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.
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 […]
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 […]
Videos | February 26, 2021
During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Mia Charity, discusses environmental justice issues with Dr. Regan F. Patterson of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
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 […]
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 […]
Podcast | February 16, 2021
This episode of Building Bridges looks at the history of the Presidential Pardon. We will focus on a range of Presidential Pardons and Commutations given to people from all different backgrounds and crimes committed.
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 […]
Videos | February 12, 2021
During this Close Up Conversations webinar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty, discusses race, activism, and social issues in the world of sports, with Curtis Harris, PhD History candidate and adjunct professor at American University.
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” […]
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 […]