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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Great Depression

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Great Depression and the New Deal

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

The stock market crash of October 29, 1929, marked the beginning, though not the cause, of the Great Depression.


WWII

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – WWII

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Mired in the Great Depression of the 1930s, U.S. leaders were more concerned with issues at home than with those abroad.


T Bird

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Prosperity and Anxiety

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The 1950s were a time of prosperity and affluence unlike any ever seen in the United States.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Rights and Revolutions

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The years between 1950 and 1975 were tumultuous times for American society.


Vietnam War

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – The Vietnam Years

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Since the late 1800s, France had controlled the area of Southeast Asia called Indochina—Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and had profited from the region’s rice and rubber plantations.


Joe and Jill Biden at School

Reshaping the Economy

Post | May 18, 2021

President Joe Biden is currently promoting his plan to transform the U.S. economy.1 In a previous blog post, we explored one element of that plan: infrastructure. In this post, we will examine some details of the Biden administration’s American Families Plan. What is in the Plan? According to the White House, the American Families Plan […]


Workers’ Rights & Teacher Unions

Videos | May 7, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Mia Charity discusses ‘Workers’ Rights & Teacher Unions’ with guest speakers Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. After a year of changing our normal working lives, many workers including teachers are still navigating difficult changes to their work lives. Join us for a session […]


How Can We Overcome Vaccine Skepticism?

Post | March 16, 2021

There’s been a lot of good news in the fight against COVID-19. The United States has authorized three vaccines for emergency use and drastically ramped up the distribution to states while increasing the administration of doses.1 More than 107 million shots have already been given, with an average of 2.3 million per day.2 President Joe […]


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