AP Government


Mr. Benattia, Canyon Crest Academy,2009-2010


I.              Introduction


This is essentially a college course thatis rather demanding, and is one that requires you to put forth your best efforton a DAILY basis. Due to the challenging nature of the course, an extra gradepoint will be added to the grade that you earn here. As per CCA’s ESLR’s, youwill have ample opportunity to demonstrate that you are academically competent learners, effective communicators, productiveindividuals, culturally aware individuals, and involved citizens.


II.             Textbook: Keep your textbookat home. I may ask you to bring it in occasionally, but not often.


III.           Course of Study


A.     ConstitutionalUnderpinnings (ch. 1-3, Federalist 51)

B.     PoliticalBeliefs/Political Behaviors (ch. 4, 7, 8, 10)

C.     InterestGroups/Political Parties, Media (ch. 9, 11, 12; Federalist 10)

D.     Institutions (ch.13-16, Federalist 78)

E.     Public Policy (ch.17-21)

F.     CivilLiberties/Civil Rights (ch. 5, 6)


In your binder, separate your notes forthese units by tab dividers so that you will be organized to prepare for the APtest. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!


IV.           Attendance


A.     Regular attendanceis ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL in this class.

B.     I will strictlyenforce the school attendance policy. Students with high numbers of absencesmay be referred to administration for the attendance review board.

C.     If you have anunexcused tardy, you will not be able to take the daily quiz, and willtherefore earn a zero on that quiz.

D.     Tardies: You mustbe IN YOUR ASSIGNED SEAT when the bell rings.

·      1stTardy = Verbal Warning, 2nd Tardy = Call Home, 3rd Tardy= Saturday Sch



V.             Makeup Exams

A.     In the case of anexcused absence, students will have 2opportunities to makeup missing tests throughout the term. These dates are TBDbut will be around the 4th and8th weeks.

B.     All makeup testswill consist of 1 FRQ.


VI.           ClassroomManagement



B.     Each one of you isexpected to take an active part in class on a daily basis. When you enter thisroom, be prepared to think, ask questions, and make comments.


D.     I do not want toeither SEE or HEAR electronic devices such as cell phones or iPods. If I eitherSEE or HEAR them, I will confiscate them and your parent must come to schooland retrieve them. I do not need to HEAR such devices to confiscate them.Merely SEEING students check messages, send text messages, play games, orotherwise fiddling around with them will result in confiscation. There are noexceptions. Please do not ask for one.

E.     If you havedifficulties with this class, feel free to drop by for extra help.

F.     If special problemsarise, see me as soon as possible so that we can work things out.


VII.          Homework


A.     Expect nightlyreading assignments. TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY! You will be “in the dark” during thelectures and discussions if you do a poor job on the reading or (gulp!) do notdo the reading at all! You will also bomb the daily quiz that is basedupon the previous night’s reading.

B.     Late work is notaccepted, except in the case of an excused absence.

VIII.         Cheating: this is definedas gaining an unfair advantage, or trying to do so.

Consequences: A zero on the assignment,possible transfer out of the class, and the loss of respect from not only me,but your other teachers, as well. (Yes, word does get out.)


IX.           My Prep Period: 4


X.             Grades


A.     I use the followinggrading scale:


92 = A 72 = C

90 = A- 70 = C-

88 = B+ 68 = D+

82 = B 62 = D

80 = B- 60 = D-

78 = C+ below 60 = F


B.     You quarter gradewill be based upon the following factors:


·      DailyQuizzes

·      UnitVocabulary Quizzes

·      5Unit Tests

·      FinalExam (Covers Unit 6)


a.     Each daily quizwill be based upon the previous night’s reading assignment. You may use anynotes that you take. These quizzes are cumulatively worth many points, so yourgrade will suffer if you consistently do poorly on them. If you miss a quiz dueto an excused absence, you are to turn in a DETAILED outline of the readingassignment upon which the quiz was based.

b.     There will be avocabulary quiz towards the end of each unit. When you come to the day beforethe scheduled unit exam, just expect to take a quiz on the terms in bold printfrom the assigned reading on that unit. If you miss a vocabulary quiz due to anexcused absence, the makeup assignment is to list, define, and write an exampleof each of the unit terms in bold print. Vocabulary will be quizzed informallyevery day.

c.     Most unit testswill consist of a Multiple Choice section (50%) and a Free Response section(50%). If you miss a unit test due to an excused absence, you will make up thetest on one of the two makeup test dates. ALL MAKEUP TESTS ARE STRICTLY OF THEFREE RESPONSE VARIETY AND WILL BE TAKEN DURING LUNCH.

d.     The final exam willbe comprehensive, i.e., it will cover material from the entire semester.


XI.           Contact and Support


A.     I am here to helpyou succeed! You can come by before class, during lunch, or after school. It isadvantageous to schedule time to meet in advance.

B.     If you havequestions regarding your grade in the class, or concerns in general, YOU (the student) need to contact me.This is a college-level course.


XII.          Suggestions forSuccess


A.     Come to class EVERYDAY, ON TIME, and PREPARED

·      Pens(blue/black), lined paper, binder w/ dividers, sharpened pencils (exam dayonly), erasers (preferably white)

B.     Be organized!

C.     Ask questions

D.     FOLLOW THE NEWS: Notethe title of the course: AP Government & Politics. Don’t forget this. If you correlate theoretical conceptsof the course to actual events, you are much more likely to understand andretain material …. Oh, and you’ll do a much better job of the FRQ’s!


a.     Change yourhomepage to newsmap.jp

b.     Watch a networknews broadcast that concentrates on national and international news

c.     Watch news orientedprograms

·      60Minutes (ABC, Sunday, 7 pm)

·      Dateline(NBC, Sunday, 7 pm) … oh, how to choose!!

·      O’ReillyFactor (FOX)

·      LouDobbs Tonight (CNN, 4 pm)

·      ElectionCenter (CNN, 5pm)

·      Hardballwith Chris Matthews (MSNBC)

d.     Watch the DailyShow and/or Colbert Report

e.     Read weekly newsmagazines

·      Newsweek,Time, Economist, The Week, US News & World Report

f.      Listen to NPR orpolitically oriented shows (Rush Limbaugh)

g.     Saturday morningnews programs: all about money & the economy

h.     Read the LA Times,NY Times, NY Post, Washington Post, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune



I have read,understood, and agree to comply with the aforementioned items on this syllabus.


____________________________________________________(Student Signature)




____________________________________________________(Parent/Guardian Signature)