9 Great Reads From CNET This Week: Schools, Meta VR, Foldable Phones and More

We look at the intersection of national politics and local schools, get a peek at some VR prototypes, consider the foldable phones likely to be heading our way, and lots more.

CNET News staff
2 min read

All politics is local, as the old saying goes. The modern corollary could be that all local politics is national politics, given the power and reach of social media. That's part of our focus this week in our Citizen Now series: We're looking at what's happening close to home as school boards, teachers, parents and students grapple with hot-button issues.

It's unsettling for a lot of people. "What is frightening is that we're now seeing national-style politics in our largest and most trusted public institution, schools," Rebecca Jacobsen, a Michigan State professor of educational policy, told CNET's Maggie Reardon. After a contentious board of education meeting on books in schools earlier this year, described by CNET's Zachary McAuliffe, one student said of the aggressive behavior: "It was really eye-opening to see it in person."

Those features are among the many in-depth features and thought-provoking commentaries that also appeared on CNET this week. So here you go. These are the stories you don't want to miss.

School Boards Are Becoming the Fiercest Battlefront for the Culture Wars

Here's why you should be more aware of what's going on with your children's school boards. 

Illustration of a man in a suit and two young students holding books, along with school desks, a ruler and an American flag, all standing on a chess board with red and blue pieces

Meta Offers Look at What Might Follow the Quest 2 as It Pursues a VR Future 

The social media giant, formerly known as Facebook, has been working on several prototype VR headsets to make virtual worlds appear more realistic. 

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wearing a prototype VR headset

Foldable Phones Are Having a Moment 

Rumors suggest new foldable models from Samsung, Google and Motorola are in the works.  

Samsung Z Fold 3
Sarah Tew/CNET

Book Bans Are on the Rise, but Students Are Fighting Back  

Some students are speaking out at local board of education meetings and in state houses, and some are filing lawsuits.

Illustration of a book and broken chains
Robert Rodriguez/CNET

Enter the General Relativity Rabbit Hole: Unraveling Einstein's Theory That Deconstructs Space and Time  

A deep dive into our universe's most paradoxical and confusing, yet elegant and shatterproof theory.  

Illustration depicting spacetime, with an atom enmeshed in a cube matrix at the center and clocks on either side melting toward it
Zooey Liao

How Abortion Searches Online Can Be Used Against You  

Roe v. Wade has been overturned, and police could use your location data as criminal evidence.

Four smartphones, each with an eyeball staring at you
Angela Lang/CNET

A Virtual Tour Uncovers the Hidden History of Black Disenfranchisement

Virtual reality is helping to unearth stories of the Black experience that have been paved over through the years.   

Old Lick Cemetery in Roanoke, Virginia
David Waltenbaugh

For Climate Activists, War in Ukraine Is Changing Everything

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is shaping the lives and work of European climate activists, who are asking their governments to stop financing the war through fossil fuels.

A crowd of climate activists protesting Ukraine the war in Germany
Michael Hanschke/picture alliance via Getty Images

'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Did the Impossible: It Made Star Wars Fans Happy

Well, most of them anyway. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi's head is juxtaposed with an image of Darth Vader silhouetted against one of Tatooine's twin suns