Useful Web Sites for Researching Public Policy Issues (Grades 912)
- Grades: 9–12
USATODAY.com — Worth the Risk? Debate on Offshore Drilling Heats Up
Article describing the debate on the merits and drawbacks of offshore drilling. Uses examples of drilling in Louisiana and California to illustrate arguments. Presents both sides of the issue.
EndangeredSpecie.com — The Rarest Info Around
Presentation on a variety of topics related to endangered species, including the types of species that are endangered, why animals are endangered, and how to best protect animals.
Energy Kid — Nuclear Energy (Uranium) Energy From Atoms
Primer on nuclear energy, explaining how it works and the reactions behind it. Also presents its pros and cons with regard to the environment.
How Stuff Works — Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power Plants
Short article describing how nuclear power plants work and detailing the pros and cons of using nuclear power. Discusses past nuclear issues and how waste is handled.
Scholastic.com — Global Warming Report
Article discussing the global warming report issued by the U.N. Touches on renewable sources and reducing carbon emissions.
Scholastic.com — Threats From Climate Change
Short article for younger students that describes the consequences of burning fossil fuels, providing background on the greenhouse effect, rising sea levels, and shrinking arctic ice caps.
Education.com — The School Voucher Debate
An article discussing the pros and cons of school vouchers, including a definition of vouchers and reasons parents use them. These include competition, accountability, and separation of church and state.
Education.com — Education Vouchers
Article defining what an educational voucher is, listing reasons for using them, and briefly describing a landmark court case involving them. Also provides a bulleted list of pros and cons.
About.com — Is Technology the Answer to Our Educational Problems?
Article outlining the debate about whether technology is the answer to educational problems, showing both supportive and oppositional viewpoints in a descriptive list format.
T.H.E. Journal — The Great Debate: Effectiveness of Technology in Education
Lengthy article about the technology in education debate that offers a definition of technology, describes the arguments supporting and disputing its use in the classroom, and lists ways of measuring its effectiveness.
About.com — The Debate Over War With Iraq
List of pros and cons for the debate over the Iraq war, with short descriptions of both viewpoints.
Scholastic.com — Five Years in Iraq
Article summarizing the fifth anniversary of U.S. troops in Iraq, including anniversary protests. Discusses the pros and cons of continued involvement and shows the viewpoints of both parties.
Scholastic.com — Iraq's Culture, Government, and History
Encyclopedia article describing the culture and history of Iraq. Provides a detailed history of the conflicts in the government and the history of the war. Good background primer on the issue.
TheHill.com — Senate Panel Approves Iraq War Funding Bill
Description of a war funding bill and it's approval process. Shows viewpoints of both supporters and opponents. Includes descriptions of the total cost of the war and of other bills that are getting pushed in with this one.
CNN.com — Is There a Short-Term Fix for High Gas Prices?
Article discussing the effect of high gas prices and proposed short-term solutions. Includes discussion of the gas tax holiday debate.
TheHill.com — Cut Out-of-Control Government Spending
Third-party opinion piece on government spending; uses examples and statistics to illustrate the national debt and the mortgage crisis.
NPR.org — Some Consumers See Credit Cards Canceled
Article discussing the credit crunch and how credit cards aren't being offered as much. Discusses issues of profits, delinquency rates, and debt. Audio version of story available for download.
HowStuffWorks.com — How Gas Prices Work
Article explaining how gas prices are set, giving background information on crude oil and describing how weather and demand affect the prices.
Scholastic.com — Should the U.S. Have a National Health-Care System?
Short debate on the question of whether or not the U.S. should institute a national health care system. Each viewpoint is supported with statistics and examples.
NewsHour Extra — Who Should Pay for Health Care?
Article describing the costs and negative aspects of the current health care system. Discusses insurance rates and taxes and gives several ideas to reform the system, using European systems as possible examples.
NewsHour Extra — Children's Health Is Political Battleground
Article discussing the issue of health care for children by analyzing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It gives the history of the program and the stances of both political parties on its expansion.