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Got Those Varsity Blues

After the FBI announced charges against 50 people in a college admissions scam, The Washington Post in news and commentary took a closer look at college admissions to ivy league, elite and other schools, the influence of wealth on the poor and the wealthy, and ethical and practical decisions about a career path. Activities include writing the ledes to essays using Post models.

NIE Curriculum Guides

With one foot in Europe and the other one in Asia, Turkey straddles ancient cultures and contemporary aspirations. With some citizens and leaders looking to a future of free expression, globalization and regional leadership, others view its traditions, heritage and rules with fervor. These contrasting views make Turkey a complex and dynamic country in the headlines, behind boardroom doors and on the world stage. Activities focus on its ancient civilizations, refugee settlements, and role in investigating the murder of Post contributing commentator Jamal Khashoggi.


As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, it is entering what Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. has called the Mars Era. We look at the beginnings of NASA, its programs, its latest discoveries and its possibilities for the future. Read The Post’s special coverage, discuss and do suggested activities and engage in the debate of the best use of NASA government resources and/or allowing commercial entry into the picture.


Today’s career paths range from traditional to the gig economy. As a rise in minimum federal wage to $15 is being considered, workers are faced with other government policy changes and budget quandaries. Citizens need a living wage, fair work practices and safe environments. Haitian workers for Butterball and Ethiopian workers at Regan National and Dulles international airports illustrate the challenges faced by legal immigrant workers. Dilemmas, debates and decisions are faced in the job market.

Using something black to darken his face, Thomas Dartmouth Rice danced like a buffoon and spoke with an exaggerated imitation of black slave vernacular to entertain his audiences. His stage name — “Jim Crow.” Almost 200 years later, a photograph of a white man in blackface and another in a KKK robe was discovered on Virginia Governor Northam’s medical school yearbook page. Soon photographs in other yearbooks and officials’ disclosure revealed the extent of blackface use. The 1830s and 2019 are of one thread. And unravel further back 400 years to Point Comfort, Virginia.

Campaign 2016

Campaign 2016 provides avenues for diverse study. At the foundation are candidates’ speeches, actions and policies, and party platforms. Understanding polls and their influence, analyzing political cartoons and political ads and using social media form another strand of study. Considering bellwether Indiana towns and a Virginia town that lacks enough candidates to run for office, defining issues and using original documents offer more challenges for students.