School of Government and Public Administration  Logo
Administration Business/Technology Climate and Culture Guidance JROTC Language Arts Math Media Center/Library Nurse Physical Education Science Social Studies Special Services Support Staff World Languages
Parent Information
ASPIRA Debate French Honor Society Mock Trial National History Day National Honor Society National Spanish Exam Poetry Club Student Government
Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Class of 2021 Student of the Month Summer Reading
2016-2017 Awards and honors 2015-16 GoPA Earns National Recognition News 2015-16
GOPA Athletics

Debate Practice to Be Announced

Practice for the 2016 Paterson Debate has not yet begun. Potential debaters watch this space and listen for information on the morning announcements.


2016 is the fifth year in a row that the School of Government has competed in the Paterson Public Schools High School Debate Tournament.  The school has improved each year and in 2015 reached the finals of the district tournament.  This year the school will again compete in the May 24th tournament.


This year's topic:   That assimilation of immigrant groups toward a homogenous culture is beneficial for the development and growth of a society.


Additionally:   Mike Ollo, Vice Principal is the District coordinator for the High School Debate Tournament.  He has been president of two forensics and debate leagues and has thirty years of experience as a high school debate coach.  He facilitates the development of high school debates teams in the school system. 

2016 Debate Final


The 2015 Debate Club Championship


Public Speaking Classes are Offered at GOPA!

Public Speaking Classes are Offered at GOPA!

What is Debate?

"Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely."
Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

From its very beginnings, debate has been inextricably intertwined with the concept of open society. In ancient Athens, citizens gathered in forums to discuss and debate the most pressing issues of the day before casting their votes. Such debates were an integral part of the new form of government Athens was to bequeath to the world: democracy.

Unlike totalitarian and other undemocratic regimes, where a limited set of ideas are imposed as absolute truths, democratic societies depend upon the free and open exchange of ideas. Indeed, it may be said that true democracy cannot exist without debate. For democracy to function, the values that debate encourages - reason, tolerance, the careful weighing of evidence, etc. - must be cherished and nurtured. But even within societies that restrict open discussion, debate can teach young people that no one person or government possesses the ultimate truth.

Today, from Haiti to Serbia, from The Netherlands to Mongolia and beyond, IDEA debates are gaining ground as forums for promoting democratic values. Just as Socrates spurred his listeners to examine their assumptions 2,500 years ago, IDEA is today encouraging students around the world to question, to listen to each other and to explore even the most volatile subjects openly and in the spirit of tolerance and cooperation.