High School Civics Curriculum and Assessment Alignment



Download 325.55 Kb.
Page1/5
Date conversion04.05.2016
Size325.55 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5

High School Civics Curriculum and Assessment Alignment

High School Civics and Government Content Expectation

*State Assess

**Assess Category

Focus Question

***Sample Response to Focus Question

SCAS

1.1 Nature of Civic Life, Politics, and Government
Explain the meaning of civic life, politics, and government through the investigation of such questions as: What is civic life? What are politics? What is government? What are the purposes of politics and government?


 

 



1.1.1 Identify roles citizens play in civic and private life, with emphasis on leadership.

S

M

What are the responsibilities of a citizen?

Civic life is the public life of the citizen concerned with the affairs of the community and nation, as contrasted with private or personal life, which is devoted to private and personal interests. In civic life, citizens vote, serve on juries, serve as elected leaders, and help find solutions to problems by attending political meetings, contacting public officials, joining advocacy groups and political parties, and taking part in demonstrations. Civic action can take the form of political action, such as attempting to influence a change in public policy; or social action, such as forming a neighborhood watch to reduce crime. In private life, citizens interact with friends and family, join clubs or teams, practice their religious beliefs, and earn money. Constitutional democracy depends on the informed and effective participation of citizens concerned with the preservation of individual rights and the promotion of the common good. Political leadership and careers in public service are vitally important. Citizens need to understand the contributions of those in public service, as well as the practical and ethical dilemmas political leaders face.

X

1.1.2 Explain and provide examples of the concepts “power,” “legitimacy,” “authority,” and “sovereignty.”

S

M

What are the purposes of government?

A constitutional government is given power, legitimacy, and authority by the people in order to protect their individual rights. Power is the ability to make someone do something that they might not otherwise do (e.g., paying taxes, attending school). The use of power is considered legitimate when it is used in accordance with the Constitution, custom, law, consent, or principles of morality. For instance, the 16th Amendment grants Congress the power to impose income taxes. Authority is the legitimate use of power, such as establishing state speed limits. Sovereignty refers to the holding of ultimate authority. In a representative democracy, the ultimate authority rests with the people, who give their consent to be governed in exchange for the protection of their individual rights.

X

1.1.3 Identify and explain competing arguments about the necessity and purposes of government (such as to protect inalienable rights, promote the general welfare, resolve conflicts, promote equality, and establish justice for all). (See USHG F1.1; F1.2; 8.3.2)

C

USHG





What are the purposes of government?

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution outlines the basic purposes of the U.S. government. Some people disagree about the extent to which the government should get involved in the daily lives of people while trying to achieve the purposes identified in the Preamble. Some competing arguments come from the following questions: Will increasing or decreasing taxes promote the general welfare? Are inalienable rights supported by increasing security at the expense of individual liberty? Nearly all governments claim to have as their purpose the establishment of order and security. All governments play a role in controlling the distribution of resources and determining which will be publicly controlled. All governments develop executive, legislative, and judicial institutions and procedures for managing conflict. Governments strive to fulfill the goals of society as a whole, or of various groups. Additionally, some emphasize promoting opportunities for individuals to pursue their own fulfillment. Some governments, such as ours, are established for the protection of each citizen's basic rights against encroachment by others or the government itself. Competing arguments concern the priority assigned to each purpose of government.




1.1.4 Explain the purposes of politics, why people engage in the political process, and what the political process can achieve (e.g., promote the greater good, promote self-interest, advance solutions to public issues and problems, achieve a just society). (See USHG F1.1; F1.2; 6.3.2; 8.3.1)

C

USHG





How do people use the political process to fulfill the purposes of government?

Politics is the process by which a group of people with diverse opinions makes collective decisions, seeks the power to influence decisions, or to accomplish goals they could not realize as individuals. Reasons why people engage in politics are as varied as the people themselves. Some seek to achieve equality and justice for all. Some work to further the interests of a particular group. Some seek to enhance economic prosperity, while others work to protect individual rights. Some are attempting to achieve a religious vision. It was believed by the Framers of the Constitution that the existence of so many competing interests would prevent tyranny by a minority interest or the denial of basic rights to a minority by the majority. This emphasizes the importance of political participation by as many people as possible for the future success of a democratic republic and the preservation of the "blessings of liberty." The study of politics is about who governs and to what ends.




1.2 Alternative Forms of Government
Describe constitutional government and contrast it with other forms of government through the investigation of such questions as: What are essential characteristics of limited and unlimited government? What is constitutional government? What forms can a constitutional government take?


 

 




1.2.1 Identify, distinguish among, and provide examples of different forms of governmental structures including anarchy, monarchy, military junta, aristocracy, democracy, authoritarian, constitutional republic, fascist, communist, socialist, and theocratic states.

S

CC

What are different forms of government?

Different forms of government vary based on who has authority. Examples include anarchy, where no one has authority; monarchy, where authority is in the hands of one person and heredity determines leadership; military junta, where the military or a general has authority; aristocracy, where the wealthy or the elite have authority; democracy, where all of the people have authority; authoritarian, where one person, usually a dictator, has authority; constitutional republic, where elected representatives have authority; fascist, where the state has full authority over the individual; communist, where a ruling party uses authority in the name of the people; socialist, where the majority party advances socialist economic principles and redistributes wealth through taxation and social welfare programs; and theocratic states, where religious leaders have authority.

