 2002 – Resolved: The the “Bush” tax cuts should be made permanent.
  • October/November 2002 – Resolved: Commercial airline pilots should be armed in the cockpit.

° The National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) sets its own topics. The Association provides this for informational purposes only.

Past Topics - Policy Debate

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase fiscal redistribution in the United States by adopting a federal jobs guarantee, expanding Social Security, and/or providing a basic income.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, Armed Forces.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.

Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish an education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools in the United States.

Resolved: That the United States should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States.

Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward the People’s Republic of China.

Resolved: That the United States government should substantially strengthen regulation of immigration to the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee comprehensive national health insurance to all United States citizens.

Resolved: That the United States government should reduce worldwide pollution through its trade and/or aid policies.

Resolved: That the federal government should significantly increase social services to homeless individuals in the United States.

Resolved: that the United States Government should significantly increase space exploration beyond Earth’s mesosphere.

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.

Resolved: That the United States government should adopt a policy to increase political stability in Latin America.

Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive long-term agricultural policy in the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive national policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should provide employment for all employable U.S. Citizens living in poverty.

Resolved: That the United States should establish uniform rules governing the procedure of all criminal courts in the nation.

Resolved: That the United States should significantly curtail its arms sales to other countries.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish minimum educational standards for elementary and secondary schools in the United States.

Resolved: That the federal government should initiate and enforce safety guarantees on consumer goods.

Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its foreign trade policies.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to significantly increase the energy independence of the U.S.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care in the United States.

Resolved: That a comprehensive program of penal reform should be adopted throughout the United States.

Resolved: That the development and allocation of scarce world resources should be controlled by an international organization.

Resolved: That the United States should significantly change the method of selection of presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual income to each family unit.

Resolved: That governmental financial support for all public and secondary education in the United States be provided exclusively by the federal government.

Resolved: That the jury system in the United States should be significantly changed.

Resolved: That the federal government should establish, finance, and administer programs to control air and/or water pollution in the United States.

Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral United States military intervention in foreign countries.

Resolved: That the United States should establish a system of compulsory service by all citizens.

Resolved: That Congress should establish uniform regulations to control criminal investigation procedures.

Resolved: That the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to non-military assistance.

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory arbitration in labor-management disputes in basic industries.

Resolved: That nuclear weapons should be controlled by an international organization.

Resolved: That Social Security benefits should be extended to include complete medical care.

Resolved: That the United States should promote a Common Market for the western hemisphere.

Resolved: That the federal government should equalize educational opportunity by means of grants to the states for public elementary and secondary education.

Resolved: That the United Nations should be significantly strengthened.

Resolved: That the federal government should substantially increase its regulation of labor unions.

Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential feature of the British system of education.

Resolved: That the United States foreign aid should be substantially increased.

Resolved: That the federal government should sustain the prices of major agricultural products at not less than 90% of parity.

Resolved: That the government subsidies should be granted according to need to high school graduates who qualify for additional training.

Resolved: That the federal government should initiate a policy of free trade among nations friendly to the United States.

Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.

Resolved: That the Atlantic pact nations should form a federal union.

Resolved: That all American citizens should be subject to conscription for essential service in time of war.

Resolved: That the American people should reject the Welfare state.

Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.

Resolved: That the federal government should require arbitration of labor disputes in all basic industries.

Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete Medical care available to all citizens at public expense.

Resolved: That ever able-bodied male citizen of the United States should have one year of full time military training before attaining age 24.

Resolved: That the legal voting age should be reduced to eighteen years.

Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations.

Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full-time military training before attaining the present draft age.

Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.

Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads.

Resolved: That the United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.

Resolved: That the several states should adopt a unicameral system of legislation.

Resolved: That all electric utilities should be governmentally owned and operated.

Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt the policy of equalizing educational opportunity throughout the nation by means of annual grants to the several states for public elementary and secondary education.

Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of radio control and operation.

Resolved: That at least one half of all state and local revenues should be derived from sources other than tangible property.

Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for compulsory unemployment insurance.

Resolved: That chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.

Resolved: That installment buying of personal property as now practiced in the United States is both socially and economically desirable.

Resolved: That the English cabinet method of legislation is more efficient than the committee system is in the United States.

Topic Release Schedule

Topic release schedule - lincoln-douglas debate.

If you would like to submit an LD resolution for consideration, please submit by April 1 for the following school year.

In addition, we have established a separate LD resolution for the first two months of the novice season. Coaches are encouraged to check with tournament hosts in their area before exclusively prepping for one topic over another.

