Standard 1 POLITICAL SCIENCE
Students will understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on the democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.
1. The student will demonstrate understanding of the structure and functions of government and politics in the United States
A. The Foundations and Function of Government
- 1. The student will evaluate how the principles of government assist or impede the functioning of government (1.1.2).
- Concepts: federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, representative democracy, limited government, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, consent of the governed, majority rule, popular sovereignty, equal protection, and eminent domain.
- Federal and Maryland state government: Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers, structure and organization.
- Local government will be assessed in terms of powers and responsibilities.
- Selection of National and Maryland state leaders: Electoral College and election/appointment processes
- Evaluate the principles of federalism, representative democracy, popular sovereignty, consent of the governed, separation of powers, checks and balances, rule of law, limited government, majority rule and how they protect individual rights and impact the functioning of government
- Explain how the powers of government are divided and shared on the federal and state levels including delegated, reserved and concurrent powers
- Analyze the principle of equal protection and how it has affected individual rights
- Examine the purpose of eminent domain and how it affects citizens rights
- Describe the formal process for amending the Constitution and why this process is necessary
- Describe how the Constitution provides for checks and balances, such as Legislative overrides of vetoes, the limitations on the powers of the President and the appointment process (Unit 2)
- Explain the powers denied to the national and state governments including: bills of attainder, ex post facto laws and the suspension of habeas corpus in the Constitution
- Identify and explain the implied powers of Congress including the Elastic Clause (necessary and proper) and its effects on the functioning of government
- Describe the bicameral structure, powers and organization of the United States Congress and the Maryland General Assembly
- Describe legislative tools that can be used during the law making process, such as filibuster, conference committees, and over-riding a veto
- Examine the powers and functions of local legislative bodies in Maryland, such as county councils, county commissioners, and city councils (Unit 3)
- Describe the structure, powers and authority of the executive branch on the federal, state, and local levels
- Analyze the degree to which the powers of the executive branch have changed over time, such as the War Powers Act (1973)
- Describe the selection process for the president of the United States including the Electoral College (Unit 4)
- Describe the powers, structure and organization of the Federal and Maryland court systems
- Explain the difference between original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction
- Explain how judicial review affects the functioning of government
- Analyze why the United States Supreme Court justices’ interpretations of the Constitution change over time
- Explain the methods of selecting federal justices/judges and Maryland judges (Unit 5)
- Describe an individual’s legal obligations to obey the law, pay taxes, serve on a jury and serve as a witness
- Describe the election process in the United States including the nominating process, primary and general elections (Unit 7)
- 2. The student will analyze historic documents to determine the basic principles of United States government and apply them to real-world situations (1.1.1).
- Historic Documents: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
- Students are to know which rights/protections are addressed by the first ten amendments. Students are not expected to know the contents of any document by number. Other documents and amendments may be assessed, but excerpts will be provided.
- Basic principles: federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, representative democracy, limited government, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, consent of the governed, majority rule, popular sovereignty, equal protection.
- Describe the purposes of government, such as protecting individual rights, promoting the common good and providing economic security
- Evaluate why governments are formed (Unit 1)
- Examine the fundamental principles of government and law developed by leading philosophers, such as Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and Rousseau
- Explain how common law and historic documents, such as Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights and the Mayflower Compact influenced the framers of the Constitution and its development
- Analyze how the Constitution eliminated the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
- Examine the ratification process of the Constitution and the arguments that occurred including the view points of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists
- Explain the fundamental principles of American government contained in the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, United States Constitution and the Maryland Constitution
- Analyze the Preamble as the mission statement of the Constitution of the United States
- Identify the rights in the Bill of Rights and how they protect individuals and limit the power of government
- Apply the principles of federalism, checks and balances, rule of law, judicial review, separation of powers, consent of the governed and majority rule to real world situations
- Explain how amendments to the Constitution expand or limit individual civil liberties, such as the 14th Amendment, 18th Amendment & proposed flag burning amendment (Unit 2)
- 3. The student will evaluate roles and policies the government has assumed regarding public issues (1.1.3).
- Public issues: Environment (pollution, land use), Entitlements (Social Security, welfare) Health care and public health (costs, substance abuse, diseases) Censorship (media, technology) Crime (prevention, punishments) Equity (race, ethnicity, region, religion, gender, language, socioeconomic status, age, and individuals with disabilities.)
