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Front Page Talking Points


Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Crusade calls for changing $20 bills to add first woman on U.S. paper currency


1.gifWomen write about money and related topics. Look for an example in the business or main news section.

2.gifFind coverage of a woman in any profession. Why does or doesn't that job appeal to you?

3.gifLastly, hunt for news about another effort to achieve some kind of change. Why does or doesn't it sound like a good idea?

"What's in your wallet?" actor Samuel Jackson asks in credit card commercials. One answer is: Paper money with just male faces in the center. Now there's a grass-roots effort to change that. A campaign called campaign aims to put a woman from American history on the $20 bill by 2020, replacing President Andrew Jackson.

Fifteen candidates are listed at, which says: "It's our mission to generate an overwhelming people's mandate for a new $20 bill." Congress needn't get involved. A president simply can ask the treasury secretary to make it happen. The group's nominees including feminist Betty Friedan, abolitionist Sojourner Truth and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Other candidates are Harriet Tubman, who freed about some 300 slaves through the Underground Railroad, and Susan B. Anthony, a leader in the fight for women's right to vote.

Backers of the change say they picked Jackson (rather than Washington on $1 bills or Abraham Lincoln on $5 notes) because he signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that forced more than 18,000 Native Americans to march to Oklahoma (known as the Trail of Tears). In Australia, by the way, a man on one side of each currency note and a woman is on the other.

Organizer says: "There are no women on the money and I thought, gee this is a crazy omission." – Barbara Ortiz Howard of Mount Vernon, N.Y., campaign co-founder

Student says: "Faces on U.S. bills haven't changed since the 1920s. Considering all the achievements women have made since then, it is time for a woman to get the recognition." -- Maria Castellucci, Columbia College in Chicago, writing in the Chicago Tribune

Newspaper reader says: "My recommendation: Print multiple kinds of bills of the same denomination, featuring men and women, as we do with stamps. This could accommodate many worthy women — as well as minorities, who are also unrepresented." – David Meister of New York, in letter to The New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2015
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