Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Education and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Education Policy in Historical Context

How has Education policy changed throughout our history? Learn More >

U.S. Education Policy in Current Context

What is current Education policy? Learn More >

Education: Deliberating Priorities

What, if anything, should governments do to improve the quality of K-12 education in the United States? Learn More >

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.

 

College Affordability and Student Debt

Available for Middle & High School

How, if at all, should the federal government work to make college more affordable and ease student loan debt? Learn More >

Universal Preschool

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments fund universal preschool? Learn More >

Discipline in Schools

Available for Middle & High School

Should schools abolish zero-tolerance policies and other exclusionary discipline practices? Learn More >

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.

 

Disparities in Education

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
April 14, 2021

Civic Engagement in Education

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
December 2, 2020

College Affordability

Former Governor and Congressman John Kasich (R-OH)
November 12, 2020

Lesson Plans

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.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Education

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Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – A Confident Nation

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

After the War of 1812, Americans gained confidence and pride in their nation as a spirit of unity and nationalism strengthened the union.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – Slavery and the Abolition Movement

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

From the 1830s to the 1860s, the economic, political, and cultural chasms between the North and South deepened.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – Civil War and Reconstruction

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

By the middle of the 19th century, the nation had developed two distinct economies and identities.


Unit 3: Industrializing America – The Closing of the Frontier

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Just before the Civil War, writers all across the United States began telling stories about people and places they knew well.


Unit 3: Industrializing America – Artists Render Industrialization and Urbanization

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Many American historians view the late 19th century in terms of technology and science, identifying the dynamism that helped drive the massive social changes of the period.


Child Workers

Unit 3: Industrializing America – Social Critics and Reformers

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

American history is full of individuals agitating for change. However, between the end of the Civil War and World War I, writers and lecturers poured forth ideas for improving society from a particularly deep well.


Boxing

Unit 3: Industrializing America – Americans Abroad and WWI

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

In 1880, the sultan of Turkey closed the Turkish diplomatic mission to the United States, believing it to be a waste of money on a second-rate nation.


Jazz Age

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Jazz Age

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The 1920s were a golden era. The postwar economy grew and optimism reigned. F. Scott Fitzgerald—a great novelist of the period—captured the mood in his 1937 essay, “Early Success.”


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