- Describe how executive departments and agencies enforce governmental policies that address public issues, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) (Unit 4)
- Analyze significant issues in domestic policy and how they reflect the national interest, values and principles, such as healthcare, high level of security awareness, environmental concerns
- Analyze the decisions made by the government on domestic issues and their effect on society, such as entitlements, socioeconomic status, individuals with disabilities, welfare reform
- Evaluate the effects of crime and crime prevention as a public policy issue on government spending, quality of life and campaign issues
- Evaluate the effect that international, national, and regional interests have on shaping environmental policy, such as logging forested areas, oil drilling, pollution, nuclear power, or alternative energy sources
- Define public health and health care issues and evaluate existing government policy, such as smoking in public places, Medicare and Medicaid
- Evaluate censorship of the media and technology as a public policy issue, such as obscene material and mass media, right to privacy, internet filters, hate speech, intellectual property, or invasive technology
- Describe public policies that promote equity, such as affirmative action, and Higher Education Act Title IX (1972)
- Describe how the United States provides national and international service programs to meet the critical needs of society, such as AmeriCorps, Peace Corps (Unit 6)
B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System
- 1. The student will explain roles and analyze strategies individuals or groups may use to initiate change in governmental policy and institutions (1.1.4).
- Explain how initiative, referendum, and recall are opportunities for individuals and groups to initiate change in state and local government policy
- Analyze the external factors that influence the law-making process including the roles of the media, lobbyists, Political Action Committees (PACs), special-interest groups, citizens and public opinion (Unit 3)
- Analyze the role of the media, special-interest groups, and public opinion in influencing the policy and decisions of the executive branch (Unit 4)
- Evaluate how the media, political parties, special-interest groups, lobbyists, Political Action Committees (PACs) influence public opinion and government policies
- Evaluate the reliability and influence of the media on elections, elected officials and public opinion
- Describe the roles of political parties in the United States and how they influence elections, elected officials and public opinion
- Describe how citizens, candidates, campaigns and campaign financing influence the political process in the United States
- Analyze the roles of participants in the election process including voting, contributing, and electioneering
- Analyze how citizens make informed decisions regarding candidates, issues, and policies
- Describe the importance of being informed on civic issues, volunteering and public service
- Analyze various methods that individuals or groups may use to influence laws and governmental policies including petitioning, letter writing and acts of civil disobedience (Unit 7)
2. The student will evaluate how the United States government has maintained a balance between protecting rights and maintaining order.
C. Protecting Rights and Maintaining Order
- 1. The student will analyze the impact of landmark Supreme Court decisions on governmental powers, rights, and responsibilities of citizens in our changing society (1.2.1).
- Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Gideon v. Wainwright, Tinker v. Des Moines Board of Education, and New Jersey v. T.L.O.
- Other cases that address the same issues could be used, but information about these cases will be provided in the item.
- Analyze the United States Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison (1803) and the establishment of judicial review
- Analyze the historical expansion of the powers of the federal government by examining the United States Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
- Analyze how the Supreme Court decisions in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) impacted the rights of individuals
- Examine the significance of the United States Supreme Court's decisions on the rights of those accused of crimes in the cases Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) and Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
- Examine the expansion or restriction of student rights in the cases Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969) and New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985)
- Examine the impact of United States Supreme Court decisions on minority and civil rights issues, such as Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
- Evaluate the decisions of the United States Supreme Court that have limited or expanded the liberties of citizens, such as Schenck v. U.S. (1919), Gitlow v. New York (1925), Engel v. Vitale (1962), Katz v. U.S. (1967), Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), Texas v. Johnson (1989) (Unit 5)
- 2. The student will analyze legislation designed to protect the rights of individuals and groups and to promote equity in American society (1.2.2).
- Evaluate the effectiveness of legislation in promoting equity and civil rights, such as the Civil Rights Act (1964), Voting Rights Act (1965), Higher Education Act Title IX (1972), Indian Education Act (1972), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 1997)
- Examine immigration policies the government has implemented, such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986) and the Immigration Act of 1990
- Identify the purpose of affirmative action and explain how the implementation of affirmative action has changed over time (Unit 3)
- 3. The student will evaluate the impact of governmental decisions and actions that have affected the rights of individuals and groups in American society and/or have affected maintaining order and/or safety (1.2.3).
