Our Current Issues blog helps teachers connect news stories to their classrooms and students. Teaching the news is time-consuming and complicated; by the time you are able to find and process important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. This blog will be updated weekly, with links to classroom-ready news items, relevant context, and suggested discussion questions for teachers.
President Trump Seeks to Further Reduce U.S. Military Presence in Syria
October 18, 2019
On October 6, 2019, President Trump made the surprising announcement that he would pull out most of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria, where the United States has been working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and to […]Read More >
October 15, 2019
In late September 2019, it was revealed that an officer at the Central Intelligence Agency filed an official complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general, alleging that President Trump had engaged in an inappropriate phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25. The whistleblower alleged that President Trump threatened to withhold approximately $400 million […]Read More >
Eliminate Illegal Immigration; Make Immigration Work for the Economy
October 09, 2019
Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between Democrats and Republicans. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two proposals that Republicans are advancing; two weeks ago, we examined two bills that Democrats are advancing. Republicans […]Read More >
The Global Climate Strike
September 25, 2019
To help students explore the climate change debate, please see our resource on climate change policy here. Over one million workers, students, and others engaged in the global climate strike on Friday, September 20, in an effort to call for more significant action to combat climate change.1 This was the third in a series of […]Read More >
Migrant Detention and Congressional Oversight
September 16, 2019
Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between congressional Democrats and the executive branch. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two bills that Democrats are advancing; next week, we will look at two bills that […]Read More >
Reparations and the Demands of Justice
August 27, 2019
In January 2019, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 40: The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act.1 Reparations for slavery, Jim Crow, and systematic segregation and racism in major U.S. institutions is not a new idea, but it has never gained the type of traction that it currently has. […]Read More >
Religious Freedom or the Right to Discriminate?
August 22, 2019
On August 15, the Department of Labor published proposed changes that would expand federal contractors’ ability to claim a religious exemption to equal opportunity and anti-discrimination rules.1 The proposed rule change, as written, could allow employers with federal contracts to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ employees, and could even be used to fire unmarried […]Read More >
Democratic Candidate Highlights: Part 1—The Early Announcers
June 05, 2019
The 2020 United States Presidential election is on Tuesday, November 3, and there are 20+ Democrats who have announced their campaign to run. As promised in our earlier post (found here), this post will be the first of several where we take a closer look at a few candidates—who they are and their stances are on […]Read More >
Should Washington, DC Become a State?
May 29, 2019
If you visit Washington, DC, one of the things you may notice is the license plates on local vehicles. While the inhabitants of the District of Columbia pay federal taxes, they do not have voting representation in Congress – just one delegate whose votes do not count. So since 2000, after approval by the Mayor […]Read More >
Trade War: What Is It Good For?
May 14, 2019
This past Friday, President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on $200 billion dollars’ worth of goods from China, increasing the rate from 10% to 25%. On Sunday, China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion dollars’ worth of US goods increasing to a rate of 20-25%.1 The so-called ‘trade war’ between the US and […]Read More >