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Understanding the New AP GOV

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Jeff Rine

on 3 September 2018

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Transcript of Understanding the New AP GOV

Understanding the New AP GOV
Broken Up into 5 Units
1. Foundations of American Democracy

2. Interactions Among Branches of Government

3. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

4. American Political Ideologies and Beliefs

5. Political Participation

Foundations of American Democracy
The U.S. Constitution arose out of important historical and philosophical ideas and preferences regarding popular sovereignty and limited government

Compromises were made during the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and these compromises have frequently been the source of conflict in U.S. politics over the proper balance between individual freedom, social order, and equality of opportunity.

Essential Questions
How did the founders of the Constitution attempt to protect liberty, while also promoting public order and safety?
How have theory, debate, and compromise influenced U.S. Constitutional system?
How does the development and interpretation of the Constitution influence policies that impact citizens and residents of the U.S.

Interactions Among Branches of Government
Because power is widely distributed and checks prevent one branch from usurping powers from the others, institutional actors are in the position where they must both compete and cooperate in order to govern.

Essential Questions:
How do the Branches of the national government compete and cooperate in order to govern.
To what extent have changes in the powers of each branch affected how responsive and accountable the national government is in the 21st century?

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Through the U.S. Constitution, but primarily through the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, citizens and groups have attempted to restrict national and state governments from unduly infringing upon individual rights essential to ordered liberty and from denying equal protection under the law.

Likewise, it has sometimes been argued that these legal protections have been used to block reforms and restrict freedoms of others in the name of social order.

Essential Questions:
To what extent do the U.S. Constitution and its amendments protect against undue government infringement and essential liberties and from invidious discrimination?
How have U.S. Supreme Court rulings defined civil liberties and civil rights?

American Political Ideologies and Beliefs
American political beliefs are shaped by founding ideals, core values, linkage institutions (e.g., elections, political parties, interest groups, and the media in all its forms), and the changing demographics of citizens.
These beliefs about government, politics, and the individual’s role in the political system influence the creation of public policies.

Essential Questions:
How are American political beliefs formed and how do they evolve over time?
How do political ideology and core values influence government policy making?

Political Participation
Governing is achieved directly through citizen participation and indirectly through institutions (e.g., political parties, interest groups, and mass media) that inform, organize, and mobilize support to influence government and politics, resulting in many venues for citizen influence

Essential Questions:
How have changes in technology influenced political communication and behavior?
Why do levels of participation and influence in politics vary?
How effective are the various methods of political participation in shaping public policies?
Disciplinary Practices and Big Ideas
Disciplinary Practices.

Student will be able to:
Apply political concepts and processes to scenario in context.
Apply Supreme Court decisions.
Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, graphs, maps, and infographics.
Read, Analyze, and interpret foundational documents and other text-book based resources.
Develop and argument in essay format.

Big Ideas.
The Big Ideas listed below are intended to illustrate distinctive features and processes in U.S. government and politics as well as how political scientists study political behavior.

Constitutionalism (CON)
The United States Constitution established a system of checks and balances among the branches of government and allocates power between federal and state governments. The system is based on the rule of law and the balance majority rule and minority rights

Liberty and Order (LOR)
Governmental laws and policies balancing order and liberty are based on the U.S. Constitution and have been interpreted differently over time.

Civic Participation in a Representative Democracy
Popular sovereignty, individualism, and republicanism are important considerations of U.S. laws and policy making and assume citizens will engage and participate

ompeting Policy-Making Interests
Multiple actors and institutions interact to produce and implement possible policies

Methods of Political Analysis
Using various types of analysis, political scientists measure how U.S. political behavior, attitudes, ideologies, and institutions are shaped by a number of factors over time.

The Exam:
Free Response Questions
Concept Application
Respond to a political scenario, explaining how it relates to a political principle, institution, process, policy, or behavior
1. Consumers complained after EpiPen maker Mylan “hiked the price of the emergency auto-injector by $100 in recent months for no obvious reason. . . . The price has increased 450 percent since 2004, when a dose cost $100 in today’s dollars, to its current price of more than $600. . . . The medication itself isn’t expensive. Analysts calculate that the dosage contained in a single pen is worth about $1.”
Washington Post, August 23, 2016

After reading the scenario, respond to A, B, and C below:

(A) Describe a power Congress could use to address the comments outlined in the scenario.
(B) In the context of the scenario, explain how the use of congressional power described in Part A can be affected by its interaction with the presidency.
(C) In the context of the scenario, explain how the interaction between Congress and the presidency can be affected by linkage institutions.

Quantitative Analysis
Analyze Quantitative Data, identify a trend or pattern, draw a conclusion from a visual representation, and explain how the data relates to a political principle, institution, process policy, or behavior
SCOTUS Comparison
Compare a nonrequired Supreme Court Case with a required Supreme Court case, explaining how information from the required case is relevant to that in the nonrequired one.


3. Monthly town board meetings in Greece, New York, opened with a prayer given by clergy selected from the congregations listed in a local directory, but nearly all the local churches were Christian, so nearly all of the participating prayer givers were, too. A lawsuit was filed alleging that the town violated the Constitution by preferring Christians over other religious groups and by sponsoring sectarian prayers. Petitioners sought to limit the town to “inclusive and ecumenical” prayers that referred only to a “generic God.” In the ensuing case,....

(A) Identify the constitutional clause that is common to both Greece v. Galloway (2014) and Engel v. Vitale (1962).
(B) Based on the constitutional clause identified in part A, explain why the facts of Engel v. Vitale led to a different holding than the holding in Greece v. Galloway.
(C) Describe an action that members of the public who disagree with the holding in Greece v. Galloway could take to limit its impact.

Argument Essay
Develop an argument in the form of an essay, using evidence from one or more required foundational documents


4. Develop an argument that explains which of the three models of representative democracy—participatory, pluralist, or elite—best achieves the founders’ intent for American democracy in terms of ensuring a stable government run by the people.

In your essay, you must:
Articulate a defensible claim or thesis that responds to the prompt and establishes a line of reasoning
Support your claim with at least TWO pieces of accurate and relevant information:
at least ONE piece of evidence must be from one of the following foundational documents:
– Brutus 1
– Federalist No. 10
– U.S. Constitution
Use a second piece of evidence from another foundational document from the list or from your study of the electoral process
Use reasoning to explain why your evidence supports your claim/thesis
Respond to an opposing or alternative perspective using refutation, concession, or rebuttal

Monday, May 6, 2019
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