Social Studies

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What Other Countries Can Teach Us About Good Schools

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This Daily News Story from PBS NewsHour Extra was created on September 25, 2013.

Despite increases in education spending and a decade of school reform, students in the United States still lag behind their peers in many other countries when it comes to math, science and reading skills.

Does Trump’s School Safety Plan Make Schools Safer? | PBS NewsHour

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On March 11, 2018, President Donald Trump shared his school safety plan, which includes arming teachers, expanding mental health, and improving the National Instant Criminal Background System. The plan does not endorse expanding background checks. Trump backpedaled on his support for raising the minimum age to buy assault weapons, and the proposed program is being criticized for not going far enough to address the problem of gun violence. Arming teachers could make schools less safe, given accuracy problems and the potential to draw more shooters to schools.

March 14, 2018 videos and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

Constitution USA | Created Equal

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Peter Sagal explores the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “inalienable rights,” that didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. The Fourteenth Amendment tries to incorporate the words of the Declaration into the Constitution. The far-reaching changes created by that amendment established new notions of citizenship, equal protection, due process, and personal liberty and today those notions are being used to fight for same sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration reform. 

Bilai Ansari's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Bilal Ansari is an African American father of three and a student in the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary. He works tirelessly in the Connecticut prison system, where inmates often convert to Islam, but where he is also the victim of a hate crime perpetrated by some of his co-workers.

Rob Pene's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Rob Pene was born in American Samoa and came to the United States on a baseball scholarship. Unsuccessful in his major-league tryouts, he pursues his passion through an urban ministry. He also writes and performs Christian rap. The sudden death of his father challenges Pene’s commitment to his chosen path.

U.S. Soldiers Returning from Afghanistan and the Challenges of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan

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Many U.S. soldiers returning home after deployment in Afghanistan confront a new set of struggles. Many are challenged by the emotional distress of war and some develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Senate Republicans Reveal Health Care Bill | PBS NewsHour

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After weeks of drafting in secret, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the Senate version of the health care bill public on June 22, 2017. The bill shares broad strokes with the House of Representatives bill, whose approval rating is very low. It has drawn unanimous opposition from Democrats. The Senate bill would cut Medicaid funding more gradually in the short run than the House bill, but more significantly over time. The bill waives taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act and, if implemented, would allow states to waive required coverage of essential benefits.

June 23, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

What Can We Learn from the Parkland School Shooting? | PBS NewsHour

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For guidance on how to talk with students about mass shootings, you may want to read SAMHSA’s “Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers.”

A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a northern Miami suburb, killed 17 people on February 14 in the fifth school shooting of 2018 resulting in casualties. Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student who had been expelled from Stoneman, was arrested soon after the shooting. He had legally purchased the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the assault. In a national address from the White House, President Donald Trump said he wanted America’s youth to know, “You are never alone, and you never will be.” He said he plans to explore how to better secure schools and to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

February 15, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

Steven Gamez's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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This film tells the story of Steven Gamez who is studying to become a Catholic Priest. Steven is a Tejano (Texan-Mexican), born and raised on San Antonio’s rough West Side. He dreams of returning to his neighborhood and serving the poor.

Tahera Ahmed's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Tahera Ahmad is an outspoken young woman from a traditional Pakistani-American family. She is a coach and mentor for Muslims in high school while studying to be an Islamic chaplain. A trip to Egypt takes her out into the world for the first time, where she reflects on being a leader.

Jeneen Robinson's Story | What's Your Calling? Film Module

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Jeneen Robinson is an African American single mother, as well as a newly ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. She balances the responsibilities of parenting, schoolwork, and creating an original preaching style.

Why Can't Anyone Agree on the Crime Rate? | Above the Noise

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The news media is chock-full of contradictory stories about crime in the United States. Are murders on the rise, or at remarkable lows? A skim of the headlines might not give you a clear answer. So why is there room for disagreement about what should be a very basic statistic? The answer isn’t really about the data itself, but how we slice and dice that data. It’s about how we determine trends, what we’re comparing, and sometimes, what answer we want to find. In this Above the Noise video, host Shirin Ghaffary looks into why the crime rate in America can be such a confusing, and often misleading, topic to read and write about.

Looking for Lincoln | All Things Lincoln

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentary Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. visits the Lincoln Museum to see the iconic “stove pipe” hat firsthand. He then travels to Beverly Hills for a tour of the world’s largest private collection of Lincoln-related artifacts.

Looking for Lincoln | Abraham Lincoln, Attorney at Law

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In this video segment, from the PBS documentay Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin examine Lincoln's years as a "prairie" lawyer on the Illinois circuit, and discuss how they honed and polished Lincoln's confidence, sense of fairness, and social skills.

Welcome (中国欢迎您) from the First Lady

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Join First Lady Michelle Obama as she discusses her upcoming trip to China and invites students to follow her journey.

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