Background and Context
These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Economic Issues and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issues. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.
Current Issue Debates
Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.
Videos from Policy Makers
Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.
These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.
Post | February 10, 2021
President Joe Biden has made addressing climate change one of his administration’s seven “immediate priorities,” requiring “bold action” by the government to improve the lives of the American people and protect the environment.1 On his seventh full day in office, President Biden signed an “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” […]
Post | February 2, 2021
The Lincoln Memorial is usually bustling with energy and activity on the eve of a presidential inauguration, when it takes center stage for concerts, crowds, and celebrations.1 This year was different. The Biden Inaugural Committee struck a deeply somber tone in the midst of the pandemic, holding what was the first national memorial service for […]
Post | January 22, 2021
During his inaugural address, President Joe Biden laid out a number of policy priorities. The clearest theme of his speech was a call for unity and the need to address political divisions in the United States, which came to a head with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.1 However, President Biden also […]
Post | January 15, 2021
The fallout continues to mount from the January 6 attack on the Capitol. In previous blog posts, we offered a collection of resources and articles and explored the question of accountability for elected officials. In this post, we examine a thorny issue that is also emerging as institutions respond to riots: the power of private […]
Post | January 4, 2021
The 117th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2021.1 This is the most diverse Congress ever,2 with a record number of women and LGBTQ members, a slim Democratic majority in the House, and a Senate that is still up for grabs due to runoff elections taking place this week in Georgia.3 READ MORE: “Here’s […]
Post | December 15, 2020
As journalists, historians, and political commentators reflect on the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump, one word keeps coming up: norms. To his critics, this is cause for concern. But President Trump’s supporters sometimes see his norm-breaking actions as efforts to change the political culture of Washington. Here, we will offer definitions and examples of […]
Post | December 4, 2020
Public health officials are offering good long-term news about the prospects of making a COVID-19 vaccine widely available during the first half of next year,1 but they are also cautioning Americans that this winter could be very “rough.”2 In addition to having worries about illness, death, and social isolation, many people are also feeling significant […]