X

1.2.2 Explain the purposes and uses of constitutions in defining and limiting government, distinguishing between historical and contemporary examples of constitutional governments that failed to limit power (e.g., Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union) and successful constitutional governments (e.g., contemporary Germany and United Kingdom). (See USHG 7.2.1; WHG 7.3)

S

M

How do different forms of government vary?

A constitution is a set of fundamental customs, traditions, rules and laws that describe the basic way a government is organized and operated. Most constitutions are written; some are not written. Great Britain, Israel, and New Zeeland are examples of countries without written constitutions. Constitutions identify the main institutions of government, state the powers of each and the procedures that the institutions must use to make, enforce, and interpret the law. Constitutions usually specify how they can be changed. In a constitutional government, the constitution must establish limits on the actions of the government, provide for the protection of the rights of the individual against unfair and unreasonable infringement by the government and other individuals, and be considered a higher law which those in government must and do obey. In a constitutional government, the constitution cannot be changed without widespread consent of citizens and in accord with well-known procedures. Non-constitutional governments may have a constitution; however there are no effective means available to the general public of limiting the powers of the rulers. The Soviet Union under Stalin, or Nazi Germany, are examples of governments which had constitutions, but are not considered constitutional governments because they did not provide effective limitations on power. Individual rights were subject to arbitrary and summary decree and deprivation rather than protection by stringent standards of due process of law.

X

1.2.3 Compare and contrast parliamentary, federal, nonfederal, and unitary systems of government by analyzing similarities and differences in sovereignty, diffusion of power, and institutional structure. (See USHG F1.1; F1.2)

C

USHG





1. What are different forms of government?

2. How does a federal system differ from a parliamentary system?



The different forms of constitutional government consist of unitary systems, such as in France and Japan, where power is centralized; federal systems, such as in Australia, Canada and the United States, where a national government shares powers and sovereignty with state governments but the national government may act directly on individuals within the states; and nonfederal systems, most recently seen between Serbia and Montenegro, where sovereign states delegate powers to a central government for specific purposes. Constitutional governments can either be presidential or parliamentary. In a parliamentary system, the chief executive is chosen from among members of the legislature and is directly responsible to them. In a presidential system, the chief executive is independently chosen and is removable by the legislature only in extraordinary circumstances if at all.




1.2.4 Compare and contrast direct and representative democracy. (See USHG F1.1; F1.2)

C

USHG





How do different forms of government vary?

There are two forms of democracy, direct and representative. In a direct democracy, decisions are made by the people collectively, and in a representative democracy, decisions are made by those elected by the people to represent the people. In both forms, final authority rests with the people.




2.1 Origins of American Constitutional Government (Note: Much of this content should have been an essential feature of students’ 5th and 8th grade coursework. High School U.S. History and Geography teachers, however, revisit this in USHG Foundational Expectations 1.1, 1.2, and 2.1.)

 

 




2.1.1 Explain the historical and philosophical origins of American constitutional government and evaluate the influence of ideas found in the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Mayflower Compact, Iroquois Confederation, Northwest Ordinance, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and selected Federalist Papers (the 10th, 14th, 51st), John Locke’s Second Treatise, Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws, Paine’s Common Sense.

S

M

What were the historical and philosophical origins of the U.S. Constitution?

The Framers of the Constitution drew upon their experiences as Englishman and colonists, the writings of Enlightenment philosophers such as Locke and Montesquieu, their experiences overthrowing British rule, and their first attempts at state and national governments. From these ideas and events came a dedication to fundamental values and principles central to constitutional government, such as rule of law (Magna Carta); social contract (Mayflower Compact); individual rights and representative government (English Bill of Rights); natural rights, popular sovereignty, social contract, right of revolution, equality (Locke's Second Treatise); separation of powers (Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws); unalienable rights, equality, government by consent, right of revolution (Declaration of Independence); bills of rights (Northwest Ordinance); freedom of religion (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom); danger of factions (Federalist 10); republicanism (Federalist 14); and checks and balances (Federalist 51).

X

2.1.2 Explain the significance of the major debates and compromises underlying the formation and ratification of American constitutional government including the Virginia and New Jersey plans, the Great Compromise, debates between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, debates over slavery, and the promise for a bill of rights after ratification.

S

M

What challenges did the new nation face and how were they debated and resolved?

The first challenge facing the Framers of the Constitution was one of representation in the legislature. The issue was debated with the Virginia and New Jersey Plans and was resolved by the Great Compromise, creating a bicameral legislature with differing forms of representation to satisfy both small and large states. Debates over whether enslaved persons should be counted for purposes of apportioning representatives to the states, and for computing direct taxes, were resolved through the Three Fifths Compromise. A state's population would be equal to its entire population of free persons plus three-fifths of "all other persons." After the Constitution was drafted and sent to the states for ratification, debates over the power of the new central government and the threat it posed to individual liberty and state sovereignty threatened to prevent acceptance of the new framework in the key states of New York and Virginia. The Federalists, supporters of the new Constitution, secured ratification by accepting the most powerful criticism of the Constitution's opponents, the Anti-Federalists. A commitment was made to add a Bill of Rights when the first Congress was held.

