AP U.S. Government and Politics Syllabus
Welcome back to school! I am very excited to be your teacher this year. This course is designed to provide a college-level experience and preparation for the AP Exam in U.S. Government. This course is concerned with the nature of the American political system, its development over the past two hundred years and how it continues to function today. It examines in detail the structure and purpose of the Constitution, the principle processes and institutions through which the political system functions, and the creation and implementation of public policy. An emphasis is placed on interpreting documents, mastering a significant body of factual information, and writing critical essays.
This is a challenging course and will require a great deal of work on both your and my parts. Students will be expected to learn and retain information that is in their readings, but it not always directly addressed in class. Please feel free to contact me either through e-mail or by phone with questions or concerns throughout the year.
· American Government: Continuity and Change –bought by the student
· The Logic of American Politics- given out by the teacher
-Students will be given numerous handouts and readings therefore it would be helpful to have a three ring binder to keep them all organized.
Students are responsible for keeping up with daily events in the nation and the world. There will be many opportunities to discuss current political events within the class. Students will need to skim the front page of a major newspaper (ex: The Washington Post) –this can be found online, and/or watch news programs on such channels as CNN or PBS on a daily basis.
Using Graphs, Maps and Charts
Students are tested on their understanding of quantitative and visually presented information (maps and graphs) at regular intervals in the quiz and test assignments.
Will be as follows:
· tests and projects 45%
· quizzes 25%,
· homework 15%
· participation/class work 15%.
Ø Essays will vary in length depending on the topic and are graded on content, use of documentary and outside supporting evidence, grammar, spelling, and evidence of critical thinking.
Ø An Essay can be counted as test, quiz or homework grade.
Ø Work turned in late will be marked down one grade for every day that it is late. After two days it will be marked as a zero
Ø There will be at least two test grades and two quiz grades per quarter.
Ø CHEATING AND PLAGERISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AND WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC ZERO along with an invitation to meet with the honor committee. Resubmitted work cannot earn a score higher than a 60%
Ø There will be weekly multiple choice quizzes on the previous week’s information. Notes will also be checked weekly and consitute a large portion of the homework grade.
THE AP EXAM:
The AP Exam is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. It consists of a 45-minute multiple choice section of 60 questions (five possible answers for each) which account for 50% of the final exam score. There is also a 100-minute free response (essay) section of 4 mandatory essays which collectively account for the remaining 50% of the final exam score. You must answer ALL the essay questions; you will have no choices. The exam is scheduled for Monday, May 3, 2010.
(only some of the many documents are listed)
WEEK DATE READINGS
1 Aug. 24-28 Intro./ Brief Review of US Political History
2 Aug. 31-Sept.4 Chapter 1: The Political Landscape
Documents: The Magna Carta
Tom Paine’s Common Sense
3 Sept. 8-11 Chapter 2: The Constitution
Documents: Madison’s notes on the Convention
The Federalist Papers: #68
4 Sept. 14-18 cont….
Debate on Ratifying the Constitution of “Fredonia”
5 Sept. 21-25 Chapter 3: Federalism
6 Sept. 28-Oct.2 Chapter 4: State and Local Government
7 Oct.5-9 Chapter 5: Civil Liberties
Document: Gitlow v. NY ruling
8 Oct.12-16 Civil Liberties Cont.
9 Oct.19-23 Chapter 6: Civil Rights
Document: Brown v. Board of Ed. Ruling
10 Oct.26-29 Civil Rights Cont.
11 Nov.2-6 Chapter 7: Congress
12 Nov.9-13 Mock Congress
13 Nov.16-20 Chapter 8: The Presidency
14 Nov.23-24 Chapter 9: The Federal Bureaucracy
Watch: Frontline: Cheney’s Law
15 Dec..1-4 Bureucracy Cont.
16 Dec.7-11 Chapter 10: The Judiciary
Document: Marburry v. Madison ruling
Dred Scott Decision
17 Dec.14-16 Review for Exam
18 Dec21-25 Exams and Break
19 Jan.4-8 Judiciary Cont./ Mock Trial
20 Jan.11-14 Chapter 11: Political Socialization and Public Opinion Documents: graphs of public opinion
21 Jan.19-21 Chapter 12: Political Parties
22 Jan.25-29 Chapter 13: Voting and Elections
23 Feb.1-5 Chapter 14: The Campaign Process
24 Feb.8-12 Chapter 15: The Media
25 Feb.16-19 Chapter 16: Interest Groups
26 Feb.22-26 The Media and Interest Groups Cont.
27 March1-5 Chapter 17: Social Welfare Policy
28 March 8-12 Social Welfare Cont..
29 March 15-19 Chapter 18: Economic Policy
Document: The Federal Budget
30 March 22-26 Economic Policy cont.
31 March 29-30 Chapter 19: Foreign and Defense Policy
Document: Executive orders related to Gitmo
32 April 12-16 Foreign Policy Cont.
33 April19-23 Review
34 April26-30 Review
35 May3-7 AP EXAM MONDAY MAY, 3rd
May 10-14 Work on Research Paper
May 17-20 Last Day of Class (Thurs)
May 21-26 EXAMS