- Presidential use of power and executive orders on rights, order, and/or safety. National government agencies actions affecting rights, order and/or safety. State actions affecting rights, order and/or safety.
- Describe the purpose, limitations and impact of executive orders in maintaining order and providing safety for citizens
- Explain how executive departments and regulatory agencies assist in maintaining order and protecting the safety of the nation, such as the Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Analyze the impact of national emergencies on the expansion of the powers of the government
- Analyze the relationship between governmental authority and maintaining order under the rule of law
- Describe how the governor of Maryland can use executive power to maintain order and safety in the state, such as calling out the National Guard in the case of a natural disaster (Unit 4)
- Examine the impact of government decisions on individuals and groups, such as approval policies of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), environmental standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regulations by the Maryland Department of the Environment
- Evaluate the role of state and national governments concerning issues related to public safety and maintaining order, such as crime prevention, changes in driver's license requirements, seat belt laws, and immunization shots (Unit 6)
- 4. The student will evaluate the principle of due process (1.2.4).
- Explain the meaning of due process of law as set forth in the Fifth Amendment
- Explain how procedural due process limits the powers of government and protects the accused
- Explain why it is necessary to have both substantive and procedural due process
- Analyze the implications and applications of the Fourteenth Amendment, focusing on the due process and equal protection clauses
- Explain how the Supreme Court used the incorporation doctrine to expand the influence of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in cases, such as Gitlow v. New York (1925), Near v. Minnesota (1931), Mapp v. Ohio (1961) (Unit 5)
- 5. The student will analyze elements, proceedings, and decisions related to criminal and civil law (1.2.5).
- Compare and contrast the elements, proceedings and decisions in civil and criminal law.
- Civil law: plaintiff, defendant, contract, breach of contract, torts (lawsuits involving negligence), damages, preponderance of evidence, petit jury, and out-of-court settlements.
- Criminal law: defendant, prosecutor, reasonable doubt, felony, misdemeanor, grand jury, indictment, probable cause, presumption of innocence, plea bargaining, writ of habeas corpus, and subpoena.
- Describe the role of the courts in settling disputes between individuals
- Analyze alternatives to litigation in the United States legal system for maintaining order and resolving conflicts including out-of-court settlements, arbitration and mediation
- Identify the elements of civil law including: plaintiff, defendant, contract, breach of contract, torts, damages, preponderance of evidence, petit jury
- Identify the elements of criminal law including: defendant, prosecutor, reasonable doubt, felony, misdemeanor, grand jury, indictment, probable cause, presumption of innocence, plea bargaining, writ of habeas corpus, subpoena
- Compare the proceedings of civil and criminal cases including: grand jury, petit jury, indictment, standards of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt and preponderance of the evidence), plea bargaining, probable cause, writ of habeas corpus, and subpoena (Unit 5)
Standard 2 PEOPLES OF THE NATION AND WORLD
Students will understand the diversity and commonality, human interdependence, and global cooperation of the people of Maryland, the United States and the World through both a multicultural and historic perspective.
2. The student will compare and evaluate the effectiveness of the United States system of government and various other political systems.
A. Elements of Culture: Governments
- 1. The student will analyze advantages and disadvantages of various types of governments throughout the world (2.2.1).
- Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a direct and representative democracy
- Compare confederate, unitary and federal forms of government and determine how each assists or impedes the functioning of government
- Compare parliamentary and presidential democracies
- Describe the characteristics of limited (democratic) and unlimited (authoritarian) governments
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of limited and unlimited political systems
- Explain how governments with written constitutions are not necessarily constitutional governments which follow the rule of law such as Peoples Republic of China and North Korea (Unit 1)
1. The student will evaluate the interdependent relationship of United States politics and government to world affairs.
- 1. The student will analyze economic, political, social issues and their effect on foreign policies of the United States (2.1.1)
- Policies of United States government that promote or fail to promote relationships with other countries include: national defense (military), arms control, and security of other nations, trade, human rights, economic sanctions, and foreign aid.
- Contemporary concerns which affect international relationships including: national security, economic well-being, the spread of democracy, developing nations, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and global economic conditions.
