AP US Government and Politics

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    Google Classroom Code for 2019-2020:

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    • AP GOV Syllabus
    • Robert McConville
    • Absegami High School
    • 2019-2020
    • OVERVIEW

    • AP U.S. Government and Politics is a challenging course that will give 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. politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics.  Political theory and everyday practice that direct the daily operation of our government and shape our public policies will be explored. This course is taught at a college level and requires a substantial amount of reading and preparation for every class.  The purpose of this course is to prepare the students for the AP Exam in U.S. Government and Politics. 
    • COURSE OBJECTIVES

    • Students will:
      1. Know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. government and politics.
      2. 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)
      3. Be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to U.S. government and politics.
      4. Write weekly essays to address analytical and interpretive free-response questions that will assist in the AP Exam. 
    • THE AP U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS EXAM

    • The Advanced Placement exam will be given in May.  This exam is 2 hours and 25 minutes in length and has both multiple choice and free-response sections.  Forty-five minutes are allotted for the multiple-choice section, which contains 60 questions and accounts for 50 percent of the exam score.  The free-response section consists of a 100-minute period with 4 questions.
    • COURSE TEXTS AND READINGS:

    • Textbook:  American Government; Institutions and Policies. James Q. Wilson
    • Other Materials:
    • Additional readings and activities will come from sources such as the New York Times, the Economist,
    • the Christian Science Monitor, the Wall Street Journal,  and various web sites. 

    • MAKE-UP WORK
    • It is always the responsibility of the student to get and complete missed assignments. If you miss a class,
    • it is your responsibility to get the notes from a classmate. Tests can be made up after school (2:30-
    • 3:15).
    •  
    • RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING
    • This is a college-level course, and as such, it shifts the focus point of learning from the teacher to
    • the student. In order for you to be successful, it is essential that you are organized, efficient with
    • your time, and responsible for all assignments.
    •  
    • You must complete all readings before coming to class!! Our class time will not be used to simply
    • “go over” the readings. The assigned readings (text, reader, and additional assignments) are
    • designed to be a starting point for our class discussions. You will be held accountable for all
    • information contained in the assigned readings (whether or not we have discussed it in class).
    • To assist students in their effort to stay on top of the reading and to comprehend it, it is required
    • that all students take “reading notes.” Reading notes consist of two things: a list of key terms and
    • notes that summarize the main points of the article. “Open” reading-notes quizzes will be given
    • periodically throughout the year. Those students who have completed their reading notes will be
    • able to use them on the test. The quizzes are not open-book, so those students who have not done
    • the reading will be lost!
    •  
    • PARTICIPATION AND BEHAVIOR
    • Discussions, simulations, and group projects are an important component of this class. These
    • activities are designed to enhance students’ understanding and application of the principles of
    • American government. Students should be prepared to participate fully in all class activities. I
    • expect all students to behave with integrity and respect in the classroom. Individuals who do not
    • follow classroom rules and/or do not treat their classmates with respect will experience a range of
    • consequences depending upon the frequency and seriousness of the problem.
    •  
    • CHEATING/PLAGIARISIM
    •  At the University level, students are permanently expelled for this offense, and other colleges
    • and universities will refuse their entry. Needless to say, this subject is taken seriously. If a student is caught cheating or has plagiarized, a grade of Zero will be given for the test or assignment and a parent conference may be scheduled.
    •  
    • QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
    • I am always available to discuss individual questions and concerns. You are not interrupting my
    • work. You are my work! Students who would like extra help are welcome before school or after
    • school. I encourage parents to communicate with me by e-mail when at all possible. It is the most
    • reliable way to get a hold of me. My e-mail address is rmcconville@gehrhsd.net.

    •  
    •  

    •  
    •  
    •  
    • SUMMARY OUTLINE: AP U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS COURSE AND EXAMINATION

