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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Restoring Confidence or Destroying Democracy? The Fight Over Access to the Ballot

Post | March 8, 2021

The past several election cycles have seen high-stakes fights over access to the ballot and the rules that govern elections. In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated provisions of the Voting Rights Act, thus making it easier for states to change their voting laws.1 In the years since, conservatives in Congress and in state legislatures have […]


Addressing Economic Inequality: Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Proposal

Post | March 4, 2021

During her 2020 presidential bid, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., put forward a tax on the wealthiest Americans—a so-called ultra-millionaire tax—as one of her central proposals.1 And on March 1, 2021, Warren introduced the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, which would “create an annual tax of 2 percent on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 […]


156 Years and Counting: Reparations for Slavery in 2021

Post | February 24, 2021

In the wake of this past summer’s demonstrations and civil unrest spurred by accusations of wrongful police killings and systemic racism, Congress is considering legislation regarding reparations to Black Americans who are descended from enslaved people. The bill, H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, was introduced by Representative […]


The 14th: Why A Reconstruction-Era Amendment is in the News

Post | February 23, 2021

Now that former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial has concluded with another acquittal, some lawmakers and voters remain unsatisfied with the results.1 Had President Trump been found guilty by the Senate, he would have been barred from holding federal office again in the future. With an acquittal, President Trump remains eligible to run once […]


#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 […]


Tackling Climate Change: Zero-Emission Vehicles

Post | February 10, 2021

President Joe Biden has made addressing climate change one of his administration’s seven “immediate priorities,” requiring “bold action” by the government to improve the lives of the American people and protect the environment.1 On his seventh full day in office, President Biden signed an “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” […]


Historic Second Impeachment, Part Two: Questions of Crime and Punishment

Post | February 8, 2021

This week, the Senate commences an historic second trial of former President Donald Trump, stemming from his actions pertaining to the January 6 Capitol riot.1 Against a backdrop of heightened security, threats made against members of Congress,2 and tensions within the Republican Party,3 senators must determine President Trump’s innocence or guilt, as well as what […]


Historic Second Impeachment, Part One: Questions of Constitutionality and Unity

Post | February 3, 2021

Last week, the House of Representatives delivered an article of impeachment to the Senate, accusing former President Donald Trump of inciting violence against the U.S. government on the basis of his actions relating to the January 6 storming of the Capitol.1 Already the first U.S. president to be impeached twice, President Trump will also become […]


The Inaugural COVID-19 Memorial

Post | February 2, 2021

The Lincoln Memorial is usually bustling with energy and activity on the eve of a presidential inauguration, when it takes center stage for concerts, crowds, and celebrations.1 This year was different. The Biden Inaugural Committee struck a deeply somber tone in the midst of the pandemic, holding what was the first national memorial service for […]


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 […]


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