Topic Release Schedule - Public Forum Debate

If you would like to submit a PF topic area or resolution for consideration, please submit by April 1 for the following school year.

The first two Public Forum topics are two-month topics in September/October and November/December, and then it reverts to a month-to-month topic. This schedule benefits novices who have more time to learn and improve their skills without switching topics.

Topic Release Schedule - Policy Debate

Topic release schedule - big questions debate, topic release schedule - congressional debate.

100 Great Education Debate Topics

Education Debate Topics and Ideas to get you started. It can be difficult to choose an education debate topic that is both interesting and relevant, but this list of 100 education debate topics should help get you started!

Education debates can cover a wide range of topics, from early childhood education all the way to the college level. Whether you are looking for debate topics for a class or for a public forum, there is sure to be an education debate topic on this list that interests you!

As you continue,  thestudycorp.com  has the top and most qualified writers to help with any of your assignments. All you need to do is  place an order  with us.

Education Debate Topics

  • Is homeschooling a viable option for all children?
  • Are charter schools better than public schools?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory in all schools?
  • Are private schools better than public schools?
  • Should colleges and universities be free to attend?
  • Is online education as effective as traditional classroom education?
  • Are standardized tests an accurate measure of a student’s knowledge?
  • Should the No Child Left Behind Act be reformed or repealed?
  • Is year-round schooling a good idea?
  • Are charter schools unfairly funded?
  • Do charter schools create a two-tiered education system?
  • Are private schools creating a classist society?
  • Do standardized tests put too much pressure on students?
  • Should the Common Core State Standards be adopted by all states?
  • Is the Education Savings Account program a good way to fund education?
  • Should the government get out of the business of funding education altogether?
  • Is sex education a necessary part of the public school curriculum?
  • Should creationism be taught in public schools?
  • Should evolution be taught in public schools?
  • What role should religion play in public schools?
  • Are for-profit colleges and universities bad for students?
  • Is college tuition too high?
  • Should student loan debt be forgiven?
  • Are online courses as good as traditional courses?
  • Is tenure a good thing or a bad thing for educators?
  • Should teachers be armed in the classroom?
  • Is corporal punishment an effective form of discipline?
  • Are charter schools held to different standards than public schools?
  • Do private schools have an unfair advantage in college admissions?
  • Should affirmative action be banned in college admissions?
  • Is the current system of college admissions fair?
  • Should standardized test scores be a factor in college admissions decisions?
  • Should colleges and universities consider race or ethnicity in their admissions decisions?
  • Should legacy preferences be eliminated from the college admissions process?
  • Do for-profit colleges and universities take advantage of students?
  • Should the federal government do more to regulate for-profit colleges and universities?
  • Is distance learning a good option for all students?
  • Do homeschooled students have an unfair advantage in college admissions?
  • Should the government provide free community college for all Americans?
  • Is vocational training a better option than a four-year degree for some students?
  • Should all students be required to complete community service hours before graduating high school?
  • Arecharter schools held to different academic standards than public schools?
  • Should all students be required to take a gap year before attending college?

Educational Debate Topic Ideas

  • Should schools be teaching vocational skills instead of academic subjects?
  • Should the school day start later?
  • Should students be able to choose their own classes?
  • Should schools ban homework?
  • Should standardized tests be abolished?
  • Are charter schools a good idea?
  • Is homeschooling a good option for families?
  • Should Religion be taught in schools?
  • Are single-sex schools better than co-ed schools?
  • Should all schools be bilingual?
  • How can we make sure all children have access to quality education?
  • Is it necessary to go to college to be successful in life?
  • How can we reduce the drop-out rate in high schools?
  • What should be done about overcrowded classrooms?
  • Is corporal punishment an effective way to discipline children?
  • Are after-school activities important for students?
  • What is the best way to deal with bullying in schools?
  • How can we make sure all children receive a well-rounded education?
  • What is the best way to teach childrenabout sex education?
  • Should schools be teaching financial literacy?
  • How can we make sure all students have access to technology?
  • What is the best way to deal with cheating in schools?
  • Should schools be teaching character education?
  • How can we make sure all children are physically active?
  • Should schools be doing more to promote healthy eating habits?
  • What is the best way to deal with disruptive students in class?
  • How can we improve teacher training and professional development?
  • What is education policy in your country?
  • Is your country’s education system effective? Why or why not?