X

2.1.3 Explain how the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights reflected political principles of popular sovereignty, rule of law, checks and balances, separation of powers, social compact, natural rights, individual rights, separation of church and state, republicanism and federalism.

S

M

What were the historical and philosophical origins of the U.S. Constitution?

Fundamental principles and values of constitutional government emerged over centuries of thought, experimentation and conflict between rulers and the ruled. From classical philosophers and statesman such as Aristotle and Cicero to enlightened thinkers like Locke and Montesquieu; from historical accounts of Greek democracies and Roman republics; from historical struggles such as the Reformation, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution; from their English heritage including the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights; the founders of American constitutional government took the experiences of history and applied them to their work, forging a new nation. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson expressed the natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and government’s purpose of protecting them. From its opening words, "We the people," the Constitution expressed the principle of popular sovereignty and proceeded to create a system of representative democracy with separation of powers between equal branches, checks and balances, and a federal system dividing power between states and the central government. The addition of the Bill of Rights reinforced and defined important individual rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the separation of the church and state, and due process.

X

2.1.4 Explain challenges and modifications to American constitutional government as a result of significant historical events such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, expansion of suffrage, the Great Depression, and the civil rights movement.

C




How did significant historical events challenge and modify American constitutional government?

American constitutional government has evolved since its inception with expansion in both the power of the central government and the expansion of individual rights. In times of crisis, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, constitutional guarantees of individual liberties have been sacrificed in the name of national unity, economic recovery and national security. The suspension of habeas corpus rights during the Civil War, the rapid expansion of executive authority via the New Deal, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II placed strains on the constitutional system. At the same time, demands by those left out of the initial promises of the Constitution and Bill of Rights forced a slow expansion of protections for all people. Practices repugnant to fundamental concepts of liberty, equality and justice, such as slavery, disfranchisement by race and gender, and denial of the equal protection of the law, were declared unacceptable through Constitutional Amendments following the Civil War. However, it would take over a century of struggle by individuals and groups demanding the enforcement of these protections before the promises on paper would begin to translate into true justice for women and minorities.

X

2.2 Foundational Values and Constitutional Principles of American Government

Explain how the American idea of constitutional government has shaped a distinctive American society through the investigation of such questions as: How have the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional government shaped American society?

 

 




2.2.1 Identify and explain the fundamental values of America’s constitutional republic (e.g., life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, the common good, justice, equality, diversity, authority, participation, and patriotism) and their reflection in the principles of the United States Constitution (e.g., popular sovereignty, republicanism, rule of law, checks and balances, separation of powers, and federalism).


S

CC

How have the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional government shaped American society?

The values of our American constitutional republic (e.g., life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, the common good, justice, equality, diversity, authority, participation, and patriotism) are central to the American political culture. The Framers of the Constitution created a framework for government that would protect these fundamental values through a diffusion of power and authority between executive, legislative and judicial branches; dividing the legislative branch in order to dilute the influence of factions; sharing power between the central government and the states; and by placing ultimate authority in the hands of the people through frequent and open elections. Through this system of overlapping powers, the goal is that no one person, branch, or tier will have the ability to dominate. An independent judiciary has provided the avenue for individuals and groups to seek justice when their rights are threatened by others or by the government. To be sure, abuses of power have been plentiful and will continue. Justice has been denied to entire segments of the population in the past, and current threats to liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be found in the daily news. The Constitution promises a "more perfect union," not a perfect one. Assurances of the "blessings of liberty" being secure today and for future generations are based upon confidence in the rule of law, political participation by a broad cross-section of the population, and a patriotism that includes devotion to the fundamental values and principles upon which the system is based.

X

2.2.2 Explain and evaluate how Americans, either through individual or collective actions, use constitutional principles and fundamental values to narrow gaps between American ideals and reality with respect to minorities, women, and the disadvantaged. (See USHG 6.1.2; 6.3.2; 7.1.3; 8.3)

C

USHG





How have the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional government shaped American society?

Through the efforts of individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez constitutional promises have been extended to all Americans. While individuals such as these deserve their place in history for their courage and dedication to the causes of liberty, justice, and equality, it is most commonly through collective action that calls for remedies for injustice are amplified to the point of affecting change. The American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters, the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, the NAACP, veteran's groups, the Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and professional groups are just some examples of organizations that allow individuals to combine their voices and resources to a cause of their choosing to make themselves heard. Groups representing women and various minorities have used their freedoms of expression and association to press the government for changes to bridge the gap between the ideal and the real. Beyond voting, groups have taken direct action to advance their goals through tactics such as civil disobedience, protests, boycotts, petitions, letter writing, effective use of the media, lobbying, litigation, initiative, referendum and recall.



  1   2   3   4   5


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page