Ideas for Teachers (Links & Critical-Thinking Questions) – November 2016

LINKS For further research, please see the links below.  Issue 1: Greater Sage-Grouse PBS Video, “The Sagebrush Sea” House Rider Text U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bureau of Land Management’s “In Aid of an Icon” Video Fox News  Greater Sage-grouse FAQs Issue 2: Trans-Pacific Partnership Office of The United States Trade Representative Complete Text of TPP Trade Agreement U.S. International Trade Commission Report  Joseph Stiglitz – 6 Problems with the TPP U.S. Chamber of Commerce Brookings Institute – The Case for the TPP  
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS
Help students develop their critical-thinking skills on legislative issues with these essay questions. Can be used for classroom discussion, essay writing, homework, debate, etc. Issue 1: Greater Sage-Grouse
  1. Compare and contrast the positions of those for and against protecting the sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. Who is right in your opinion and why?
  2. How does the sage-grouse’s ability to survive and thrive impact the other species that live in the sagebrush ecosystem and ultimately humankind?
  3. Do you believe it’s necessary to list sage-grouse as endangered? What evidence supports your answer?
  4. Read the congressional quotes for Issue 1 (greater sage-grouse). Are there any errors in reasoning or biases that influence their positions?
  5. Have the conservation coalitions done enough to protect the sage-grouse? Why or why not?
Issue 2: Trans-Pacific Partnership
  1. What changes, if any, would you recommend to the provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that was signed on Feb. 4, 2016?
  2. One of the most controversial provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) enforcement system, which allows multinational corporations to sue a country’s government (and its taxpayers) if they believe that country’s regulations are hurting their profits. Why do you think critics are strongly opposed to this provision?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
  4. Do you believe the TPP would ultimately help or hurt American workers in the job market?
  5. Read the congressional quotes for Issue 2 (TPP). Whose opinion do you agree with and why?