Controversial Education Debate Topics

  • Is homeschooling a good or bad idea?
  • Should schools be allowed to teach creationism alongside evolution?
  • Is it necessary for all students to learn a foreign language?
  • Should the school day be shorter or longer?
  • Should students be required to wear uniforms?
  • Are charter schools a good or bad idea?
  • Should schools be more focused on academics or on extracurricular activities?
  • How much homework should students be given?
  • Should teachers be armed in schools?
  • Should prayer be allowed in school?
  • Are year-round schools a good idea?
  • Is it a good idea to have standardized tests?
  • Should sex education be taught in schools?
  • Should evolution be taught in schools?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered to 18?
  • Should students be allowed to grade their own work?
  • Is competition among students a good thing or a bad thing?

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The 10 Education Issues Everybody Should Be Talking About

education debate topics 2021

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What issues have the potential to define—or re define—education in the year ahead? Is there a next “big thing” that could shift the K-12 experience or conversation?

These were the questions Education Week set out to answer in this second annual “10 Big Ideas in Education” report.

You can read about last year’s ideas here . In 2019, though, things are different.

This year, we asked Education Week reporters to read the tea leaves and analyze what was happening in classrooms, school districts, and legislatures across the country. What insights could reporters offer practitioners for the year ahead?

Some of the ideas here are speculative. Some are warning shots, others more optimistic. But all 10 of them here have one thing in common: They share a sense of urgency.

Accompanied by compelling illustrations and outside perspectives from leading researchers, advocates, and practitioners, this year’s Big Ideas might make you uncomfortable, or seem improbable. The goal was to provoke and empower you as you consider them.

Let us know what you think, and what big ideas matter to your classroom, school, or district. Tweet your comments with #K12BigIdeas .

No. 1: Kids are right. School is boring.

Illustration of a student who is bored in class

Out-of-school learning is often more meaningful than anything that happens in a classroom, writes Kevin Bushweller, the Executive Editor of EdWeek Market Brief. His essay tackling the relevance gap is accompanied by a Q&A with advice on nurturing, rather than stifling students’ natural curiosity. Read more.

No. 2: Teachers have trust issues. And it’s no wonder why.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Many teachers may have lost faith in the system, says Andrew Ujifusa, but they haven’t lost hope. The Assistant Editor unpacks this year’s outbreak of teacher activism. And read an account from a disaffected educator on how he built a coalition of his own. Read more.

No. 3: Special education is broken.

Conceptual Illustration of a special education puzzle with missing pieces

Forty years since students with disabilities were legally guaranteed a public school education, many still don’t receive the education they deserve, writes Associate Editor Christina A. Samuels. Delve into her argument and hear from a disability civil rights pioneer on how to create an equitable path for students. Read more.

No. 4: Schools are embracing bilingualism, but only for some students.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Staff Writer Corey Mitchell explains the inclusion problem at the heart of bilingual education. His essay includes a perspective from a researcher on dismantling elite bilingualism. Read more.

No. 5: A world without annual testing may be closer than you think.

BRIC ARCHIVE

There’s agreement that we have a dysfunctional standardized-testing system in the United States, Associate Editor Stephen Sawchuk writes. But killing it would come with some serious tradeoffs. Sawchuk’s musing on the alternatives to annual tests is accompanied by an argument for more rigorous classroom assignments by a teacher-practice expert. Read more.

No. 6: There are lessons to be learned from the educational experiences of black students in military families.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Drawing on his personal experience growing up in an Air Force family, Staff Writer Daarel Burnette II highlights emerging research on military-connected students. Learn more about his findings and hear from two researchers on what a new ESSA mandate means for these students. Read more.

No. 7: School segregation is not an intractable American problem.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Racial and economic segregation remains deeply entrenched in American schools. Staff Writer Denisa R. Superville considers the six steps one district is taking to change that. Her analysis is accompanied by an essay from the president of the American Educational Research Association on what is perpetuating education inequality. Read more.

No. 8: Consent doesn’t just belong in sex ed. class. It needs to start a lot earlier.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Assistant Editor Sarah D. Sparks looked at the research on teaching consent and found schools and families do way too little, way too late. Her report is partnered with a researcher’s practical guide to developmentally appropriate consent education. Read more.

No. 9: Education has an innovation problem.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Are education leaders spending too much time chasing the latest tech trends to maintain what they have? Staff Writer Benjamin Herold explores the innovation trap. Two technologists offer three tips for putting maintenance front and center in school management. Read more.

No. 10: There are two powerful forces changing college admissions.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Some colleges are rewriting the admissions script for potential students. Senior Contributing Writer Catherine Gewertz surveys this changing college admissions landscape. Her insights are accompanied by one teacher’s advice for navigating underserved students through the college application process. Read more.

Wait, there’s more.

