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Spotlight: New Policy Assignments

Soomo is pleased to announce the publication of three new public policy assignments for our Americans Governing collection of online homework assignments. The new assignments, listed below with catalog descriptions, were authored by Assistant Professor Cynthia Newton of Wesley College. Click on the assignment titles to take a closer look, and email Maureen at the Polisci Desk to have them added to your Americans Governingor Central Ideas in American Governmentcourse.

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SCOTUS Considers Constitutionality of Health Care Law

Photo of Supreme Court JusticesNo doubt you've heard that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The three days of hearings will focus on four separate issues that are nicely explained by C-SPAN on their newSupreme Court Oral Arguments on Health Care site devoted to coverage of these arguments. Surely there's something here to share with students and get them prepped for some discussion. Here's the schedule:

  • Monday: The Court hears arguments on...

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Teaching Policy

It's that time of year again—no, not the holidays—it's time to cover Foreign Policy in Intro to American Government classes. We here at Soomo always find the State Department's site an interesting one to get up-to-date information.

The site features a frequently updated feed of the latest policy-related actions, as well as tabs that allow you to organize policy information by country, policy type, and even an alphabetical list of bureaus and offices that fall within the department.


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Death and Taxes Poster

Do you have students asking questions about taxes, especially as you're approaching theBureaucracy, Policy Making, or Budget chapters in your college courses?

Here's something that might be of interest. Jess Bachman, similarly curious about federal spending, made a 24"x36" poster about the 2012 federal discretionary budget. One thing that I really like about the poster is that the departments are built to scale, based on budget. Click here to listen to him explain the poster in his own words.


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State of the Union 2011

President Obama delivered his second State of the Union (SOTU) address last night to Congress, a tradition since 1790. (FYI - the 2009 address was a joint session and not a formal SOTU). Per an article on C-SPAN, "The President laid out his top priorities, focusing much of the speech on the economy, job creation, proposals to improve education, reforming government and reducing the nation's federal debt."

The White House also has a website dedicated to the SOTU; click here for the full video...

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Newsy: Multi-Sourcing Its Way Out of Media Bias?

Newsy.com is a startup headquartered across the street from the Missouri Journalism School that is betting that a curatorial approach to video-based media stories is the way to ensure unbiased coverage.

This post from ReadWriteWeb gives an overview on the company's founder, business model, and approach-- specifically it's off-to-the-races iPad app. A quick browse through Newsy's site yields a range of short video clips that explore U.S. and global news stories like congressional efforts to...

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Video Resources from GWU's Elliott School

George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs sponsors a rich array of events devoted to world affairs. Now, a Multimedia Center on the school's website allows faculty and students to experience and learn from events they could not attend in person. In the school's own words:

The Elliott School's Web Video Initiative capitalizes on our robust events program that brings hundreds of scholars, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, and other world leaders to the GW campus...

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Get the Facts. Consider the Choices. Stay Involved.

Public Agenda is a nonpartisan non-profit that seeks to bridge "the gap between American leaders and what the public really thinks about issues ... in American life."

Public engagement and the need to grapple respectfully with tough issues are key threads running throughout the materials on the Public Agenda website. Their Citizen's Survival Kit covers a host of high-profile policy issues and features the tag line "Get the Facts. Consider the Choices. Stay Involved"-- a good blueprint for...

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