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.
Videos | May 20, 2020
During this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘COVID-19 and Political Reform’ with John Milewski, Director of Digital Programming & Managing Editor and Host of the Wilson Center ON DEMAND from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. John speaks with Joe about government funding and political reform in the wake of COVID-19 in regards to health care, education and business.
Post | May 18, 2020
Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases involving President Donald Trump’s tax returns and financial records, Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank. During the 2016 election, then-candidate Trump broke with tradition and refused to release many of his financial records and tax returns. The president is suing his accountants and […]
Post | May 5, 2020
As the novel coronavirus continues to dominate the headlines, the American public is facing an onslaught of information about the pandemic. Social and traditional media are covering developments, spreading opinions, and broadcasting statistics about COVID-19. There has been a strong association between coronavirus media coverage and an increase in public attention on the virus itself […]
Post | April 14, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 42 states—along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.—have issued stay-at-home orders, effectively barring at least 316 million Americans from going out unless absolutely necessary.1 While essential businesses and services remain open, many workers now find themselves working from home. Considering the circumstances, should Congress also be allowed to vote […]
Post | April 7, 2020
With COVID-19 dominating both the headlines and the realities of everyday life in the United States, it can be hard to remember that we are in the midst of a presidential primary with a general election only seven months away. The State of the Race A little over a month ago, former Vice President Joe […]
Post | February 28, 2020
On November 6, 2017, businessman Andrew Yang began a presidential campaign centered on a signature policy, Universal Basic Income (UBI).1 If put in place, this UBI or “Freedom Dividend” would give every adult American $1,000 a month, no questions asked.2 The idea captured some voters’ imaginations; although Yang ultimately suspended his campaign after a poor […]
Post | February 20, 2020
During campaigns and elections, candidates use political labels, such as liberal, moderate, progressive, conservative, and libertarian, to position themselves in relation to each other and as a shorthand for their worldviews and policy preferences. This presidential election cycle features candidates from across a wider political spectrum than most elections in recent years. In the United […]
Post | February 5, 2020
“There’s a clear difference between politics and a crime,” Michael Levy told the Supreme Court in January,1 when he made arguments in a case about New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” scandal. As the justices considered whether or not a public official commits fraud by obfuscating the “real reason”2 behind a decision, they asked both sides tough questions […]