Want to know what educators really think about innovation? A new Education Week Research Center survey delves into what’s behind the common buzzword for teachers, principals, and district leaders. Take a look at the survey results.

A version of this article appeared in the January 09, 2019 edition of Education Week as What’s on the Horizon for 2019?

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Debate Topics About Education

Are you a teacher who is looking for education-themed debate topics to use with your students? Well, look no further because we have a list of topics that you can use in your classroom today.

  • A college degree is needed to get a good job.
  • Are learner loans exploitative?
  • All learners should have to purchase a laptop.
  • Boarding school is harmful to learners.
  • Cell phones should be banned in schools.
  • College should be free for everyone.
  • Contact sports should be required in school.
  • Do you need homework in order?
  • Education should be privatized.
  • Education should focus on math and science rather than music and art.
  • Fast food should be banned in schools.
  • Girls should be encouraged to enter STEM fields.
  • Homeschooling is better than traditional schooling.
  • Public schools are better than private schools.
  • Religion should be taught in schools.
  • Should free STD testing be offered in schools?
  • Schools should have armed guards.
  • Should schools teach abstinence-only sex education?
  • Should schools teach LGBT+ inclusive sex education?
  • Should standardized testing be abolished?
  • School uniforms should be mandatory.
  • Studying a second language should be compulsory.
  • Teachers should be given guns to defend learners.
  • Teachers should be paid as much as doctors.

One Reply to “Debate Topics About Education”

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education debate topics 2021

Joe Biden and Donald Trump will debate seven topics in presidential showdown

President Joe Biden and predecessor Donald Trump have agreed to participate in two debates before the November election.

The first debate is slated to occur at 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 in Atlanta. It will be hosted by CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bush. The second debate will be on September 10 hosted by ABC.

Per CNN's debate guidelines , it is likely that third party candidates such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein will be barred from entry. Additionally, in contrast to former debates, there will be no live studio audience.

  • When are the 2024 presidential debates - Biden and Trump face off
  • Trump vs. Biden debate to have two possible outcomes as voters focus on age

Both changes comply with Biden's four demands for entering the debate arena, however, CNN has not clarified if it will adopt his primary request to cut mics when a candidate's time to answer a question has run out.

The Biden camp is hoping to highlight abortion access, the state of democracy and the economy, whereas the Trump team is preparing to discuss immigration, inflation and public safety.

However, there are a slew of potential topics that are anticipated to come up during the debate, including the following:

Topics that are likely to come up during the presidential debates

Climate change.

Trump's stance

Trump's record reflects that he opposes almost all climate change legislation.

During his presidency, he withdrew the country from the Paris Agreement, a global climate initiative, in addition to rolling back several environmental regulations.

Trump has also previously vowed to increase domestic oil and gas production and has said he opposes current government subsidies for expanding wind power.

Biden's stance

However, Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement upon taking office and created the nation's first American Climate Corps, which is a program to train young people to tackle the climate crisis.

He also set a goal to slash the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and make the American power sector 100% carbon-pollution-free by 2035. He also offered incentives for using green energy, including $7 billion in solar power grants for low-income people.

His administration implemented new restrictions on drilling and mining in Alaska and issued new rules that require coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions by 90% by 2032.

Crime and policing

Trump supports increasing spending on police and says, "Democratic policies are leading to crime sprees in big cities."

A recent Gallup poll found 78% of Americans agree that crime is on the rise, despite FBI evidence refuting the claim.

Trump signed the First Step Act into law during his term, which expanded some early-release programs for people convicted of crimes and reduced certain mandatory minimum sentences, among other changes.

He also issued several high-profile pardons and commutations while in office, tapping reality star Kim Kardashian to assist him.

Biden has distanced himself from calls on the far-left to "defund the police" as part of a restorative justice effort, however, he believes accountability reform for policing will make American communities "safer."

He has called on Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as require universal background checks, to curb the country's mass shootings and gun violence.

His budget proposal to lawmakers in 2023 included increased spending for law enforcement officials to fight gun violence.

Trump supports the dissolution of the US Department of Education. Instead, he wants to turn education over to the states, although states already control funding and school curriculum, which grants parents more saying power.

Trump also supports a ban on transgender students' participation in school sports.

He has praised the Supreme Court's rulings targeting affirmative action in higher education and has criticized Biden's efforts to cancel student loan debt for millions of borrowers, praising the Supreme Court's 2023 decision to strike down part of Biden's plan.

Some anticipate discourse surrounding college campus encampments in protest for Palestine, which Trump has stood against, writing on Truth Social: "Stop the protests now!!"

