School’s in session for Clinton and Trump

Have you ever wondered how the 2016 presidential candidates would fare if the third debate were graded with a high-school-debate grading rubric? We did too, which is why we asked debate teachers to do just that.

When questioned, Reid Marcus, director of the Vancouver Debate Academy, eloquently expressed why the presidential debates are important for voters. “Debates can give voters a way to evaluate a candidate’s ability to [communicate their ideas] in a much more substantial way than do campaign speeches or interview performances. We can view these three debates as a masterclass in how to debate against someone who neither cares nor knows about the truth — a situation that many students have probably found themselves in more than once.” 

High-school teachers Sarah Coates and Kathleen Callaghan, along with Marcus, graded both candidates on their performance during the third debate, as they would their students, using a standard high-school rubric. Following their review, each teacher awarded the candidates with a letter grade and gave comments for improvement.  


Find out what grade you would give the candidates by taking the quiz below.  Keep one candidate in mind while answering the questions and then retake the quiz to grade the second candidate.

The quiz is based on the rubric that the teachers participating used to grade each candidate. Each level is associated with a point value, which is then added up and paired with a letter grade.