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Cover for Resolved


Debate Can Revolutionize Education and Help Save Our Democracy

Robert Litan


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Adopting a simple education reform to restore civil discourse and transform American society

In this era of extreme political polarization, it's tempting to believe nothing can be done to heal a nation that is so obviously divided and led by dysfunctional politicians.

But there is a relatively simple and powerful way to begin the healing, and at the same time prepare the next generations of leaders for the rigorous demands of a constantly changing economy and society. The solution offered by this intriguing book is for schools across the country to focus on developing in students the skills of successful debaters. These are the skills--so clearly lacking in contemporary society--of listening and persuading, through civil discourse backed by fact-based evidence and reason.

Resolved explains how one simple educational reform can help address the nation's political divide and at the same time help ensure that today's young people will actually enjoy learning, and thus will have the necessary skills to lead productive and economically rewarding lives. The book offers practical ideas about a positive future for parents, educators, state legislators, business leaders--in fact, anyone interested in how debate-centered education can fundamentally change the country for the better.

Brookings Institution Press, 9780815737872, 219pp.

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

About the Author

Robert Litan is a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution, a program he formerly directed. He has had a distinguished career in economic research covering a broad array of public policy issues, in high-level appointed positions in the federal government, as a practicing lawyer, and as an executive of the Kauffman Foundation and Bloomberg Government.