Current Event March 26, 2015
In the U.S. all voters are required to cast their ballots in the district that’s been assigned to them by their state legislature. The state has the power to create and change legislative districts. In some states legislative districts look like jigsaw puzzles, created to increase the chance that the party in power remains in power. This process is called gerrymandering. Some states are fighting this practice by creating independent commissions to control redistricting. One case has risen to the U.S. Supreme court, where the constitutionality of independent commissions is being challenged.
ELA High School
Our food supply is considered safe today thanks in large part to a movement to improve safety following the publication of the novel in 1906, "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. It was a vivid portrayal of the lives of immigrant families who worked in a meat-packing plant in Chicago. Americans were shocked and disgusted. This public radio story tells of how "The Jungle" galvanized public support to improve the safety of our food system.
ELA High School
George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was published in 1945. Its message was explicitly political as a statement and a satire against Stalinism and the dictatorial socialism of the Soviet Union. Understanding this allegory gives deeper meaning to the talking animals who take control of their farm. Seventy years later, does this message of failed revolution resonate in a communist nation with a similar revolution and trajectory? Listen to learn how a later theatrical adaptation of the book is being understood in modern day China.
Current Event June 16, 2014
It has been 40 years since the publication of "All the President's Men" by Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The popular book was made into a movie at the same time. The authors of the book recently reflected on their reporting that revealed President Richard Nixon was trying to rig his re-election campaign. Listen to this radio story to teach your students about Watergate and its place in history.
Current Event June 13, 2014
In a surprise upset, Republican House Leader Eric Cantor lost his re-election bid to a Tea Party-backed candidate. Political analysts say one of the reasons he lost was his moderate stand on immigration reform. Listen to this radio story to find out what this means for immigration reform.
Current Event March 18, 2014
Residents of Crimea, which is a part of Ukraine, voted to secede and join neighboring Russia. In response, citizens in the capital of Ukraine are preparing to use military force to prevent any action by Russia. Citizens are afraid that one day Ukraine will lose more territory to Russia.
Current Event February 12, 2014
In past Olympics, vote trading, where one judge trades for votes with another judge, skewed judging in ice skating; however, when anonymity was enacted, vote trading just got worse. Listen to this story to learn how subjectivity has a role in judging.
Current Event January 16, 2014
This month, 50 years after a war on poverty was declared by President Lyndon Johnson, politicians are still fighting over how to help alleviate poverty. This week the two major political parties in the U.S. agreed they need to do more to help the poor, but differ on how. Republicans call to repeal state aid and Democrats claim that those safety nets saved the economy.
Current Event November 28, 2013
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man elected to the presidency and the first and only Roman Catholic to serve as president. His election represented a departure from the status quo. The message Kennedy delivered in his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961 served as inspiration for a generation. Listen to hear excerpts of his speech and learn how it inspired four young people to action.