    • Content Area % goals of examination  
      1. Constitutional Underpinnings of S. Government……5-15%
    •  
      1. Considerations that influenced the formulation and adoption of the Constitution
      2. Separation of powers
      3. Federalism
      4. Theories of democratic government
    •  
      1. Political Beliefs and Behaviors……..10-20%
    •  
      1. Beliefs that citizens hold about their government and its leaders
      2. Processes by which citizens learn about politics
      3. The nature, sources, and consequences of public opinion
      4. The ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life
      5. Factors that influence citizens to differ from one another in terms of political beliefs and behaviors
    •  
      1. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media…..10-20%
    •  
      1. Political parties and elections
        1. Functions
        2. Organization
        3. Development
        4. Effects on the political process
        5. Electoral laws and systems
    •  
      1. Interest groups, including political action committees(PACs)
        1. The range of interests represented
        2. The activities of interest groups
        3. The effects of interest groups on the political process
        4. The unique characteristics and roles of PACs in the political process
    •  
      1. The mass media
        1. The functions and structures of the media
        2. The impacts of media on politics
    •  
      1. Institutions of National Government: The Congress, the Presidency, the
    • Bureaucracy and the Federal Courts…….35-45%
    •  
      1. The major formal and informal institutional arrangements of power
      2. Relationships among these four institutions and varying balances of power
      3. Linkages between institutions and the following:
        1. Public opinion and voters
        2. Interest groups
        3. Political parties
        4. The media
        5. Sub national governments
    •  
      1. Public Policy………..5-15%
    •  
      1. Policymaking in a federal system
      2. The formation of policy agendas
      3. The role of institutions in the enactment of policy
      4. The role of the bureaucracy and the courts in policy implementation and interpretation
      5. Linkages between policy processes and the following:
        1. Political institutions and federalism
        2. Political parties
        3. Interest groups
        4. Public opinion
        5. Elections
        6. Policy networks
      6. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties………5-15%
    •  
      1. The development of civil liberties and civil rights by judicial interpretation
      2. Knowledge of substantive rights and liberties
      3. The impact of the Fourteenth Amendment on the constitutional development of rights and liberties
    • The above curriculum guide comes from the College Board Acorn book.
    • Additional Materials:  A class binder to keep your notes and assignments organized.
    •  
    • MAKE-UP WORK
    • It is always the responsibility of the student to get and complete missed assignments. If you miss a class,
    • it is your responsibility to get the notes from a classmate. Tests can be made up after school (2:30-
    • 3:15).
    •  
    • RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING
    • This is a college-level course, and as such, it shifts the focus point of learning from the teacher to
    • the student. In order for you to be successful, it is essential that you are organized, efficient with
    • your time, and responsible for all assignments.
    •  
    • You must complete all readings before coming to class!! Our class time will not be used to simply
    • “go over” the readings. The assigned readings (text, reader, and additional assignments) are
    • designed to be a starting point for our class discussions. You will be held accountable for all
    • information contained in the assigned readings (whether or not we have discussed it in class).
    • To assist students in their effort to stay on top of the reading and to comprehend it, it is required
    • that all students take “reading notes.” Reading notes consist of two things: a list of key terms and
    • notes that summarize the main points of the article. “Open” reading-notes quizzes will be given
    • periodically throughout the year. Those students who have completed their reading notes will be
    • able to use them on the test. The quizzes are not open-book, so those students who have not done
    • the reading will be lost!
    •  
    • PARTICIPATION AND BEHAVIOR
    • Discussions, simulations, and group projects are an important component of this class. These
    • activities are designed to enhance students’ understanding and application of the principles of
    • American government. Students should be prepared to participate fully in all class activities. I
    • expect all students to behave with integrity and respect in the classroom. Individuals who do not
    • follow classroom rules and/or do not treat their classmates with respect will experience a range of
    • consequences depending upon the frequency and seriousness of the problem.
    •  
    • CHEATING/PLAGIARISIM
    •  At the University level, students are permanently expelled for this offense, and other colleges
    • and universities will refuse their entry. Needless to say, this subject is taken seriously. If a student is caught cheating or has plagiarized, a grade of Zero will be given for the test or assignment and a parent conference may be scheduled.
    •  
    • Grades:  Grades will be based on a total point system.  This means that every assignment is worth a certain amount of points and your score will be a percentage of those points.  For example, if you score a 15/20 on an assignment that is worth 20 total points, your score is 75%. Each assignment, whether classwork, homework, test, quiz, or project, has an assigned point value.  Simply, your grade is what you earned divided by the total possible points.
    • QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
    • I am always available to discuss individual questions and concerns. You are not interrupting my
    • work. You are my work! Students who would like extra help are welcome before school or after
    • school. I encourage parents to communicate with me by e-mail when at all possible. It is the most
    • reliable way to get a hold of me. My e-mail address is rmcconville@gehrhsd.net.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

AP US Government and Politics