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.
Current Issues Blog
History and Civics Scores Drop in The Nation’s Report Card
June 02, 2023
At Close Up, building civic proficiency and comprehension is at the heart of everything we do. Learn more about how we support students, teachers, and civic literacy through our programs, professional development, curriculum, and classroom resources. On May 3, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released its civics and U.S. history data […]Read More >
What Is Happening in Sudan?
May 25, 2023
On April 15, fighting broke out in Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), the country’s national army, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group. The RSF is the largest paramilitary group in Africa, created in 2013 out of the Janjaweed militias that have been accused of war crimes and genocide in Darfur, […]Read More >
The Debt Ceiling Fight
May 19, 2023
Recently, the Republican-led House of Representatives has been at odds with the Democrat-led Senate and President Joe Biden over raising the debt ceiling. This issue touches on one of the fundamental powers of Congress—setting the budget for the federal government. Disagreements over spending have led to the current divide between the Republican and Democratic Parties […]Read More >
Drag Bans: A Violation of the First Amendment?
April 26, 2023
Last month, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a first-of-its-kind law banning “adult cabaret entertainment” on public property or in any location where people under 18 could be present. Senate Bill 3, commonly known as the “drag ban,” in part defines these performances as “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient […]Read More >
Where to Go? America’s Shortage of Public Restrooms
April 10, 2023
The United States lacks public restrooms. It’s a problem you might only notice when you need to go. Those with chronic conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, parents with young kids, and older Americans with weaker bladders may be most affected by this shortage, though anyone who just drank a large iced coffee can find themselves […]Read More >
TikTok & The First Amendment
March 31, 2023
On March 23, 2023, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing as part of an ongoing review of TikTok and its connections to the Chinese government. TikTok CEO Shou Chew was the focus of the hearing and took questions from members of Congress on a wide range of topics, including the ways […]Read More >
How Should We Regulate Child Labor?
March 15, 2023
On March 6, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law the Youth Hiring Act, a law that, among other things, allows children between the ages of nine and 16 to be hired without the need for an employment certificate to be filed with the state. Under previous state law, an employment certificate was required […]Read More >
Revisiting Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” Speech
March 08, 2023
On February 18, the Carter Center released a statement saying that former President Jimmy Carter had opted to spend “his remaining time at home” following a number of hospital stays and declining health.1 News of the 98-year-old former president’s condition has brought an outpouring of support and renewed attention to his life and legacy as […]Read More >
What Do “Defund the Police” and “Police Abolition” Mean? And What Do They Not Mean?
February 22, 2023
Following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a call by activists to “defund the police” achieved national attention. Supporters of defunding the police have argued that—at least some of—the billions of dollars spent on policing each year could be better used by investing in educational, recreational, and mental health […]Read More >
CEO Compensation: An Issue of Fairness or Evidence of a Functioning Free Market?
February 10, 2023
There is currently a bill in Congress, S.794 – Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act of 2021, that would increase taxes on companies on the basis of their CEO-to-worker compensation ratio. The legislation, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and cosponsored by a host of Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has progressed to the Senate […]Read More >