This course is an introduction to the United States Constitution, national policymaking institutions and their relationship to individuals and state governments, and the avenues through which citizens access the policymaking process. This course is designed to be a college level course that entails more than what is expected from other classes. Students taking an AP class can expect to read on a nightly basis – whether that be from the textbook or from other documents provided in class, complete homework material to the fullest extent and also spend time outside of class researching and developing a greater understanding of the material that is being examined in class. Each student that enters this course comes with the understanding of the above mentioned and should be prepared to work very hard. The success on the final exam in May will be determinate on both your effort inside of the classroom and outside as well.
Texts and Materials:
Edwards, George C., Martin P. Wattenberg, and Robert L. Lineberry. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy. Fifteenth ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. [CR8] Lasser, William., ed. Perspectives on American Politics. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Print.
Sabato, Larry J., ed. Divided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2006. Print.
Greenstein, Fred I. The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to George W. Bush. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.
These readings will be supplemented with classroom handouts throughout the semester.
Grading and Course Requirements:
Grades are figured on a cumulative point basis. Each test, quiz, homework assignment, etc., is worth a given number of points according to the quality and level of completion of the work. At the end of a marking period, a grade average is determined by dividing the total points possible by points earned. Students will be examined through a means of chapter assessments as well as Free Response Questions for each chapter and major unit.
Students are responsible for keeping up with the daily events in the nation and the world. Students will need to skim the front page of the Washington Post or Washington Times, listen to NPR or another radio news program, and watch a TV news station such as CNN, or access a reliable online source. Also, topics of interest to the national and local levels of government will be analyzed as they pertain to the class.