Background and Context
These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Government & Elections 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.
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 | November 17, 2022
By the end of the day on Election Day, 47 percent of eligible voters in the United States had cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections.1 After a week of waiting with several races still uncalled, heading to a runoff, or requiring a recount, it looks like Republicans will have a slim majority in […]
Post | October 6, 2022
On October 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Merrill v. Milligan. In that case, the Court is considering whether the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should apply to Alabama’s recent congressional redistricting. One section of the Voting Rights Act requires that states provide minority voters with “an equal opportunity to […]
Post | September 6, 2022
In August, Democrat Mary Peltola won Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives in a special election to replace Don Young (R), who passed away in March 2022.1 Peltola defeated two Republicans, former Governor Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III. Peltola becomes the first Alaska Native person to be elected to Congress.2 This election […]
Post | August 30, 2022
In communities across the country, teachers are welcoming students back to school as the summer draws to a close. The beginning of the school year is an exciting and important time for establishing good civic habits in students. To help facilitate dialogue among students and spark civil discussion in the classroom, we are reviewing several […]
Post | August 24, 2022
We do not have to look far to find evidence of strong partisan hostility in the United States. People are ending long-term friendships, or even cutting off communication with family, over political differences.1 Partisan animosity—feelings of anger, fear, and distrust toward those with whom we disagree—has been steadily increasing for decades.2 Earlier this month, the […]
Post | February 15, 2022
Last month, Senators Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, a reform bill which would require members of Congress to divest their stock market investments or face fines totaling the entire amount of their congressional salary.1 According to an August 2021 Gallup poll, approximately 56 percent of U.S. […]
Post | February 9, 2022
On February 4, the Republican National Committee (RNC) officially censured two members of the party, Representatives Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for their role in the ongoing House of Representatives investigation into the Capitol riot that occurred on January 6, 2021. The RNC resolution claims that Cheney and Kinzinger “support Democrat efforts to […]
Videos | November 23, 2021
During this #CloseUpConversations webinar, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, we discuss internships and career pathways that drive policy-making on Capitol Hill.