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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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a vote of 219-212.1 The bill is an attempt to reestablish some voting protections that the Supreme Court struck down as outdated and unconstitutional in its 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.2 The bill faces a steep […]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 […]


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.


Unemployment

Extended Unemployment Benefits: Helping Workers or Holding the Economy Back?

Post | June 1, 2021

After April’s jobs report fell short of predictions and unemployment ticked up for the first time in the last year, some politicians and policymakers, particularly conservatives, called for an end to the generous unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that have been place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Although federal pandemic-related UI benefits are set […]


Conflict in Israel

Conflict in Israel and the U.S. Response

Post | May 24, 2021

A ceasefire has brought an end to weeks of increasing violence between Israel and the Palestinian communities in the territory it controls, particularly the Palestinian Islamic-nationalist group Hamas. This latest outbreak of conflict ended a period of relative calm that had persisted for the better part of a decade. Adding to the complexity of the […]


Public Service In America

Videos | May 21, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘Public Service In America’ with guest speaker Tim McManus, COO of Partnership for Public Service. Public Service is key to making many sectors of our government run smoothly. Service comes in many different forms, in this Close Up Conversations we will discuss the importance […]


Joe and Jill Biden at School

Reshaping the Economy

Post | May 18, 2021

President Joe Biden is currently promoting his plan to transform the U.S. economy.1 In a previous blog post, we explored one element of that plan: infrastructure. In this post, we will examine some details of the Biden administration’s American Families Plan. What is in the Plan? According to the White House, the American Families Plan […]


Alex Brandon/AP Images

Build It and They Will Come: The Biden Infrastructure Plan

Post | May 10, 2021

President Joe Biden is currently campaigning to promote his administration’s infrastructure plan. The plan is intended to address three main areas of concern: crumbling or inadequate infrastructure, job creation and economic growth, and environmental issues. In this post, we will focus on the infrastructure goals of the plan. What is Infrastructure? Infrastructure refers to the […]


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