Current Issues Blog & More

 

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. 

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Deliberating About Pressing Issues

Post | September 22, 2021

Classroom discussion of current issues is one of the most powerful tools available to help young people develop the skills and knowledge required for democratic citizenship.1 There are many forms that such discussion can take, including short reactions to news articles, debates, and semester-long legislative simulations. While all of these forms have their place, one […]


Teaching the 26th Amendment

Post | September 16, 2021

One of the most important things that schools can do to promote civic and political engagement is to explicitly teach about elections and voting.1 While this can include teaching about current elections and ballot initiatives or processes such as voter registration, it should also include lessons on the struggle for voting rights by different groups […]


Vaccine Mandates: The Way Out of the Pandemic or Presidential Overreach?

Post | September 15, 2021

Last Thursday, President Biden issued an executive order requiring that all federal employees and employees of federal contractors are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, employees working for a company with more than 100 workers must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Finally, those working for businesses that receive Medicare or […]


Building Bridges – The 20th Anniversary of September 11th

Podcast | September 10, 2021

After 20 years, eyewitnesses to the events share the impact of 9/11 on their lives and on the lives of their family members. 


The United States’ Exit from Afghanistan

Post | September 8, 2021

After 20 years of U.S. troops maintaining a presence in Afghanistan, the United States began the process of ending its longest war by removing military forces from the region. Ever since he was vice president, President Joe Biden has been a strong advocate for reducing the scope of the military mission in Afghanistan in order […]


The House Passes the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Post | August 31, 2021

On Tuesday, August 24, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act by a vote of 219-212.1 The bill is an attempt to reestablish some voting protections that the Supreme Court struck down as outdated and unconstitutional in its 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.2 The bill faces a steep […]


The House Passes a $3.5 Trillion Budget Framework

Post | August 25, 2021

On August 24, the House of Representatives passed a $3.5 trillion spending bill, committed to passing an infrastructure bill, and moved forward with significant voting rights legislation.1 It was an important step in enacting such a large spending plan, but it was not the final step. Republicans and a number of conservative and moderate Democrats […]


2021 Summer Round-Up: Infrastructure, Afghanistan, the Delta Surge, and the Climate Crisis

Post | August 17, 2021

As teachers welcome students back into the classroom, it is important to establish good habits and routines for the new school year. One important habit is incorporating current issues discussions into civics, social studies, and humanities courses. To help teachers get started on the right foot, we’re offering a round-up of some of the most […]


Building Bridges – Immigration

Podcast | July 6, 2021

This month on “Building Bridges” we wish to honor the immigrants who became part of the essential fabric of our great democracy, from the powerful and famous to the everyday American citizen.


Commemorating Juneteenth: Slavery at Mount Vernon

Videos | June 18, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘Juneteenth: Slavery at Mount Vernon’ with guest speakers Sadie Troy and Alissa Oginsky of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.


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