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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Political Cartoon

Should Public College Be Free?

Post | April 23, 2019

College has not only gotten expensive, but the cost becomes a burden for years. When graduating an undergraduate program, the average student leaves with over $37,000 in student loan debt. This is a $20,000 increase from 20 years ago. Over 70% of students today graduate with a significant amount of loans with an average of […]


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Shifting Debate over Paid Family Leave

Post | April 17, 2019

In the midst of economic policy debates on tariffs and trading gaps, one policy debate has continued for years in many different iterations: Paid Family Leave.  This week, the Senate introduced Bill 1174 as a companion bill to the House’s 2019 Federal Employees Paid Leave Act. Both bills support 12 weeks of paid leave for federal […]


This is America Ad

Should the US designate an official language?

Post | March 26, 2019

The United States is one of a few nations in the world to have no official language designated. While the Constitution gives no reasoning for this, many reasons have been suggested by experts. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to designate English as the national language, but none have ever been successfully passed into […]


Protest Sign

Should the Federal Government Legalize Marijuana?

Post | March 19, 2019

On Feb. 28, the day he introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, (S.597) Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “The failed War on Drugs has really been a war on people—disproportionately criminalizing poor people, people of color & people with mental illness. I’m reintroducing the #MarijuanaJustice Act to begin reversing our failed federal drug policies.” The views expressed by Sen. Booker […]


Black and White Photo

The End of the Draft?

Post | March 12, 2019

Last month, a federal judge in Texas ruled that an all-male draft is unconstitutional.1Current laws demand that all males must register for Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday, or face prosecution, fines and prison time. If an American male over 18 is not registered, he is not eligible for federal student aid, cannot […]


2020 US Census

Who counts in America?

Post | March 5, 2019

Every ten years, the federal government conducts a census to count people residing in the United States. The information gathered helps the federal, state, and local governments plan and create public policy, identifies regional and national trends, and, most importantly, is used in apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the U.S. population […]


Finish the Boarder Will Trump

State of Uncertainty: Emergency Declaration on the Border

Post | February 26, 2019

Why declare an emergency?  On February 15th, 2019 President Trump declared a state of emergency at the US-Mexico border in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall. The move had been predicted for months as a way to avoid a government shutdown if Congress refused to allocate the funding in the annual […]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about Green new deal in front of Capitol

So, What Is the Green New Deal?

Post | February 20, 2019

In the weeks since Democrats took over the House of Representatives, an idea has been gaining some momentum and media attention: A Green New Deal. According to CNN’s Zachary Wolf, the proposal will likely become a litmus test on the road to the Democratic presidential nomination.1 In this post, we’ll take a look at what […]


ERA women's rights protest

ERA Won’t Go Away

Post |

“Yes Virginia, there is an ERA” “One State to 38!” These slogans adorned the banners and signs that ERA supporters brought to the Virginia State Capitol at the beginning of the General Assembly’s legislative session this January. ¹ ERA activists are hoping that this year’s session would include a floor vote on ratification of the […]


Boarder Wall US Mexico Illegal Immigrants

The Shutdown: It’s Over!…Isn’t It?

Post | January 29, 2019

In 1978, Kenny Rogers released “The Gambler,” a song that details the sage advice of an avid poker player. The lyrics famously contain the chorus, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Fittingly, the song debuted less than a month […]


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