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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#CounselorsNotCops

The Debate Over School Resource Officers and the #CounselorsNotCops Campaign

Post | February 16, 2021

The debates over defunding or reforming the police and addressing the school-to-prison pipeline have merged to focus on the issue of police officers in schools. School resource officers (SROs) are career law enforcement officers who work in one or more schools.1 According to the Department of Justice, SROs are “responsible for safety and crime prevention […]


President Biden’s Policy Priorities: The First 100 Days

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 […]


The Pandemic, Schools and The Economy

Summer Round-Up #1: The Pandemic, Schools, and The Economy

Post | August 26, 2020

The summer of 2020 has been unlike any other. Schools across the country did not finish the end of the academic year in person, and many will not be seeing students in person once again this fall. Major events have been canceled or moved online, and we are in the midst of a presidential election […]


black lives matter

Discussing Race & Racism with Students

Post | June 2, 2020

Over the past week, we have witnessed an outpouring of grief and rage that reminds us—again—that democracy is always in the making and that we have a responsibility both to reflect and to act. As civic educators, we naturally turn our attention to what we can do, and what we can teach, that might further […]


Protestors in front of Supreme Court in Washington, DC

The Supreme Court Will Address DACA. What Will Follow?

Post | October 30, 2019

On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the Trump administration’s efforts to end the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The status of DACA recipients has been in limbo for over two years amidst administration actions and court injunctions. What Is DACA? After Congress failed in its […]


Political Cartoon

Should Public College Be Free?

Post | April 23, 2019

College has not only gotten expensive, but the cost becomes a burden for years. When graduating an undergraduate program, the average student leaves with over $37,000 in student loan debt. This is a $20,000 increase from 20 years ago. Over 70% of students today graduate with a significant amount of loans with an average of […]


This is America Ad

Should the US designate an official language?

Post | March 26, 2019

The United States is one of a few nations in the world to have no official language designated. While the Constitution gives no reasoning for this, many reasons have been suggested by experts. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to designate English as the national language, but none have ever been successfully passed into […]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about Green new deal in front of Capitol

So, What Is the Green New Deal?

Post | February 20, 2019

In the weeks since Democrats took over the House of Representatives, an idea has been gaining some momentum and media attention: A Green New Deal. According to CNN’s Zachary Wolf, the proposal will likely become a litmus test on the road to the Democratic presidential nomination.1 In this post, we’ll take a look at what […]


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