Background and Context
These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Education and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current public policy proposals surrounding the issue. 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 Policymakers
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 | July 1, 2023
In Part 1 of this series, we saw that more severe approaches to school discipline—including “zero-tolerance” policies—have been statistically linked to higher rates of incarceration, especially among Black boys. This is seen as a key contributor to mass incarceration, which Part 2 showed has grown substantially since the final decades of the 20th century. In […]
Post | June 22, 2023
Should We Decarcerate? Since the start of the War on Drugs, the United States has adopted and enforced policies that have led to mass incarceration, with nearly half of all incarcerations due to drug crimes.1 According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the rate of incarceration in the United States outpaces every other nation on earth, […]
Post | June 14, 2023
What Do People Mean When They Talk About the School-to-Prison Pipeline? For decades, many researchers who study the public education system have discussed the impact of the “school-to-prison pipeline”: escalating punishments, primarily in “high-poverty, high-minority schools,” intended to deter unwanted student behaviors leading to missed class time, a lost sense of belonging within the school, […]
Post | June 2, 2023
At Close Up, building civic proficiency and comprehension is at the heart of everything we do. Learn more about how we support students, teachers, and civic literacy through our programs, professional development, curriculum, and classroom resources. On May 3, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released its civics and U.S. history data […]
Post | March 8, 2023
On February 18, the Carter Center released a statement saying that former President Jimmy Carter had opted to spend “his remaining time at home” following a number of hospital stays and declining health.1 News of the 98-year-old former president’s condition has brought an outpouring of support and renewed attention to his life and legacy as […]
Post | November 3, 2022
On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court heard two cases regarding the use of race in college admissions.1 Rulings on these affirmative action cases could force many universities to reshape their admissions processes. The History of Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court The present-day context of the term “affirmative action” grew from executive orders by […]
Post | October 25, 2022
In August, President Joe Biden’s administration announced a student loan forgiveness plan which would cancel up to $10,000 in debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for some borrowers.1 Current federal student loan borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year (less than $250,000 per household) can have up to $10,000 forgiven and those […]