third assesses teams’ practice routines and coaching staffs. The fourth covers financing, budgets, and fundraising. The fifth evaluates programs’ relationship with the NSDA. There are several limitations to note about this survey. First, some free responses were recoded to allow quantitative analysis. 2 It is possible some subjective bias in the recoding process could result in skewed data. Second, some responses (for example, estimates of team size) were given in the form of a range. These data were transformed to be the median of each range (i.e., a range of 2,000-3,000 becomes 2,500). Third, response bias could skew the results. Fourth, the data are three years old. Used for internal organizational purposes up to this point, they are just now being made available for external use. With these limitations in mind, this study should be taken as a useful but exploratory survey, not a definitive census of the U.S. speech and debate community.
71.2% of schools offer a speech and debate class (n = 469), with a margin of error of ±4.1%. Of schools that reported offering a speech and debate class, 108 offered one section, 94 offered two sections, and 119 offered three or more sections. 21.6% had an enrollment between 1-20 students, 32.8% had between 21-50 students, and 35.6% had 51 or more students enrolled in their speech and debate class.
School Characteristics and Speech and Debate in the Classroom
Figure 3: Number of Full Time Coaches
The schools represented in this survey had a mean enrollment of 1,350.5 and a median enrollment of 1,300 (n = 464). When more than one enrollment figure was given for different grade levels, the total for grades 9-12 was taken. Enrollment ranged from 70 students to 5,000 with a standard deviation of 846.4. 342 respondents answered a question about the percentage of students at their school receiving free or reducedprice lunch (FPL) (see Figure 1). The average percentage was 33.16%, with substantial variance (SD = 24.98) and a margin of error of ±5.0%. At 75 schools, between 0-10% of students received FPL, while 12 schools reported percentages between 80-100%. This indicates a wide range of socioeconomic need at schools with speech and debate programs. 2
Unless otherwise specified, α = 0.05 and percentages reported are based on valid responses (that is, they exclude invalid or missing responses).
Of schools with a speech and debate class, 69.0% include competition as a factor in determining students’ grades, with a margin of error of ±5.0% Some respondents noted that at their schools, this requirement could be waived under certain circumstances or only included competing at one or two local or novice tournaments. 32.4% of respondents with speech and debate classes stated their school offered separate sections for
Figure 2: Team Size by Number of Full Time Coaches
TEAM SIZE BY NUMBER OF FULL TIME COACHES Number of FT Coaches
Mean Team Size
NUMBER OF FULL TIME COACHES Number of PT Coaches
Figure 4: Number of Part Time Coaches
NUMBER OF PART TIME COACHES Number of PT Coaches
– ROSTRUM | SPRING 2017 37
Volume 91 Issue 4