MONTCLAIR, NJ - Edgemont Elementary School’s 4th and 5th Grade Electric Debate team faced Lacordaire Academy’s debate team on December 18.
The teams debated two issues that have an effect on young people’s lives: Should grades be eliminated in K-12 education and should the voting age be lowered to 16?
Edgemont won the first round as team members argued that grades only serve to build pressure, unfair comparisons, labels and endless tracks. Edgemont's arguments about unhealthy competition, sorting and selecting students, college entrance exams and the value of interviews and performance assessments must have struck a chord with the judges as they chose Edgemont's nine students as the winners of round one.
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Round two went to Lacordaire although Edgemont’s team gave compelling arguments for keeping the voting age at eighteen. Lacordaire spoke about taxation without representation, sixteen year-olds being able to drive, rising costs of college tuition and lawmakers affecting school safety. The judges were impressed with Lacordaire’s performance and awarded their convincing eight debaters the second trophy.
This was Edgemont's sixth trophy in as many years and they are already thinking about next year. As one debater put it, "It was not about the trophy, but about the journey to the trophy."