In order to gain and keep the youth vote, Biden has been determined to address student loan debt during his term.

His efforts have been challenged or blocked in court, however, the president has managed to provide $160 billion in debt relief for nearly 4.6 million borrowers as of May 2024.

Regarding controversies in K-12 education, Biden has denounced book bans in school libraries and slammed Florida legislators for the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which bans the study of gender identity or sexuality.

Biden has also condemned campus encampments, citing anti-semitism and destruction of property and saying "order must prevail."

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One of Trump's major accomplishments during his term was the passing of his $1.5 trillion tax cut in 2017. The law slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which helped the rich get richer, per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It is set to expire during the next president's term in 2025.

He has criticized the growing federal debt, although the nation's budget and debt increased under his reign.

Trump is also highly skeptical of free trade initiatives and agreements, going as far to start a trade war with China during his term.

Biden believes the best way to boost the economy is from the middle out and the bottom up.

His economic plan included the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was a post-pandemic stimulus package with funding for major infrastructure projects and climate initiatives. However, many of his progressive proposals were cut by Congress.

He also restored the Child Tax Credit as well as called to make the healthcare tax credit permanent and give new home buyers a $400 monthly tax credit for two years to reduce mortgage costs. Biden has called to increase the minimum corporate tax.

Foreign policy

Trump has continued to promote his "America First" plan, which is skeptical of free trade alliances with other countries, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Trump has previously stated he wants to pull back on U.S. defense commitments but contrarily blasted Biden's plan to deny Israel key weapons if its military fully invades the southern Gaza city of Rafah, showing support for Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas .

During his term, he also controversially moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and negotiated the Israeli-Arab normalization Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Morocco, which formerly boosted a massive Jewish population, and Sudan, which has since been unratified, in 2020.

Biden's voter turnout, particularly among young people and Arab/Muslim constituents, will be threatened by his iron-clad support of Israel during its retaliatory assault on Gaza following Hamas' October 7th attack on Israel, where over 1,200 Israelis were killed and 250 kidnapped.

Last week, over seven months into the war, he issued a ceasefire agreement while continuing to push for humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

In late April, Congress approved a bill to send $95 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, which was heavily criticized by voters.

Prior to October 7, the Biden Administration was working on a groundbreaking normalization agreement between Israel and regional Arab superpower Saudi Arabia. Some experts believe the effort was a motivating factor for the Hamas attack.

Critics have also slammed Biden for his chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, after 20 years of US boots on the ground, which led to the Taliban usurping power. The Biden Administration has acknowledged he could have handled it differently.

Biden has also reiterated his support on behalf of the US for NATO.

Health care

Trump tried but failed to repeal Obamacare, which expanded public access to healthcare.

Now, Trump says instead of repealing he wants to make improvements to make it cheaper. A policy proposal has not been released.

During his term, Trump signed legislation to increase funding for substance abuse treatment amid the opioid epidemic. In 2017, he declared it a public health emergency.

However, during this campaign trial, he has primarily focused on addressing the spread of fentanyl in the US, blaming Mexican drug cartels.

Biden has been keen on expanding health care coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug costs, saying that healthcare is "a right, not a privilege, for all."

During his term, he secured the right for Medicare to negotiate prices for a slate of drugs for seniors and to cap their annual costs at $2,000, including medication use for heart diseases, autoimmune conditions, and more.

Biden also proposed changes to private Medicare plans to help seniors access health care as well as $12 billion to boost underfunded research in women's health.

Immigration

A touchstone campaign issue since 2016, Trump has promised the biggest deportation and border arrest programs in American history.

He said he would expand upon his past policies by allowing law enforcement and the National Guard to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

Trump famously vowed to build a wall on the U.S. southern border, though he did not complete it while in office.

His administration's policy of separating immigrant families received widespread international condemnation.

He also made efforts to ban travellers from a host of Muslim-majority countries.

Biden currently faces pressure from state leaders across the country, from Texas to New York, to address the migrant crisis.

The president backed a bipartisan border security bill negotiated in the Senate that would have set limits on daily crossings at the southern border, however, it failed in Congress after Trump criticized the effort.

The Biden White House has aimed to boost border security while still providing a "safe, orderly, and humane immigration system."

Despite his 2020 campaign vows to stop building the border wall, Biden has allowed some building to continue with Trump-era funds.

He has also expanded legal pathways for emigration from some countries, including Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua.

Reproductive rights

While his exact abortion policy stance is known, Trump recently said abortion laws should be decided by state lawmakers and warned Republicans against heavy-handed restrictions, which was subject to criticism by both pro-choice and pro-life camps.

