Current Issues Blog & More


The Close Up Current Issues Blog, updated weekly throughout the school year, helps teachers connect current events to their students and classrooms. We know that teaching the news can be time-consuming; by the time you find important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. That’s where our blog comes in: unpacking issues in the headlines by providing relevant context, links to classroom-ready news items, and suggested prompts for thoughtful discussion.

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Recovering from Pandemic Learning Loss

Post | February 22, 2024

On January 31, Harvard and Stanford Universities released the Education Recovery Scorecard, an assessment of student achievement following the learning loss that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The report detailed the gains third- through eighth-grade students in 8,000 school districts across the country have made in their math and reading scores.2 Results show that there has […]

Revisiting the Child Tax Credit

Post | February 14, 2024

What is the Child Tax Credit Proposal? There is an ongoing bipartisan effort in Congress to pass legislation that would provide financial support for families with young children. The bill would allow parents and guardians to receive a larger tax credit of up to $2,000 with the entire credit being refundable. This would provide some […]

The Congressional Border Deal

Post | February 8, 2024

On Sunday, February 4, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a compromise bill intended to address border security concerns and to provide further funding for Ukraine’s military defense against Russia.1 In this post, we will examine the immigration-related contents of the compromise legislation and explore different perspectives about the border security bill. What Is in […]

The Debate About Urban (Re)Design in the United States

Post | February 1, 2024

Amidst the mosaic of national debates surrounding climate change, economic justice, and public health, there is a growing focus on the intersection of these issues and the design of our communities. The overwhelming majority of U.S. households own at least one vehicle, and the number of vehicles registered in the United States has continued to […]

Middle East Conflict and the Regional and Global Impact

Post | January 9, 2024

In the weeks since the Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7, Israel has conducted a military campaign with the stated goal of eradicating Hamas as both a military and governing organization.1 The death toll in Gaza currently stands at around 22,000 Palestinians and 170 Israeli soldiers, in addition to the more than 1,200 people Hamas […]

U.S. Foreign Policy Decisions in the Israel-Hamas Conflict: Part 2

Post | November 29, 2023

As part of our ongoing series centered on the Israel-Hamas conflict, this post will review the U.S. foreign policy decisions. Part 1 of the series focused on the effects of the conflict within U.S. borders and the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia. To complete the series, Part 3 in the coming week will review how […]

U.S. Politics and Policy During the Israel-Hamas Conflict: Part 1

Post | November 21, 2023

This is the first in a series of posts that will explore complex domestic policy, foreign policy, and global issues connected to the Israel-Hamas conflict. In the United States, there has been significant discussion and debate about what to do, both in terms of foreign policy and on the domestic front. In this series, we […]

Ammar Awad/Reuters

Teaching and Discussing the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Post | October 25, 2023

In last week’s post, we provided some background about what is happening in Israel and Gaza. In this week’s post, we offer some additional resources that could help students and teachers understand what is happening. Axios gathered a list of people, places, and terms that could help people engage with news stories about the conflict. U.S. […]


The Israel-Hamas War

Post | October 18, 2023

The Hamas Attack Launches On the morning of October 7, 2023, the militant Palestinian nationalist group Hamas unleashed an unprecedented terrorist attack against Israel. Over 5,000 rockets launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip (one of two semi-autonomous regions of Israel designated for Palestinian residents). These rocket attacks were immediately followed by thousands of Hamas fighters […]

Young Americans’ Views on the 2024 Presidential Election

Post | October 13, 2023

Over the last two weeks, we have explored results from American University’s Reimagining the American Dream Survey, conducted in partnership with Close Up, the Generation Lab, and the Millennial Action Project. This third and final post will examine Gen Z’s 2024 election views and ideas. As a reminder, the survey from American University’s Sine Institute […]

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