Social Studies

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Homework in High School: How Much Is Too Much? | Above the Noise

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It’s not hard to find a high school student who is stressed about homework. Many are stressed to the max — juggling extracurricular activities, jobs and family responsibilities. It can be hard for many students, particularly low-income students, to find the time to dedicate to homework. So students in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program at YouthBeat in Oakland, California are asking what’s a fair amount of homework for high school students? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Suicide Prevention: How Can Schools Help? | Above the Noise

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No one wants to talk about it, but suicide is a leading cause of death among teens. The good news is, schools are uniquely positioned to help. Student reporters from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs investigate what schools can do. 

Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Do Active Shooter Drills Do More Harm Than Good? | Above the Noise

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As active shooter drills become more common in schools, there’s debate over what type of drill is best. Do hyper realistic drills better prepare students, or are they unnecessarily traumatizing? Join students from PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs as they investigate which kind of drills are most effective. Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Oakland Sideshows: Should They Be Legal? | Above the Noise

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What do you get when you mix car stunts, youth culture and Oakland? Sideshows! In the Bay Area, illegal sideshows divide the community. Supporters say sideshows are part of Oakland culture and advocate for safe venues. Opponents view sideshows as disruptive and dangerous. Even if you’re not from Oakland, there’s likely a clash between car culture and cops near you. What do you think? Should communities embrace car culture events like sideshows, or should they remain banned? 

Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

School Dress Codes: When Do They Go Too Far? | Above the Noise

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On social media, conversations about #Imnotadistraction are gaining popularity, and school dress codes are coming under fire from students who say these policies can be sexist and racist. But many argue strict dress codes are necessary for a safe learning environment. So, how should schools decide on dress code policies? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

The accompanying lesson plan asks students to explore the pros and cons of dress code policies in light of the national conversation, as well as their own school. 

Why Isn't There More Research about Gun Violence? | Above the Noise

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As political issues go, gun control is definitely a doozie. Few topics get Americans as riled up. But no matter where you stand, most of us can at least agree on this: that gun violence claims the lives of too many innocent people in this country, and actions should be taken to reduce the number of people killed. Compared to other wealthy nations around the world, the rate of gun deaths in the U.S. is high. So why isn’t there more government-funded research about the problem, the way there is for other major public health crises? Why is the rate of gun violence in the United States higher than in any other wealthy nation? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Should Schools Suspend Suspensions? | Above the Noise

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Suspensions have some unintended consequences. They disproportionately target minorities, and some students who get suspended are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of school and become involved in the criminal justice system. But suspensions are viewed by some as a necessary tool to keep schools safe. It may not be great for the suspended student, but they say it’s more important to keep everyone else at the school safe. Should suspensions be suspended? Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn.

Should Colleges Still Require the SATs and ACTs? | Above the Noise

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Taking the SAT or ACT is a right of passage for high school students applying to college. Millions of juniors and seniors take at least one of the tests every year, albeit reluctantly, and most colleges still require it to be considered for admission. But a growing number of colleges are putting much less emphasis on test scores. Many have made the test entirely optional. Should tests like the ACT or SAT still be used for college admissions? Find out in the latest Above the Noise episode. And join the discussion about standardized testing with other students on KQED Learn by going to Activity in Support Materials. (Log in required.)