Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - FRONTLINE (X) - Civics and Government (X)

Flying Cheap: The Crash of Continental Flight 3407

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In Feb 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, a regional airline that flies routes under contract for US Airways, United and Continental. The crash and subsequent investigation revealed a little-known trend in the airline industry: Major airlines have outsourced more of their flights to obscure regional carriers.

In this video chapter from FRONTLINE  Flying Cheap, correspondent Miles O'Brien explores this trend and examines some of the many factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Leadership on Climate Change: Can America Summon the Political Will?

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From FRONTLINE Heat, this video examines whether or not government leaders can summon the political will to address climate change.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | Kentucky’s Prison Overhaul

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Explore how our reliance on prison to solve social problems is creating a national crisis, and how the state of Kentucky is trying to respond, in this video adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. Kentucky spends more than $15 million each year incarcerating people from one Louisville housing project, Beecher Terrace. One juvenile justice commissioner suggests that we are incarcerating young people merely for their poor performance in school, problems in the home, or their unwanted behavior. A law professor states that we have invested in incarceration instead of in systems designed to help people stay out of jail and prison. In just over a decade, Kentucky’s prison growth rate jumped by 45 percent and spending by almost 220 percent—to nearly half a billion dollars. This prompted reform that includes the early release of nonviolent offenders in order to save money. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | School-to-Prison Pipeline

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Experts discuss the circumstances that lead thousands of juveniles into the court system and jail each year in this video adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. According to these experts, in certain communities where incarceration has been “normalized,” a child’s parents, siblings, or other relations have likely spent time behind bars. The message to children is that going to jail is part of their “destiny” whether they follow the rules or not. And while the number of juvenile lockups may be decreasing in some places—with more money being directed into home incarceration programs, as in the Louisville, Kentucky metro area—the likelihood is that once a child gets involved in the juvenile court system, he or she will continue to be part of it or move to the adult system. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | Release and Re-incarceration

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Discover why some prison populations have an unusually high rate of inmates who have returned to jail after their release in this media gallery adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. Under a reform act, Kentucky has allowed a number of nonviolent prisoners early release in order to save tax dollars. However, the prison system experiences a large number of inmates who are released only to be rearrested for violating terms of their parole. Mental illness and substance abuse are often the cause. According to some experts, the conditions for release, which require monthly payments, regular meetings with a parole officer, employment, and more, are very difficult to satisfy. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

League of Denial: The NFL Plays Defense

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Discover the strategies that the National Football League used to avoid admitting that playing professional football can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in this media gallery from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. After a study commissioned by the NFL showed a higher-than-expected prevalence of brain disorders among football players, the league’s spokesman claimed that the study’s design was flawed, and its commissioner would not acknowledge before Congress that concussions hurt pro football players. And even after a large financial settlement awarded former NFL players hundreds of millions of dollars, the league made no admission of guilt. For background, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

The Trouble with Chicken | Food Safety Standards

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Explore the reasons behind the 2011 recall of ground turkey by the meat-packing company Cargill Foods in Springdale, AK, and the implications on our food safety, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. Noticing high levels of salmonella in its ground turkey, Cargill Foods eventually recalled its product, but the delay still sickened 132 people and killed one person. The contamination also revealed serious problems with the standards and practices set by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) public health agency the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:

Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Background Essay  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

The Trouble with Chicken | The Dangers of Salmonella

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Learn how new and stronger strains of salmonella can impact our lives in this Media Gallery excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. Discover what salmonella is, why it’s become increasingly dangerous, and its impact on a little boy’s life in Phoenix, AZ, in 2013. Use these videos to enhance your teaching of other resources from The Trouble with Chicken and The Trouble with Antibiotics. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Caution: Video 2, “Noah’s Story,” which tells the story of the impact of a virulent form of Salmonella on an 18-month-old boy, may be upsetting to watch for some students.

The Trouble with Antibiotics | Antibiotic Resistance and Public Policy

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Learn why the FDA's first attempt to restrict antibiotic use on farms in 1977 was opposed by interest groups and a powerful congressional ally, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Farm lobbies and interest groups labeled the FDA's 1977 proposal as financially ruinous and pressured Congress to slash the FDA's budget unless the agency provided specific scientific evidence. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:

Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

The Trouble with Antibiotics | How Widespread Is Antibiotic Use on Farms?

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Learn about the widespread use of antibiotics on farm animals and the challenge the FDA faces in collecting data about the drugs, in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Learn how antibiotics have been used to promote growth and why researchers suspect that their increased use on farms is contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance in humans. Over 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. currently go to farms; however, efforts to obtain information and regulate antibiotic use has been opposed by interest groups. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:

Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

The Trouble with Antibiotics | Tracing E. coli Infections Back to the Food Supply

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Follow along with scientists as they attempt to trace a virulent strand of antibiotic-resistant E. coli found in humans back to the food supply in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. Learn how an outbreak of life-threatening urinary tract infections in Flagstaff, Arizona, led scientists to investigate whether the meat we buy can be the source of E. coli infections in humans. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:

Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

The Trouble with Antibiotics | Impacts of Treatment Strategies on Farms

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Learn how increased use of one type of antibiotic can increase resistance to other types of antibiotics, in this video excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Antibiotics. After two veterinarians noticed that cattle were developing infections that were resisting treatment with cephalosporins (a class of antibiotics that is very important to humans in treating certain infections in children and pregnant women), they conducted a study to see if they could preserve their effectiveness. The study produced a surprising result: the increased use of a different type of antibiotic (tetracycline) on farms caused bacteria to become resistant to cephalosporins, indicating that the widespread use of tetracyclines on farms may accelerate the overall spread of antibiotic resistance and have impacts on human health. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:

Teaching Tips  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

A Class Divided 1: The Daring Lesson

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When the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott taught her third-grade class a daring lesson in discrimination. The third time she taught the lesson, cameras were present.In this video segment from FRONTLINE: "A Class Divided,"Elliott divides her class into two groups — those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes — and discriminates against those with brown eyes.

A Class Divided 2: Day Two

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When the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968,Jane Elliott taught her third-grade class a daring lesson in discrimination. The third time she taught the lesson, cameras were present.In this video segment from FRONTLINE: "A Class Divided,"Elliott changes the rules, and discriminates against students with blue eyes.

The Impact of Deportation

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The struggles of a family facing an uncertain future after their mother is deported to Mexico is profiled in this video excerpt from FRONTLINE: "Lost in Detention." Undocumented immigrant Antonio Arceo, his wife Roxanna, and their five American-born children live in Illinois. When Roxana is deported after a routine traffic stop, Antonio is left with the task of working and caring for the children on his own. In addition to his physical struggles caring for the children, he feels emotional stress and considers moving the family back to Mexico. However, interviews with the children show their concern about leaving their country for a place they have never seen.

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