Policy Issues: Education and Criminal Justice

Essential Question

How does the education you receive affect your future?

Learning Objectives

1. Students will reflect on their own education experiences based on current events content.
2. Students will determine cause-and-effect relationships about contemporary criminal justice cases.
3. Students will analyze the relationship between education and the criminal justice system to determine their position on each issue.

Content Connections



    Primary Sources: Civil Rights Act (1964)

Teacher Resources

Education Activities

Education Narrative

After reading articles from the Election Issues: Education Text Sets, students will write their own education narrative. This activity can be modified for writers of all ages.

  • Guiding Questions: How did I get here? What are my perceptions about school,  including my teachers, peers? What kind of career opportunities are open to me?

Criminal Justice Activities

Updating the Civil Rights Act

After reading the Primary Sources: Civil Rights Act (1964) students will create amendments to the legislation to support contemporary issues.

  • Guiding Question: How would you make this document more relevant for a student today?

Timeline: After reading an article, what events led to this story or conflict today? Students will select 2-3 events and create a timeline with cause-and-effect connections.

Belief Statement

I believe that _____ because ____.

  • Teacher Note: Students will complete this statement as a culminating reflection for each issue to inform their final election decisions.


Extended Writing or Discussion

  • Guiding Question: How can you make change in your school or home community?

Student Polling

Teacher Instructions

Use the polling questions as a pre- or post-formative assessment to gauge student interest and engagement with election issues. Share the polling links below with your students so that they can monitor their beliefs throughout the election season.

Poll 1

Do you think college should be free?

Poll 2

Is the US criminal justice system working? 

Powered by Zendesk