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AP US Government Syllabus

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  • 1. Advanced Placement US Government and Politics<br />Department: Social Studies<br />Teacher: Angela Cunningham<br />E-mail: angela.cunningham@bullitt.kyschools.us<br />Website: http://blogs.bullittschools.org/iclassroom<br />Course Description: Advanced Placement US Government & Politics gives students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. <br />Course Goals: Students successfully completing this course will know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. government and politics, understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences (including the components of political behavior, the principles used to explain or justify various government structures and procedures, and the political effects of these structures and procedures), be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to U.S. government and politics (including data presented in charts, tables, and other formats), and be able to critically analyze relevant theories and concepts, apply them appropriately, and develop their connections across the curriculum.<br />Main Textbook:<br />American Government, James Q. Wilson & John J. Dilulio, Jr., Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 10h Advanced Placement edition, 2006.<br />Additional readings will be assigned & distributed as needed.<br />Course Planner: Below you will find an outline for the class. Students can expect some kind of reading or writing assignment every day, often using primary source documents. All out-of-class assignments, include readings, must be completed before the beginning of class on the assigned due date.<br />Unit 1: Foundations of Government<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapters 1-6<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />The Political Landscape<br />The US Constitution<br />Federalism <br />Civil Liberties<br />Civil Rights<br />Unit 2: Political Behavior<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapters 7-12<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />Public Opinion <br />Political Participation<br />Political Parties<br />Elections and Campaigns<br />Interest Groups<br />The Media<br />Unit 3: The Legislative Branch<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapter 13<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />Members of Congress<br />The Organization of Congress<br />Powers of Congress<br />How a Bill Becomes a Law<br />How Members Make Decisions<br />Unit 4: The Executive Branch<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapter 14<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />The Evolution of the Presidency<br />Powers of the President<br />The Office of the President<br />Presidential Leadership<br />The President as Policy Maker<br />Unit 5: The Bureaucracy<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapter 15<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />The Growth of Bureaucracy<br />The Modern Bureaucracy<br />Congressional Oversight<br />Reforming the Bureaucracy<br />Unit 6: The Judiciary <br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, Chapter 16<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />The American Legal System<br />The Federal Court System<br />The Supreme Court in Action<br />The Power of the Federal Courts<br />Checks on Judicial Power<br />Unit 7: Public Policy<br />Textbook Reading: Wilson, 17-21<br />Approximate Length: <br />Major Topics:<br />The Policy-Making Process<br />Economic Policy<br />Social Welfare<br />Foreign and Military Policy<br />Environmental Policy<br />Description of Major Assignments:<br />Reading Assignments: Students will be assigned reading homework (i.e., textbook, primary source documents, articles) every night. Most reading assignments will also include a written task (i.e., questions, graphic organizers). Assignments and their due dates will be posted in the classroom and online every Monday.<br />Essay Assignments: For each unit, students will complete an essay assignment. Whenever possible, students will answer questions used on previous AP United States History exams.<br />The Document Based Question (DBQ) requires students to evaluate numerous primary source documents in order to formulate an essay response. In addition, students are also required to include information not found in the supplied documents in their essays.<br />The Free Response Question (FRQ) requires students to choose from two possible essay topics. Students are required to cite relevant historical evidence in support of their generalizations and to present their arguments clearly and logically.<br />Term Paper Assignment: During the second semester, students will complete a 5-8 page term paper addressing an important topic in American history. More details will be made available in December. <br />Additional Assignments: In addition, students will complete a number of long-term assignments throughout the year. Projects and their due dates will be posted in the classroom and online at least one week in advance.<br />Late Work Policy: Late work will be accepted, but only under the following guidelines:<br />1 day late = 10% deduction<br />2 days late = 30% deduction<br />3 days late = 50% deduction<br />4 or more days late = NOT ACCEPTED<br />All LATE work must be made up after school. This does not include assignments missed due to an EXCUSED absence. In the event of an UNEXCUSED absence, students may NOT earn more than 50% of the available credit for an assignment. This includes tests and quizzes.<br />Class Materials: You will need to purchase following items for class.<br />
    • 3-Ring Binder (1”-2”)
    • 2. Loose Leaf Paper
    • 3. Tab Dividers (8 Tabs)
    • 4. Flash Drive (1+ Gig)
    • 5. Index Cards (4”x6”)
    • 6. Highlighters
    • 7. Post-It Notes
    The faculty and administration reserve the right to change this class syllabus as deemed necessary.<br />Please take this syllabus home and review it with your parent(s)/guardians. You are expected to return this portion, along with the required information and signatures on or before ________________________.<br />Student Name________________________________________________________________________<br />Parent/Guardian Name(s)_______________________________________________________________<br />Student Lives With ____________________________________________________________________<br />Home Address________________________________________________________________________<br />Home Phone #________________________________________________________________________<br />Work Phone #________________________________________________________________________<br />Which phone number do you prefer I try first? _______________________________________________<br />Best time/place to reach you_____________________________________________________________<br />Parent/Guardian E-mail ________________________________________________________________<br />What is something that your child does really well? ___________________________________________<br />What is something that your child is nervous about? __________________________________________<br />Does your child have any medical issues I should know about? Please explain. <br />____________________________________________________________________________________<br />I have read & understand the course expectations for Mrs. Cunningham's class for the 2011-2012 school year.<br />Student Signature_____________________________________________________________________<br />Parent/Guardian Signature______________________________________________________________<br />

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