He has also not addressed whether he supports access to mifepristone, an abortion pill, a question before the Supreme Court.

Trump has said abortion laws should include exceptions for rape, incest and several medical emergencies.

Critics have blamed Trump for the overturning of Roe V. Wade because he appointed three of the six pivotal Supreme Court justices who voted to do so.

Biden supports access to abortion and seeks to restore Roe v. Wade.

The president has prioritized protecting access to mifepristone, known as the abortion pill, which is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.

The Biden Administration also celebrated Ohio voters' 2023 approval of a constitutional amendment to codify the right to abortion and reproductive health care into law.

His administration also tried to protect access to reproductive care for service members.

President Donald J. Trump...

  • Patient Care & Health Information
  • Diseases & Conditions
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic condition that causes changes in skin pigment and tumors on nerve tissue. Skin changes include flat, light brown spots and freckles in the armpits and groin. Tumors can grow anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. NF1 is rare. About 1 in 2,500 is affected by NF1.

The tumors often are not cancerous, known as benign tumors. But sometimes they can become cancerous. Symptoms often are mild. But complications can occur and may include trouble with learning, heart and blood vessel conditions, vision loss, and pain.

Treatment focuses on supporting healthy growth and development in children and early management of complications. If NF1 causes large tumors or tumors that press on a nerve, surgery can reduce symptoms. A newer medicine is available to treat tumors in children, and other new treatments are being developed.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) usually is diagnosed during childhood. Symptoms are seen at birth or shortly afterward and almost always by age 10. Symptoms tend to be mild to moderate, but they can vary from person to person.

Symptoms include:

  • Flat, light brown spots on the skin, known as cafe au lait spots. These harmless spots are common in many people. But having more than six cafe au lait spots suggests NF1. They often are present at birth or appear during the first years of life. After childhood, new spots stop appearing.
  • Freckling in the armpits or groin area. Freckling often appears by ages 3 to 5. Freckles are smaller than cafe au lait spots and tend to occur in clusters in skin folds.
  • Tiny bumps on the iris of the eye, known as Lisch nodules. These nodules can't easily be seen and don't affect vision.
  • Soft, pea-sized bumps on or under the skin called neurofibromas. These benign tumors usually grow in or under the skin but can also grow inside the body. A growth that involves many nerves is called a plexiform neurofibroma. Plexiform neurofibromas, when located on the face, can cause disfigurement. Neurofibromas may increase in number with age.
  • Bone changes. Changes in bone development and low bone mineral density can cause bones to form in an irregular way. People with NF1 may have a curved spine, known as scoliosis, or a bowed lower leg.
  • Tumor on the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, called an optic pathway glioma. This tumor usually appears by age 3. The tumor rarely appears in late childhood and among teenagers, and almost never in adults.
  • Learning disabilities. It's common for children with NF1 to have some trouble with learning. Often there is a specific learning disability, such as trouble with reading or math. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and speech delay also are common.
  • Larger than average head size. Children with NF1 tend to have a larger than average head size due to increased brain volume.
  • Short stature. Children who have NF1 often are below average in height.

When to see a doctor

See a healthcare professional if your child has symptoms of neurofibromatosis type 1. The tumors are often not cancerous and are slow growing, but complications can be managed. If your child has a plexiform neurofibroma, a medicine is available to treat it.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is caused by an altered gene that either is passed down by a parent or occurs at conception.

The NF1 gene is located on chromosome 17. This gene produces a protein called neurofibromin that helps regulate cell growth. When the gene is altered, it causes a loss of neurofibromin. This allows cells to grow without control.

Risk factors

Autosomal dominant inheritance pattern

Autosomal dominant inheritance pattern

In an autosomal dominant disorder, the changed gene is a dominant gene. It's located on one of the nonsex chromosomes, called autosomes. Only one changed gene is needed for someone to be affected by this type of condition. A person with an autosomal dominant condition — in this example, the father — has a 50% chance of having an affected child with one changed gene and a 50% chance of having an unaffected child.

The biggest risk factor for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a family history. For about half of people who have NF1, the disease was passed down from a parent. People who have NF1 and whose relatives aren't affected are likely to have a new change to a gene.

NF1 has an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. This means that any child of a parent who is affected by the disease has a 50% chance of having the altered gene.

Complications

Complications of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) vary, even within the same family. Generally, complications occur when tumors affect nerve tissue or press on internal organs.

