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.
Public Parks and Community Green Spaces
June 01, 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 […]Read More >
A Tragedy in Buffalo Sparks Multiple Debates
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 […]Read More >
The Biden Administration Cracks Down on “Ghost Guns”
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, […]Read More >
LGBTQ Youth: Who Decides What Is Age-Appropriate?
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 […]Read More >
Ukraine and the 2022 State of the Union Address
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 […]Read More >
The Russian Invasion of Ukraine
March 01, 2022
On January 26, we posted about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Since then, Russia has invaded Ukraine and surrounded the capital, Kyiv. More than half a million refugees have fled the country and at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed.1 What Has Happened Since Then? February 21: The Russian government recognizes the […]Read More >
The NFL Faces Heat Over Hiring Practices
February 23, 2022
The National Football League (NFL) is in the hot seat again. This time, players and coaches are accusing the league of racial discrimination in hiring practices for coaches; more specifically, they claim that the NFL is biased against Black personnel for coveted coaching positions. In a sports league where most players are Black, most head […]Read More >
Should Members of Congress Be Banned from Trading Stocks?
February 15, 2022
Last month, Senators Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, a reform bill which would require members of Congress to divest their stock market investments or face fines totaling the entire amount of their congressional salary.1 According to an August 2021 Gallup poll, approximately 56 percent of U.S. […]Read More >
Censure Divides the Republican Party
February 09, 2022
On February 4, the Republican National Committee (RNC) officially censured two members of the party, Representatives Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for their role in the ongoing House of Representatives investigation into the Capitol riot that occurred on January 6, 2021. The RNC resolution claims that Cheney and Kinzinger “support Democrat efforts to […]Read More >
What Is Happening in Ukraine?
January 26, 2022
President Joe Biden has ordered the Pentagon to put 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened alert for a possible deployment to Europe.1 And the State Department has told the families of U.S. diplomats in Ukraine to leave the country as the possibility of a Russian invasion increases.2 So, what is going on? Background on Ukraine Ukraine […]Read More >