Students from New Hope Academy of La Crescenta have advanced to the Top 32 round of an international debate competition. The Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) is the first and only competition that gives high school students around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.
By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF finals in New York City in May.
“We are very proud of New Hope Academy and all of the teams that advanced in this very competitive global debate challenge,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at the law firm of Bickel & Brewer and a founder of the IPPF. “These students have distinguished themselves as among the best in this unique test of research, writing and advocacy.”
This year, 243 teams – representing schools in 32 U.S. states and 21 countries – submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Mass surveillance is not a justified method of governmental intelligence gathering.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.
In November, the Round of 64 teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. In that round, New Hope Academy defeated Golden High School from Golden, Colorado.
The Top 32 round begins immediately. New Hope Academy will compete against St. John’s Ravenscourt School from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The top 32 teams represent schools from 17 U.S. states and five countries, including the United States, Czech Republic and Singapore.
The prevailing teams will be announced on Feb. 12, and will compete in the Sweet 16 round. On March 19, the Elite 8 teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City to the IPPF Finals in New York City. The finals will take place on May 2, at the Harold Pratt House.
The IPPF finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. Judges will include Bickel & Brewer Partner William A. Brewer III and New York University President John Sexton. The winning team will take home the “Bickel & Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.