EDITOR’S NOTE: The NFHS has decided to go with woke issues for debating member associations.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Definition of woke

  • chiefly US slang

: aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice) But we will only succeed if we reject the growing pressure to retreat into cynicism and hopelessness. … We have a moral obligation to “stay woke,” take a stand and be active; challenging injustices and racism in our communities and fighting hatred and discrimination wherever it rises.

(10-20-22) The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently tabulated debate ballots from 37 states, Washington D.C., the National Speech and Debate Association, the National Debate Coaches Association, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, and the National Catholic Forensic League. The 41 states and national organizations that participated was the most since the 1997-1998 topic balloting.

The returned ballots narrowed the five proposed topics to two for placement on the final ballot to select the 2023-2024 national high school debate topic. The five topic areas were ranked 1-5 with the two topic areas receiving the lowest totals – Climate Change and Economic Inequality – placed on the final ballot.

On January 10, 2023, the NFHS will announce the preferred topic area and resolution after states and national organizations are able to place a final vote. The 2023-2024 national high school debate topic and resolution will be posted on the NFHS Speech and Debate webpage and sent to state associations and affiliate members.

The following states returned ballots:

AlaskaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoD.C.Georgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinois
IndianaIowaKansas
LouisianaMarylandMassachusetts
MichiganMinnesotaMississippi
MissouriNebraskaNevada
New HampshireNew JerseyNew York
OhioOklahomaOregon
PennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota
TennesseeTexasUtah
VirginiaWashingtonWisconsin
Wyoming  

In addition to the 37 State Associations, the NDCA, NSDA, NAUDL, and NCFL returned the ballot.

Within each of the five topic areas appears one resolution.  The resolutions within the two final topic areas are:

CLIMATE CHANGE

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

The other items:

PROBLEM AREA I: AGRICULUTRAL SUBSIDIES

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its domestic agricultural subsidies.

PROBLEM AREA IV: LATIN AMERICA

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its democracy promotion and/or military operations in one or more of the following: Plurinational State of Bolivia, Republic of Colombia, Republic of El Salvador, Republic of Guatemala, Republic of Honduras.

PROBLEM AREA V: SOUTH ASIA

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its defense cooperation with one or more South Asian countries.