Complications of NF1 include:

  • Neurological symptoms. Trouble with learning and thinking are the most common neurological symptoms associated with NF1. Less common complications include epilepsy and the buildup of excess fluid in the brain.
  • Concerns with appearance. Visible signs of NF1 can include widespread cafe au lait spots, many neurofibromas in the facial area or large neurofibromas. In some people this can cause anxiety and emotional distress, even if they're not medically serious.
  • Skeletal symptoms. Some children have bones that didn't form as usual. This can cause bowing of the legs and fractures that sometimes don't heal. NF1 can cause curvature of the spine, known as scoliosis, that may need bracing or surgery. NF1 also is associated with lower bone mineral density, which increases the risk of weak bones, known as osteoporosis.
  • Changes in vision. Sometimes a tumor called an optic pathway glioma develops on the optic nerve. When this happens, it can affect vision.
  • Increase in symptoms during times of hormonal change. Hormonal changes associated with puberty or pregnancy might cause an increase in neurofibromas. Most people who have NF1 have healthy pregnancies but will likely need monitoring by an obstetrician who is familiar with NF1.
  • Cardiovascular symptoms. People who have NF1 have an increased risk of high blood pressure and may develop blood vessel conditions.
  • Trouble breathing. Rarely, plexiform neurofibromas can put pressure on the airway.
  • Cancer. Some people who have NF1 develop cancerous tumors. These usually arise from neurofibromas under the skin or from plexiform neurofibromas. People who have NF1 also have a higher risk of other forms of cancer. They include breast cancer, leukemia, colorectal cancer, brain tumors and some types of soft tissue cancer. Screening for breast cancer should begin earlier, at age 30, for women with NF1 compared to the general population.
  • Benign adrenal gland tumor, known as a pheochromocytoma. This noncancerous tumor produces hormones that raise your blood pressure. Surgery often is needed to remove it.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 care at Mayo Clinic

  • Ferri FF. Neurofibromatosis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2024. Elsevier; 2024. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Neurofibromatosis. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Neurofibromatosis-Fact-Sheet. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Korf BR, et al. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1): Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Saleh M, et al. Neurofibromatosis type 1 system-based manifestations and treatments: A review. Neurological Sciences. 2023; doi:10.1007/s10072-023-06680-5.
  • Neurofibromatosis. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Neurofibromatosis. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Neurofibromatosis. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/neurocutaneous-syndromes/neurofibromatosis. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Jankovic J, et al., eds. Neurocutaneous syndromes. In: Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2022. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Armstrong AE, et al. Treatment decisions and the use of the MEK inhibitors for children with neurofibromatosis type 1-related plexiform neurofibromas. BMC Cancer. 2023; doi:10.1186/s12885-023-10996-y.
  • Zitelli BJ, et al., eds. Neurology. In: Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnoses. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2023. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Kellerman RD, et al. Neurofibromatosis (type 1). In: Conn's Current Therapy 2024. Elsevier; 2024. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024.
  • Babovic-Vuksanovic D (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. March 26, 2024.
  • Tamura R. Current understanding of neurofibromatosis type 1, 2 and schwannomatosis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; doi:10.3390/ijms22115850.
  • Legius E, et al. Revised diagnostic criteria for neurofibromatosis type 1 and Legius syndrome: An international consensus recommendation. Genetics in Medicine. 2021; doi:10.1038/s41436-021-01170-5.
  • Find a doctor. Children's Tumor Foundation. https://www.ctf.org/understanding-nf/find-a-doctor/. Accessed Feb. 26, 2024.
  • Ami TR. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. April 18, 2024.

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  • Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
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    Clear Idea: A good debate topic clearly, simply, and specifically states an often complex idea that students can argue the affirmative (pro) side of and the negative (con) side of. Interest: The more interesting the topic is, the more engaged and excited students are to take positions and defend them. Passion: Topics that students feel strongly ...

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    School and Education Debate Topics. It's better to be good at academics than to be good at sports. Final exams should be abolished. Students should be required to wear school uniforms. Private schools are better than public schools. Year-round school is better for students. Standardized tests are effective.

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    Check out our list of 120 debate topics for middle and high school students. General Debate Topics. Should we ban homework: does homework promote learning? How essential is a college education? Banning mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones) at schools: yes or no? Is it appropriate to allow students to create their own curricula?

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    After all, education issues have the potential to directly affect your students and their futures. In this post, you will find 20 debate topics about education that you can use in your debate class. These are suitable for middle school students, high school students, and adults. Debate Topics About Education. Here are 20 debate topics about ...

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    5. Euthanasia should be permitted. The right to live versus the right to die has always inspired heated debates from both sides of the fence. This question provokes complex and dynamic debates around legal, ethical, moral, human rights, economic, social, and cultural aspects that populate the pros and the cons.

