Tentative List of Conversation Topics


1. What is the basic difference between peace and war?

2. Do other countries see the U.S. as a force for peace or a culture based on war?

3. How can teachers meet standards and prepare kids for state assessments without sacrificing learning opportunities which depend on seizing “teachable moments”?

4. Should the United States make it easier to immigrate to this country?

5. Should Congress pass the DREAM initiative for immigrant youth?

6. Is there a legitimate role for explicit grammar instruction in ESL/EFL?

7. Does the global media provide dependable, relevant and timely information?

8. Which is more important: energy independence or environmental health?

9. Does “No Child Left Behind” improve education for culturally and linguistically diverse English language learners?

10. Is it possible for a school to maintain adequate yearly progress (AYP) and for its teachers to avoid getting stressed about high-stakes assessments?

11. Was the U.S. Department of Ed right to eliminate all the ERIC Clearinghouses?

12. Should health and human services be funded at levels equal to national defense?

13. Should the Catholic Church allow women to enter the priesthood?

14. Should the Anglican/Episcopal Church allow gays to serve as bishops?

15. Which is more crucial for a school learning environment: good numbers of books in the library for pleasure reading or good numbers of computers with Internet hook-ups for Web activities?

16. How should ESL teachers address issues related to Iraq in their lessons?

17. Was the United States right to attack Iraq on March 30, 2003?

18. Has the United States responded appropriately to the events of September 11th, 2001?

19. Are there any provisions of the “Patriot Act” you would change?

20. Should states’ rights trump federal law on issues such as medicinal marijuana?

21. Do you agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action?

22. Has justice been served in the Enron case?

23. Should Vice-President Cheney release transcripts from the private meetings in 2001 of his energy task force?

24. Was Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore right to refuse to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the Rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court?

25. Should there be volunteer public financing, or “Clean Elections” laws, for all public offices at the local, state and federal levels?

26. Can the new Center for American Progress successfully compete with the Heritage Foundation for control of the national agenda?

27. Which is more vital to America’s future: democratic principles or the war against terrorism?

28. Are citizens of the United States safer today than they were the day after September 11th, 2001?

29. What would constitute a moral justification for any act of war?

30. Why was September 11th treated as a provocation to war rather than as a criminal act to be investigated and prosecuted legally?