The Confederate flag. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Policing minority communities. Nuclear weapons and Iran. Summer often brings a lull in the news, but not this year. And, come September, students are going to want to talk about these headlines.

But how should teachers navigate our nation's thorny politics?

The inaugural 2016 debate for the White House on Thursday will be the first time many voters will be tuning into the volatile GOP campaign, and candidates are praying they'll get a boost and not a bust from the face-off.

"The level of engagement has been very low," said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based national GOP strategist. "This will be a week where we will probably have record viewership on Fox News for a primary debate, and it's going to get a lot of attention and a lot of focus."

This post has been updated to note that Kasich officially announced he's running.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich officially became the 16th candidate to officially enter the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.

This post has been updated to reflect Christie officially getting in the race for president.

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

Jenny Schulz isn't religious.

"I see religion as something really personal," said Schulz, 26, who works at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. "So the fact that it is a requirement in politics always seems unusual to me."

She said she "oscillates between atheist and agnostic," but she knows it could be many years before she votes for a political figure who shares her (lack of) religious beliefs.

A New York Times-CBS News poll offers compelling new numbers measuring Americans' attitudes toward the rising tide of political money.

Just one question: Which numbers should you believe?

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

When President Obama took office back in 2009, "cybersecurity" was not a word that everyday people used. It wasn't debated. Then, mega-breaches against consumers, businesses and the federal government changed that.

When the Supreme Court returns for its next term in October, among the cases it has agreed to hear is a challenge to a fundamental practice that has governed American elections for generations.

When public-policy makers talk about a state's population, they generally mean the number of human beings living in that state — as counted or estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That applies to a host of political actions, including the apportionment of seats in Congress and the Electoral College votes that choose the president.

This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

Foreign policy is becoming a big issue in the 2016 election. For the first time in years, some polls show as many voters concerned about foreign affairs as domestic issues.

And for Republican voters it's the No. 1 issue.

There is always a tension between the press and the candidates they cover. Journalists want access, and want to ask questions. Campaigns want to control the message. Over time, that has especially been true with Hillary Clinton.

Updated at 8:21 a.m. ET

After a string of polls that showed a dead heat in the U.K. general elections, last night's contest turned out to be far less surprising.

The Conservatives — led by Prime Minister David Cameron — sailed to an easy victory. According to the BBC, Cameron secured his premiership and his party will govern with a slender majority.

Conservatives have found their candidate for one of 2016's most important Senate races: Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis.

Soon after he launched his bid Wednesday, a trifecta of deep-pocketed Tea Party-aligned groups — the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks — all signaled they would back the two-term congressman in his bid to succeed Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who's running for president.