Current Issues Blog & More

 

Our civics blog helps teachers connect articles on current issues 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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Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center via MDPI

Indian Boarding Schools: The Truth and Healing Commission

Post | November 9, 2021

In September 2021, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act, which would establish a commission to “investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government’s Indian Boarding School Policies.”1 The commission would use its findings to recommend actions […]


Brackeen v. Haaland, Part 2: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | November 4, 2021

Part 2: The Current Debate Facing the U.S. Supreme Court For more information about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 and the history of its enactment, please read part one of this series. Brackeen v. Haaland is a complex case that challenges the constitutionality of the ICWA. In the opinion of some, the […]


Brackeen v. Haaland: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | October 27, 2021

The case of Brackeen v. Haaland is currently facing the U.S. Supreme Court. The case calls into question the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978. The two major questions in the case are: (1) Is the ICWA unconstitutional on the basis of racial discrimination because of its favoring of Native families […]


A Supreme Court Preview

Videos | October 14, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses the Supreme Court with guest speaker Steven Schwinn, professor of law at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law.


Facebook Regulations

Should Facebook Be Regulated?

Post | October 12, 2021

Last week, whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former project manager for Facebook’s Civic Integrity team, testified before Congress and criticized the social media company as a dangerous, unchecked force that was “buying its profits with our safety.”1 Haugen faulted the senior leadership at Facebook for identifying safety risks yet refusing to make the necessary changes to […]


Supreme Court Preview: The 2021-2022 Term

Post | October 5, 2021

The Supreme Court begins its new term on the first Monday in October, a tradition that dates back to 1917.1 This year, that meant yesterday, Monday, October 4. In the term ahead, the Court is set to take up many key constitutional and legal issues. To explore those issues, Close Up is offering a free […]


Civil Discourse and Deliberation in the Classroom

Videos | September 30, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Mia Charity discusses ‘Civil Discourse and Deliberation in the Classroom’ with guest speaker Dr. Paula McAvoy.


Texas S.B. 8 and the Future of Reproductive Rights

Post | September 29, 2021

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court declined to review a new Texas law (S.B. 8) restricting abortion access in the state after six weeks of pregnancy. Under the provisions of the law, women in Texas are legally prohibited from receiving an abortion, doctors are prohibited from performing an abortion, and third parties (such as […]


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 […]


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