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    13. Artificial intelligence technology encourages cheating. 14. Robots will soon take all human jobs. 15. Self-driving cars should be banned. 16. Laws still have not caught up with cyber-crimes. Related: 70 of the most controversial topics of our time.

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    Social and Political Issues Debate Topics. All people should have the right to own guns. The death penalty should be abolished. Human cloning should be legalized. All drugs should be legalized. Animal testing should be banned. Juveniles should be tried and treated as adults. Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity today.

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    Here are more than 350 topics for debates in various fields; suitable for middle school through college. SDI Productions via Getty Images. The Practical Value of Debates. Debate is an interesting way to learn the pros and cons of an issue. It allows the debaters to influence the audience with their ideas and opinions on a subject.

  12. PDF DECEMBER 2021 SAMPLE MOTIONS

    WSD Sample Motions: December 2021. Prepared Motions: 1. This House would cease the prosecution of victimless crimes. 2. This House regrets the rising influence of nongovernmental organizations in global policymaking. 3. This House supports the continued innovation and adoption of disruptive healthcare technologies. 4.

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    125 Winning Debate Topics for Middle School Students. Teach students to make effective arguments. By Jill Staake, B.S., Secondary ELA Education. Sep 6, 2023. When students learn to debate, they gain valuable life skills. Debates teach kids to research their topic, make informed choices, and argue effectively using facts instead of emotion.

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    The National Speech & Debate Association sets monthly and bi-monthly topics for a variety of debate events. Find current topics, voting links, resources, and more! ... 2021-2022 - Resolved: On balance, ... That secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics. March/April - Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are ...

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    100 Great Education Debate Topics. Education Debate Topics and Ideas to get you started. It can be difficult to choose an education debate topic that is both interesting and relevant, but this list of 100 education debate topics should help get you started! Education debates can cover a wide range of topics, from early childhood education all ...

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    Debate Topics About Education. School uniforms are important at school. Education should be free for everyone. All student loan debts should be forgiven. Private schools are better than public schools. Tuition fees are too expensive. Homework is an important part of education.

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    Spread the loveAre you a teacher who is looking for education-themed debate topics to use with your students? Well, look no further because we have a list of topics that you can use in your classroom today. A college degree is needed to get a good job. Are learner loans exploitative? All learners should have to purchase a laptop. Boarding school is harmful to learners. Cell phones should be ...

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    International Debate Education Association (IDEA) empowers young people with debate-related skills, provides debate education, and supports the work of youth organizations across the world. ... If you need help with choosing a debate topic, this is the place for you Open Tool + Debatabase Debatabase. Ultimate collection of debate cases ...

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    Most Asian Americans think it's fair to consider SAT scores — but not race or ethnicity — in college admission, according to a study that comes as several universities have restored ...

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  23. The flag of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia which I bought there

    For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Le Guin, to the science-fiction universes of Delany and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond.

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    More Topics Animals and Pets Anime Art Cars and Motor Vehicles Crafts and DIY Culture, Race, and Ethnicity Ethics and Philosophy Fashion Food and Drink History Hobbies Law Learning and Education Military Movies Music Place Podcasts and Streamers Politics Programming Reading, Writing, and Literature Religion and Spirituality Science Tabletop ...

  25. Neurofibromatosis type 1

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic condition that causes changes in skin pigment and tumors on nerve tissue. Skin changes include flat, light brown spots and freckles in the armpits and groin. Tumors can grow anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. NF1 is rare. About 1 in 2,500 is affected by NF1.

  26. Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Elektrostal Geography. Geographic Information regarding City of Elektrostal. Elektrostal Geographical coordinates. Latitude: 55.8, Longitude: 38.45. 55° 48′ 0″ North, 38° 27′ 0″ East. Elektrostal Area. 4,951 hectares. 49.51 km² (19.12 sq mi) Elektrostal Altitude.

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    Cities near Elektrostal. Places of interest. Pavlovskiy Posad Noginsk. Travel guide resource for your visit to Elektrostal. Discover the best of Elektrostal so you can plan your trip right.

  28. Moscow Oblast

    Moscow Oblast (Russian: Московская область, romanized: Moskovskaya oblast, IPA: [mɐˈskofskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ], informally known as Подмосковье, Podmoskovye, IPA: [pədmɐˈskovʲjə]) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast).With a population of 8,524,665 (2021 Census) living in an area of 44,300 square kilometers (17,100 sq mi), it is one of the most densely ...