Research Links & Critical-Thinking Questions – March 2018


Issue 1: Offshore Drilling

Heritage Foundation: How Offshore Oil and Gas Production Benefits the Economy 

Oceana Report: Safety Measures Will Not Make Offshore Drilling Safe 

Press Release from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Announcement 

National Ocean Industries Association Offshore Energy Industry Publications 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Statistics and Facts 

U.S. Department of Energy Report “Today in Energy” 

Issue 2: Welfare & Drug Testing

H.R.2179 – Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients Act 

Think Progress: States Spend Millions to Drug Test the Poor, Few Positive Results 

National Conference of State Legislatures Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients 

Study: “Assessing the Effects of Substance Abuse Among Applicants for TANF Benefits” 

Snopes on Drug Testing Welfare Recipients 

Chicago Tribune: “Wisconsin’s Walker Proposes Welfare Overhaul Plan”

President Trump’s 2019 Budget Proposal 


Issue 1:  Offshore Drilling

  1. Traditionally, Republican lawmakers have favored offshore drilling in U.S. waters. Why do you think some of them are now voicing opposition to it?
  2. What is your opinion on offshore drilling? Do you think it should be allowed in the U.S.? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think offshore drilling in U.S. waters harm the environment? Explain why or why not.
  4. Compare and contrast the pro/con congressional quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Whose opinion do you agree with the most, and why?
  5. Would you want offshore drilling to take place in your own community? Why or why not?

Issue 2: Welfare & Drug Testing

  1. Please read the Think Progress report (see link above). Do you think drug testing welfare recipients is worth the cost? Why or why not?
  2. Does your state require drug testing for recipients of welfare programs like SNAP, TANF, etc.?
  3. Research the answer if you don’t know. Do you agree with your state’s policy?
  4. Do you believe the poor are more likely than other groups (such as seniors) who receive government money to use drugs? Why or why not?
  5. Read President Trump’s proposed changes to the SNAP program in his 2019 Budget Proposal (link above). Do you think these changes are a good idea? Why or why not?

March 2018 Teacher Spotlight – David Weikel, Chattanooga

Vital Stats

Name: David Weikel
School Name: Notre Dame High School
City, State: Chattanooga, TN
Subject(s) Taught: Civics, AP Government and Politics, Public Speaking
Grade(s) Taught: 9, 11 and 12
No. of Years Teaching: 14
Honors: Board of Directors for Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Chattanooga Chapter

As an educator for grades 9, 11 and 12 at Notre Dame High School – a Roman Catholic college preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tennessee – David Weikel says he devotes much of his time to teaching Civics and AP Government and Politics. Although he has 14 years of teaching experience, this is his first year teaching AP Government and Politics.

“This is a particularly eventful time to be teaching government to students,” Weikel says. “And that will probably continue for some time. My teaching philosophy is to make learning fun while still getting the message across to my students.”

Encouraging Active Citizenry

Weikel’s approach to managing his classroom is seasoned and reflects his nearly 15 years’ experience in teaching. “My students do not have assigned seats, nor do they have to ask to go to the bathroom. These freedoms cause them to feel more like adults and they perform better than if they were treated like children.”

Although flexible in his teaching style, Weikel’s firm commitment to educating students about the importance of active citizenry is evident. He says he uses the SGAP program in his AP classes to engage students in discussion about current events in government and politics.

“In large part due to SGAP, I was able to get 42 new students to register as first-time voters in the fall,” Weikel says. “Many of my students will be eligible to vote for their first time and they want to be part of the solution.”

Teacher’s Takeaway

What’s the one thing Weikel hopes students will remember about his AP Government and Politics class? “The takeaway from my class that I want students to remember is to vote in all elections,” he says. “And that’s not just the national ones, but voting at every level and despite who’s running.”

Looking ahead, what does Weikel think social studies teachers should focus on? “In the future, we social studies teachers need to continue to teach these issues to our students,” Weikel says. “We need to ingrain in them that they are the future leaders of our nation.”

Research Links & Critical-Thinking Questions – February 2018


Issue 1: Net Neutrality
H.R.4682 “Open Internet Preservation Act” (Text)
FCC: “Restoring Internet Freedom”
“In Protests of Net Neutrality Repeal, Teenage Voices Stood Out” NYT Article
“The Case for Net Neutrality Repeal” Article
“What the End of Net Neutrality Means for You” Time Article
Fox Video: “FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality”

Issue 2: Diversity Visa Lottery
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of State Visa Statistics
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration Data and Statistics
H.R.4427 – Protecting America and American Workers Act
“What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery?” CNN Article



Issue 1: Net Neutrality
Should everyone have equal access to content online or should it be okay to charge more for premium services for those who can afford them?
Does net neutrality hamper competition and innovation? Why or why not?
Should internet service providers (ISPs) be able to speed up access to sites who pay to be prioritized and slow down the sites who don’t pay a premium?
Should the government have regulatory power over the ISPs? Why or why not?
Do you agree with the FCC’s decision to repeal the net neutrality rules? Why or why not?

Issue 2: Diversity Visa Lottery
1. Compare and contrast the pro/con congressional quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Whose opinion do you agree with the most, and why?
2. How has the recent NYC terrorist attack influenced the Diversity Visa Lottery debate?
3. Do you think Congress should end the Diversity Visa Lottery program? Why or why not?
4. Should the children of illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens at birth? Why or why not?
5. Should undocumented residents be deported without recourse? Why or why not?