- Explain how the executive develops and implements foreign policy, such as executive agreements, the appointment of foreign ambassadors and the creation of treaties
- Evaluate how policies of the executive affect relationships with other countries including alliances for national defense, arms control, economic trade, and social programs (Unit 4)
- Analyze isolationism v. interventionism in United States foreign policy
- Evaluate how international issues and interests affect national government policy, such as anti-terrorism policy, protection of human rights and international economic stability
- Examine how foreign aid affects the United States relationships with other countries
- Evaluate the goals of United States foreign policy, such as national security, economic stability, promoting the spread of democracy
- Analyze the effect of trade and trade policy including: free trade agreements, embargoes, tariffs and economic sanctions on relationships with other countries
- Analyze contemporary concerns that affect international relationships and government policies, such as world health, human rights, nation-building, national security and weapons of mass destruction, outsourcing and technology transfer (Unit 6)
C. Conflict and Compromise
- 1. The student will evaluate the effectiveness of international alliances and organizations from the perspective of the United States (2.1.2).
- United Nations and other organizations categorized as: Security-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Economic-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Humanitarian- International Red Cross
- Issues of national sovereignty, self-determination, and human rights on U.S. interdependent relationships.
- Other examples of alliances and organizations in which the United States participates may be used, but information will be provided in the item.
- Explain the various roles of the United Nations (UN) such as maintaining international peace, enforcing international law, addressing human rights violations and solving international problems
- Explain the role of the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent and other agencies, such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in addressing humanitarian issues
- Describe the roles of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank
- Examine the function and purpose of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- Describe the responsibility of the United States as a member of various international organizations including the United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the World Bank (Unit 6)
Standard 3 GEOGRAPHY
Students will use geographic concepts and processes to examine the role of culture, technology, and the environment in the location and distribution of human activities and spatial connections throughout time.
1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of cultural and physical geographic factors in the development of government policy.
A. Using Geographic Tools (not assessed as a part of H.S.A. Government)
- 1. Analyze geographic issues and problems using geographic concepts.
- 1. The student will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy (3.1.3).
- International, national, state, local, and/or regional interests that may shape government policy.
- Patterns, trends and projections of population growth in regions and how these may affect the environment, society and government policy.
- Examples of the criteria used to define a region include economic development, natural resources, population, religion and climate. Regional means different areas within Maryland (e.g. Eastern Shore, mining region, Piedmont Plateau), the United States (e.g., Northeast, Sunbelt, mid-Atlantic regions) and the world.
- Explain how geographic characteristics and shared interests stimulate regional cooperation between governments
- Analyze how the population shifts in and between regions affects the formation and implementation of government policy, such as the relocation or loss of industry and urban flight
- Analyze the importance of regional characteristics and interests including economic development, natural resources, climate and environmental issues in formulating local, state, and national government policy
- Explain the geographic factors that influence foreign policy and international political relations (Unit 6)
- 1. The student will evaluate demographic factors related to political participation, public policy and government policies (3.1.1).
- Evaluate the impact of changing population size on representation in legislative bodies as determined by the United States Census
- Explain the reasons for reapportionment and its impact on fiscal decisions and representation (Unit 3)
- Determine the influence demographic factors, such as race, age, education, ethnicity and gender have on voting patterns
- Analyze patterns, trends, and projections of population in regions and how these may affect the environment, society and government policy
- Analyze the influence of demographic factors on the formation and implementation of government policy and funding decisions, such as education, health care and social security (Unit 6)
- Determine the impact of reapportionment and redistricting on individuals, groups, local communities and regions
- Determine the impact of gerrymandering on groups, communities and the legislative bodies involved
- Analyze how demographic characteristics of constituents affect the election of representatives and the policy decisions they make (Unit 7)
D. Modifying and Adapting the Environment
- Analyze the affect of legislative decisions on land use and environmental issues
- Describe how local governments control the use of land and manage growth through zoning laws and/or ordinances (Unit 3)
- Analyze the role of the state executive branch in addressing land use and environmental issues, such as Smart Growth, deforestation, urban sprawl, pollution, natural disasters, water resources, wetland preservation and critical areas
- Analyze the role of the state and local governments in addressing land use, such as zoning issues, building moratoriums and wetland preservation (Unit 4)
- Evaluate the way national, state, and local governments develop policy to address land use and environmental issues, such as urban sprawl, Smart Growth and commercial use of public land (Unit 6)
Standard 4 ECONOMICS
Students will develop economic reasoning to understand the historical development and current status of economic principles, institutions, and processes needed to be effective citizens, consumers, and workers participating in local communities, the nation, and the world.
