Our civics blog helps teachers connect articles on current issues in the USA 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.
Post | September 6, 2022
In August, Democrat Mary Peltola won Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives in a special election to replace Don Young (R), who passed away in March 2022.1 Peltola defeated two Republicans, former Governor Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III. Peltola becomes the first Alaska Native person to be elected to Congress.2 This election […]
Post | August 30, 2022
In communities across the country, teachers are welcoming students back to school as the summer draws to a close. The beginning of the school year is an exciting and important time for establishing good civic habits in students. To help facilitate dialogue among students and spark civil discussion in the classroom, we are reviewing several […]
Post | August 24, 2022
We do not have to look far to find evidence of strong partisan hostility in the United States. People are ending long-term friendships, or even cutting off communication with family, over political differences.1 Partisan animosity—feelings of anger, fear, and distrust toward those with whom we disagree—has been steadily increasing for decades.2 Earlier this month, the […]
Post | June 1, 2022
In an interactive photo essay for the New York Times, journalists Ruth Fremson and Audra D. S. Burch celebrate what would have been the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned 19th-century landscape architect. By showcasing photos of people enjoying themselves in his creations—such as New York City’s Central Park, the Emerald Necklace in […]
Post | May 26, 2022
On Saturday, May 14, a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others in a supermarket serving a predominantly Black population in eastern Buffalo, New York. The shooter, an 18-year-old white man, traveled over 200 miles to the Tops Supermarket.1 He was the apparent author of an online screed that claims the attack was meant […]
Post | April 18, 2022
Early last week, President Joe Biden and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced a final ruling to limit the manufacture and sale of so-called “ghost guns”—privately manufactured firearms without serial numbers.1 This final ruling is part of a series of measures announced by President Biden and the Department of Justice, dating back to last year, […]
Videos | March 24, 2022
During this #CloseUpConversations webinar Close Up is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Post | March 16, 2022
On February 22, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming medical care provided to transgender youth as child abuse, requiring mandated reporters (such as teachers, doctors, and health care workers) to pass on that information to the DFPS.1 Gender-affirming medical care for youth typically includes […]
Post | March 10, 2022
On March 1, 2022, President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address. He hit on several major topics that have impacted the nation over the last year. This post will focus on the president’s discussion of the most recent and pressing global issue: the Russian invasion of Ukraine. READ MORE: The Russian […]
Videos | March 3, 2022
During this #CloseUpConversations webinar we focus on current issues such as bail reform, sentencing reform, and decriminalization of drugs with guest speaker Margaret diZerega.