2011 AP Government Syllabus I

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2011 AP Government Syllabus I Powered By Docstoc
					             AP United States Government and Politics Syllabus

Instructor: Mr. Randy Pope

281-577-5900 ext 5660

Course Description

This course is Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics. It is a one-semester college
level course that is designed to provide students with an understanding of the nature of the American
political theory and practice. In this course we will introduce students to the organization of the
institutions of American government and how they work in relation to achieving public policy goals. This
examination will enable us to develop a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses inherent
in our model. It is also designed to prepare students for the College Board Examination each year in
May and to possibly receive college credit. With both of these goals in mind, curriculum, materials and
expectations are designed for these objectives. There will be a great deal of analytical reading, writing
and research associated with this class. It is my intention to evenly divide our time between traditional
lecture-discussion and Socratic seminar. Each class will begin with a discussion of current events and
students will be expected to keep up with those political issues and campaigns. This course is rigorous;
fast paced and will require extensive reading and writing.

Topics in AP US Government and Politics

       Constitutional Underpinning of the United States Government
       Political Beliefs and Political Behaviors
       Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media
       Institutions of National Government
       Public Policy
       Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Course Texts and Readings:

       Edwards, George C., Martin Wattenberg, and Robert Lineberry, Government in America: People
        Politics and Policy, 12th Ed.
       Selected readings from Readings and Cases in American Government, 15th ed. Edited by Peter
     Online AP study notes and activities we will utilize for review and various

Throughout the course I will select additional primary source readings and documents as well as current
events in order to supplement our inquiry into the nature of American Government and Politics. We will
also be using maps, charts and graphs in order to examine past elections as well as utilizing them to
follow the current Presidential campaigns. In addition we will use charts and graphs in order to follow
the role of money in government as well as examining the current economic events as it relates to
            AP United States Government and Politics Syllabus

Course Expectations

    You will have 6-8 grades each week not counting finals. Tests, Papers, and Project grades will
     count as 60 percent. Daily work which includes quizzes, written or oral assignments and
     homework will count as 40 percent. Although final exam exemptions are possible, I strongly
     encourage that you take the exam in preparation for the College Board Exam in May.
    Exams and Quizzes will follow the format of the College Board Exam. They will consist of a
     combination of objective, analytical and interpretive free-response questions.
    Chapter quizzes will occur at the completion of the first and or second chapter of a unit. This
     means a quiz will occur at a minimum of every other week with the last chapter of the unit
     covered in the unit exam which also occurs in two and three week cycles.
    You are expected to follow the current political news and events as they relate to American
     Government. We will use a variety of sources such as the print, internet and television media.
     A weekly analytical commentary on a current event will be due every Friday.
    Although the lecture format is one component of this class, a great deal of the class will take the
     form of class discussion over the assigned readings. It is critical to this teaching and learning
     method that you do these readings prior to class time. I remind you that this is AP Government
     and a great deal of preparation is expected of you.
    Group work for presentations is a course requirement and it is expected that all students will
     contribute within that group. The group will also function as a study group in order to manage
     the amount of reading and work that is required in this class. Groups will be formed largely by
     mutual agreement between you and me. However, I reserve the right to have the last word. I
     remind you all that your grade will sometimes depend on the effort of your partners and I
     caution you to think carefully on your part of this decision. Groups can be altered only between
     assignments and in consultation of all parties with me.
    Rules for the Research Paper or the Campaign project will be developed in consultation with my
    In conclusion, yes you have heard this before, YOU NEED TO READ! Quizzes and tests WILL
     contain questions about the material not contained in class.

   Course Materials

   This is a college course and therefore students “should” maintain a notebook that can be used for
   quizzes, unit tests, the midterm and AP exam. This notebook should be organized and current. I will
   demonstrate the Cornell style but students may choose a similar method that works for them. I
   intend to use the “carrot” approach rather than the “stick” in encouraging this endeavor. Students
   may “correct and return” deficient test grades providing that they can show outlined chapters in
   their notebooks.

   Research Paper/Campaign Project

   Policy Paper

   Students will choose a topic on American Government and Politics that they will research during the
   semester. The due date for the research paper is Friday January 6th. Students will choose a topic
   by September 9th and fifteen sources and an outline will be due by October 14th to be followed by a
   rough draft due on November 10th.
          AP United States Government and Politics Syllabus

Campaign Project

 In lieu of a policy paper, students may develop a candidate, campaign, and strategy for a mock
Presidential election. Students are expected to create and turn in their candidates and political
parties positions on the issues and strategies for winning this mock election. Students will use the
upcoming 2012 presidential election as their backdrop and research for this project. Due dates for
this information are the same as with the Policy Paper. In addition to these position papers,
students will be expected to create campaign posters, buttons and slogans as well as participating in
debates with other candidates.

