Laurel Student Research Cited Alongside Harvard Business Review
Research conducted by Laurel students was incorporated into judge training at the recent National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament.
Laurel alumna Julia Lynn '19 and Director of Speech and Debate Rich Kawolics led a three-year student research team whose work quantified bias against female-presenting competitors in interscholastic competitive debate. Their findings provided guidance alongside citations from the Harvard Business Review, emphasizing the validity and magnitude of the Laurel research team's conclusions.
Since the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) first published the Laurel researchers’ article “Competing Standards: A Critical Look at Gender and Success in Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking,” Laurel School has been a leader in a national conversation around equity in debate judging. Since publication, additional research has been presented at three different national conferences, including Kawolics and California Speech and Debate Association Executive Director Angelique Ronald’s main stage co-presentation on gender bias in debate at the 2019 National Speech and Debate Association Summer Conference. Recent evidence has suggested a decline in the number of young women participating in interscholastic debate, and Julia Lynn and Mr. Kawolics hope that the NSDA’s acknowledgement of judging bias and the adoption of new protocols will reverse that trend. The inclusion of this research and change to judge training at the National Tournament is one more way that Laurel students are living the school’s mission “to better the world.”
You can read the 2018 publication of their research here and see the judging instructions here.