News Roundup: TikTok Faces Possible Ban, Trump Weighs in on 1619 Project

Monday, September 21, 2020
news roundup

PBS NewsHour Extra

Weekly News Roundup

Speaking at the White House Conference on American History on Thursday, President Donald Trump announced he would be signing an executive order to create the “1776 Commission” to promote a “patriotic education.” Trump also blasted efforts to reexamine American history with a deeper emphasis on slavery and racism, including the “1619 Project” published by the New York Times. In fact, the federal government has little say as to what is taught in schools across America. Curriculum and education decisions are made at the state and local level. For a lesson on the 1619 Project, click hereRead the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Have students record what they found most significant in the summaries and ask them what they’d like to learn more about. To read the transcript of the video above, click here



Also in the news last week:

  • The U.S. will ban the use of the Chinese app WeChat and downloads of the app TikTok owned by the same company on Sunday, citing national security concerns. TikTok will be banned in the U.S. by Nov. 12. TikTok says it would not give user data to the government and that it does not store U.S. user data in China.
  • With about six weeks remaining until Election Day, the security of elections and mail-in ballots were part of an ongoing, contentious debate Thursday. President Trump kept up his continued, unfounded attacks on mail-in voting as a threat to the election. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that ongoing Russian disinformation campaigns are a real danger.
  • The remnants of Hurricane Sally are moving east, still pouring rain onto parts of the Southeast. In the storm’s wake, heavy flooding along the Gulf Coast is keeping rescuers busy, while others begin the work of cleaning up. Hundreds of thousands of people in Alabama and Florida are without power. Meanwhile, smoke over parts of the fire-ravaged West Coast cleared some for the first time in days. Crews hope scattered weekend rain will help douse flames.


How to Engage Students with the 1619 Project

1619 project


Focus questions:

  1. If school curriculum is decided at the state and local levels, why is the federal government weighing in on what should be taught in school?
  2. Do you think the decision to ban TikTok is justified? Why or why not?

Media literacy: What news item discussed in this news roundup is the most important? What news item do you think is the most interesting? Are they the same?


Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.