Make-ups and Tutoring

I will be available before school on Monday & Wednesdays by appointment. In addition, there will
be an AP lounge (room and time TBA) available for AP students to study receive tutoring and
collaborate with AP teachers and fellow students to better prepare for the AP exam in May.

                                      Curriculum Calendar

First Nine Weeks

Unit 1: “The American system of Government and Constitutional Foundations” (three weeks)


   Textbook: Chapters 1,2, and 3
   The Declaration of Independence (see Appendix in text)
   John Locke, “Second Treatise of Civil Government”, Woll p.4-10 (Socratic Seminar)
   James Madison, “Federalist 10, Woll p.165-169 and “Federalist 51”, Woll p.41-45 (Socratic

Unit 2: “Civil Liberties and Civil Rights” (three weeks)


   Textbook: Chapters 4 and 5
   The Bill of Rights (see Appendix)
   Anti federalist Paper No. 84, “On the lack of a Bill of Rights”, Woll p.96-98
   James Madison, “Speech Before the House of Representatives in 1789, Woll p.98-104
   “The Nationalization of the Bill of Rights”, Woll p.105-108
   “Texas V. Johnson (1989)”,(Class Handout/Group Brief)
   “Horton V. Goose Creek ISD (1982)”, (Class Handout/Group Brief)
   “Gideon V. Wainright (1963), Woll p.108-113 (Group Brief)
   “Abrams V. United States (1919), Woll p.115-119 (Group Brief)
   “Roe V. Wade (1973), Woll p.146-155 (Group Brief)
   “Adarand V. Pena (1995), Woll p.156-160 (Group Brief)
          AP United States Government and Politics Syllabus

 Unit 3: “People and Politics” (Public Opinion, Political Socialization, Interest Groups and Political
 Parties) (two weeks)


    Textbook: Chapters 6,8, and 11
    David R. Mayhew, “Divided We Govern”, Woll p. 181-188 (Socratic Seminar)
    David B. Truman, “The Governmental Process”, Woll p. 246-224252 (Socratic Seminar)

Second Nine Weeks

 Unit 4: “Campaigns, Elections and the Media” (three weeks)

 REQUIRED READING: Textbook: Chapters 9, 10, and 7

    B. Berelson, “Democratic Practice and Democratic Theory”. Woll p. 206-214 (Group
    V.O. Key, “The Responsible Electorate”, Woll p. 214-217 (Group Presentation)
    L. Sabato, “The Misplaced Obsession with PACs”, Woll p.260268 (Group Presentation)

 American Political Institutions

 Unit 5: “The Congress” (two weeks)


    Textbook: Chapter 12
    M. Fiorini, “The Rise of the Washington Establishment”, Woll p. 352-359(Socratic Seminar)
    R. Fenno, “If…….How Come We Love Our Congressmen…” Woll p.383-390(Socratic Seminar)
    T. Cook, “Media Power and Congressional Power”, Woll p.372-379(Socratic Seminar)

 Unit 6: “The Presidency And The Bureaucracy” (two weeks)


    Textbook: Chapters 13 and 15
    Alexander Hamilton, “Federalist 78”, Woll p. 271-275 (Group Presentation)
    Richard Neustadt, “Presidential Power”, Woll p.280-283 (Group Presentation)
    Thomas E. Cronin and Michael A. Genovese, “Presidential Paradoxes”, Woll p.284-298 (Group
    Sidney M. Milkis, “The Presidency and Political Parties”, Woll p.313-323 (Group Presentation)
    Clinton Rossiter, “The Presidency-Focus of Leadership”, Woll p.275-280 (Group Presentation)
    Peter Woll, “Constitutional Democracy and Bureaucratic Power”, Woll p.328-334 (Group
    James Wilson, “The Rise of the Bureaucratic State”, Woll p.334-341 (Group Presentation)
         AP United States Government and Politics Syllabus

Unit 7: “The Judiciary” (one week)


   Textbook: Chapter 16
   Alexander Hamilton, “Federalist 78”, Woll p. 408-413 (Socratic Seminar)
   John Roche, “Judicial Self Restraint”, Woll p.418-424 (Socratic Seminar)
   William Brennan, “How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions”, Woll p.428-437 (Socratic

Unit 8: “Public Policy, Economic, Social and Foreign” (one week)


Textbook: Chapters 17, 18 and 20

   Due to the limitations of time, these chapters will be covered by group presentations and class

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