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According to its website, FactCheck.org is a “nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” Its staff monitors factual accuracy in American politics, looking at what’s being said in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and the like.

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The Consumer Federation of America, formed in 1968, acts on behalf of consumers through “advocacy, research, education, and service.” The group has 300 member organizations – all nonprofit, pro-consumer groups.

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The Library of Congress houses the Congressional Research Service, “the public policy research arm of the United States Congress.” The CRS performs independent, nonpartisan and objective research for members of Congress and their staffs on a nearly endless array of issues. The Librarian of Congress appoints the director of the service, which has a large, knowledgeable staff and receives a sizable budget.

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Founded in 2003 by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, the Center for American Progress describes itself as “progressive.” Many of its experts once worked in Democratic presidential administrations or for Democrats on Capitol Hill. According to its website, the center seeks to “combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.”

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The Cato Institute describes its work as broadening public-policy debate on “individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.” For the last decade, Cato has supported Social Security reform through private accounts and championed deregulation of the drug industry. Cato was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, a chartered financial analyst and former vice president of Alliance Capital Management Group. Most of Cato’s funding comes from private foundations and individuals, with only a small amount from corporations.

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics is a data collection arm of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. Founded in 1979, the bureau collects and analyzes statistics related to the nation’s justice system.

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Teachers can find an array of free, standards-aligned online classroom resources at this one-stop website for teaching civics education and history. The resources cover all grade levels and are searchable by subject, resource type, teaching strategy, standards and organization. The material features the best of the 33 nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations in the Civics Renewal Network.

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The Center for Civic Education is an independent, nonprofit organization based in California. A network of program coordinators throughout the United States and more than 70 other countries administers a range of curricular, teacher-training and community-based programs.

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The Brady Campaign describes itself as “the nation’s largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.” The group is really two organizations: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and The Brady Campaign. The Campaign lobbies on gun laws and gets involved in politics to help elect candidates who share its views. The Center focuses more on using the court system to achieve its goals and represents victims of gun violence and others.

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USA.gov calls itself “the official U.S. gateway to all government information.” The U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications oversees the website, which offers a library of links to government agencies, information about particular laws and regulations, and data and statistics.

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The Bill of Rights Institute provides a trove of online educational resources for teachers, students and parents. Teachers will find lesson plans, founding documents, resources for teaching with current events, and professional development opportunities. For students, resources include essay contests, AP prep webinars, and Think the Vote, in which students participate in online discussions on current events. The Constitutional Academy is a summer program for high school students.

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Annenberg Learner develops and distributes multimedia resources for teaching and learning in a range of subjects, including civics and government. Video components are enhanced with websites that include online texts, guides and extensive background information. For teachers, the website offers free professional development workshops and courses as well as the opportunity to earn graduate education credit.

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For teachers and students, the American Bar Association’s Division of Public Education offers lessons plans for K-12. Topics include civic engagement, the Constitution, due process, human rights, and much more. The Dialogue program provides lawyers, judges and teachers with resources to engage students and community members in discussions of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions. Its Civics and Law Academy engages middle and high school students in learning about law and society.

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The United Nations website contains a huge amount of information that dates back to the global governing body’s inception in 1945. From the U.N. home page there are links to several of its divisions and programs.

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U.S. PIRG is the umbrella group and national advocate for 25 state Public Interest Research Groups. The citizen-funded state PIRGs work on a wide range of consumer rights issues in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

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Resources for the Future is a nonprofit environmental research organization that does not take positions or engage in advocacy. It is a good neutral source of information on environmental topics.

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RAND Corp. conducts research on issues that relate to a broad range of public policy matters. The nonprofit corporation has been operating since 1948, when it was primarily concerned with security and defense technology; it has since broadened its areas of research to include health, education, environmental and social policy.

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Public Citizen is a consumer advocacy group that was founded in 1971 by Ralph Nader, a liberal activist and later a Green Party presidential candidate. The group says it works for “openness and democratic accountability in government, for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care.”

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This independent, nonprofit website lays out the arguments on both sides of a host of controversial issues. Its mission statement: “We promote critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship.”

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Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan organization that’s a subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts, calls itself a “fact tank.” It conducts public opinion polling and social science research, and publishes reports and information on various issues through seven distinct projects.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a pro-environmental protection nonprofit. It works “to protect wildlife and wild places and to ensure a healthy environment for all life on earth,” according to its website.