1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of economic principles, institutions, and processes required to formulate government policy.
A. Scarcity and Economic Decision-making
- 1. The student will utilize the principles of economic costs and benefits and opportunity cost to analyze the effectiveness of government policy in achieving socio-economic goals (4.1.2).
- Explain how scarcity and opportunity cost affect government decision-making
- Explain how governments attempt to prioritize socio-economic goals in response to changing economic, social and political conditions
- Evaluate the role of government in providing public goods, such as national defense and public education (Unit 1)
- Explain examples of trade-offs that occur within competing socio-economic goals during the budget-creation process at the national, state and local levels, such as economic freedom v. economic equity and security (Unit 4)
- Evaluate how the principles of economic costs, benefits, and opportunity cost are used to address public policy issues, such as environmental and healthcare concerns (Unit 6)
B. Economic Systems and the Role of Government in the Economy
- 1. The student will evaluate how governments affect the answers to the basic economic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce (4.1.1).
- Role of government in answering the basic economic questions in traditional, market, command and mixed economies.
- Explain how traditional, command and market economies answer the basic economic questions of what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce
- Describe how governments organize their economic system for the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services
- Explain how elements of market, command and tradition have shaped the United States' mixed economic system, such as consumer preferences and tariff policies (Unit 1)
- 2. The student will examine regulatory agencies and their social, economic, and political impact on the country, a region, or on/within a state (4.1.3).
- How regulatory agencies respond to social issues/concerns, and/or market failures.
- Regulatory agencies that respond to social issues and/or market failures: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- Other national agencies and state and local agencies can be used, but information will be provided in the item.
- Describe the role of regulatory agencies in carrying out the policies of the executive on the national and state level (Unit 4)
- Describe the purpose, roles and responsibilities of regulatory agencies: Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Analyze how the actions of regulatory agencies address public issues, market failures and monopolies at the local, state and/or national level
- Examine how other government agencies, such as the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration fulfill the obligations of government and respond to issues in society (Unit 6)
- 3. The student will evaluate the effectiveness of current monetary and fiscal policy on promoting full employment, price stability, and economic performance (4.1.4).
- Business cycle, monetary policy (Federal Reserve actions) and fiscal policy (Legislative and Executive actions) and their effect on economic performance, full employment, and price stability.
- Tools of monetary policy (Federal Reserve System FED) include the reserve requirement, interest rates, and open-market operations (buying and selling of government securities).
- Tools of fiscal policy include increasing/decreasing taxes and tariffs and/or spending.
- Measures of economic performance include Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), and the unemployment rate.
- Describe the role of the United States Congress and the Maryland General Assembly in developing fiscal policy and the approval of budgets
- Describe how national, state, and local legislative bodies use taxing and spending to influence the economy
- Evaluate the effectiveness of fiscal policy in achieving economic growth and employment, such as tax incentives and changes in spending (Unit 3)
- Analyze the role of the executive on the national, state and local level in the budgetary process
- Determine how the executive branch influences economic performance by using the tools of fiscal policy including increasing and decreasing taxes and tariffs and/or spending (Unit 4)
- Describe how the Federal Reserve System uses the three tools of monetary policy, including open market operations, changes in the discount (interest) rate and changes in the reserve requirements to influence the economy
- Describe the effectiveness of monetary policy in achieving economic growth, full employment and price stability
- Explain how the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the unemployment rate and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure economic performance
- Explain how economic instability, including periods of growth and recession, is a part of the free enterprise system
- Explain how inflation reduces buying power and may contribute to a slow down in the economy (Unit 6)
Note: The V.S.C. High School American Government course contains objectives that are compiled and tagged by corresponding unit. The titles of the units are:
Unit 1. PURPOSES, FORMS, AND TYPES OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STRUCTURES
Unit 2. FOUNDATIONS AND PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT AND THE CONSTITUTION
Unit 3. LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES (NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL)
Unit 4. EXECUTIVE BRANCHES (NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL)
Unit 5. JUDICIAL BRANCHES (NATIONAL AND STATE)
Unit 6. DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY
Unit 7. PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT
In the language of the objectives, the use of including refers to content that is recommended for instruction. The use of such as in the language of the objective refers to content that may be used as examples, but is not required.