• AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SYLLABUS

    Coach C. Meeks III

    Course Description

     

           Government should include, but are not limited to: acquiring an understanding of change over time, distinguishing between primary and secondary sources, the analysis of primary sources, reading different sources critically, making arguments in written and oral form based on evidence in support of a clearly defined thesis, and developing a solid command of major geographic features by interpreting physical and political maps of Mississippi, the United States and the world's continents.

    US Government

     

    STRANDS:  (C-Civics)       (H-History)      (G-Geography)        (E-Economics)

     

     Domestic Affairs

    1. Understand the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other important documents of American democracy.
    1. Explain how the U.S. Constitution calls for a system of shared powers, specifies the role of organized interests, details checks and balances, and explains the importance of an independent judiciary, enumerated powers, rule of law, federalism, and civilian control of the military. (DOK 2)
    2. Explain how the Founding Fathers‘ realistic view of human nature led directly to the establishment of a constitutional system that limited the power of the governors and the governed. (DOK 2)

     

    1. Understand the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.
    1. Analyze Article I of the Constitution as it relates to the legislative branch, including eligibility for office and lengths of terms of representatives and senators; election to office; the roles of the House and Senate in impeachment proceedings; the role of the vice president; the enumerated legislative powers; and the process by which a bill becomes a law. (DOK 2)
    2. Analyze Article II of the Constitution as it relates to the executive branch, including eligibility for office and length of term, election to and removal from office, the oath of office, and the enumerated executive powers. (DOK 2)
    3. Analyze Article III of the Constitution as it relates to judicial branch, including the length of terms of judges and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. (DOK 2)

     

    1. Understand the meaning, scope, and limits of rights and obligations of democratic citizenship and that the relationships among democratic citizens and government are mutable.
    1. Explain the individual‘s legal obligations to obey the law, serve as a juror, and pay taxes. (DOK 1)
    2. Explain the obligations of civic-mindedness, including voting, being informed on civic issues, volunteering and performing public service, and serving in the military or alternative service. (DOK 1)
    3. Explain how one becomes a citizen of the United States, including the process of naturalization (e.g., literacy, language, and other requirements). (DOK 1)
    4. Explain how the Constitution can be amended. (DOK 1)

     

    Global Affairs

    1. Understand the origins and characteristics of different political systems across time and place, with emphasis on the quest for political democracy, its advances, and its obstacles.
    1. Explain how the different ideas and structures of feudalism, mercantilism, socialism, fascism, communism, monarchies, parliamentary systems, and constitutional liberal democracies influence economic policies, social welfare policies, and human rights practices. (DOK 3)
    2. Identify the forms of illegitimate power that some twentieth-century African, Asian, and Latin American dictators used to gain and hold office and the conditions and interests that supported them. (DOK 1)
    3. Analyze the ideologies that give rise to Communism, methods of maintaining control, and the movements to overthrow Communist governments in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland, including the roles of movement leaders and individuals. (DOK 3)

     

    Civil Rights/Human Rights

    1. Understand the role that governments play in the protection, expansion, and hindrance of civil/human rights of citizens.
    1. Explain Supreme Court rulings that have resulted in controversies over changing interpretations of civil rights, including those in Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, and United States v. Virginia (VMI). (DOK 2)
    2. Explaintheimportanceofmaintainingabalancebetweenthefollowingconcepts: majority rule and individual rights; liberty and equality; state and national authority in a federal system; civil disobedience and the rule of law; freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial; and the relationship of religion and government. (DOK 2)
    3. Analyze the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and landmark Amendments (e.g., and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy). (DOK 3)
    1. Understand how some American Governmental actions protect and expand the economic interest of American individual citizens, corporations and society in general.
    1. Critique whether certain governmental acts, such as the Sherman Anti-trust Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement, promote the ―common welfare‖ of the United States as stated in the preamble to the Constitution. (DOK 3)
    2. Cite evidence and explain how the American Governmental policies of containment and democratic expansion serve as means of expanding and protecting the economic interests of the United States. (DOK 2)
    3. Explain how economic rights are secured and their importance to the individual and to society (e.g., the right to acquire, use, transfer, and dispose of property; right to choose one‘s work; right to join or not join labor unions; copyrights and patents). (DOK 2)

    Culture

    1. Understand the fundamental values and principles of a civil society and how they are influenced by and reflective of the culture of the people in the society and understand the meaning and importance of those values and principles for a free society.
    1. Analyze how a civil society makes it possible for people, individually or collectively, to influence government in ways other than voting and elections (e.g., Lobbying, Political Action Committees, ―Political Art‖/political cartoons, protest songs, plays, movies, novels, etc.). (DOK 3)
    2. Explain how religion and religious diversity has characterized the development of American democracy. (DOK 2)
    3. Analyze the influence of the media on American political life. (DOK 3)

     

    Supplies

                Each day the student should bring the following materials to class:

    1. Pencil/Pen
    2. MacBook
    3. Loose leaf paper

     

    Daily Class Expectations

     Students are expected to listen carefully and contribute to the class discussion made by the teacher, their classmates, and multimedia presentations.  Taking written notes is required not suggested.  Students are encouraged to take an active part in the learning process by responding to the teacher’s questions and asking questions about the economic concepts being discussed.  Each student is expected to conduct himself/herself in a mature, responsible, considerate, and courteous manner that exemplifies the core values of Madison County School District.

    Assignments

    Students are expected to complete assigned reading prior to class.  Unannounced quizzes on the reading assignments may be given.  Students are encouraged to study the notes taken in class each night.

    Homework assignments will be given throughout the semester.  Students should use ink on all written assignments.  Assignments are expected to have a neat and scholarly appearance.

    Turn assignments in on the day that they are due.  Students should check canvas daily.  You are responsible for all assignments listed in Canvas and any others announced verbally by the teacher.

    If assignments are late there will be point deductions.

                One Day Late = Deduction of 10 points

                Two Days Late = Deduction of 20 points

                Three Days Late = Student will receive a ZERO.

    Absence

    It is your responsibility to find out what work you missed during an absence.  If you are absent on a day that a test is given or an assignment is due, you will take the test or submit the assignment on the day that you return to school. An unexcused absence on the day a test or quiz is given or an assignment is due will result in a grade of zero for that test, quiz, or assignment within 3 days.

    Evaluation and Grading

    Written tests are given periodically to evaluate the student's progress.  These tests cover assigned reading, class work, handouts, and homework assignments.  The course will conclude with an end of semester exam that will evaluate the student’s knowledge of the entire course.

    Quizzes and written homework assignments are also given periodically throughout the semester. Unannounced quizzes may be given to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of assigned reading due on the day of the quiz.

     Class participation demonstrates a student's knowledge, preparation, interest, motivation, and acceptance of individual responsibility for learning.  Both answers and questions volunteered by students on a daily basis are critical to the learning process.

    Students are expected to read and study the assigned reading and their class notes. They should come to class the next day prepared to respond to the teacher's questions, ask questions of their own, and discuss issues raised in the reading assignment.  Students are strongly urged to volunteer answers in class, but students will be called upon to recite even if they do not volunteer.

    *****Projects will be assigned throughout the semester assignment!!!*****

      The student's final semester grade is determined by:

    Tests                                     

    Projects                                  

    Daily Assignments

    Quizzes                                  

    Homework                              

     

    Attitude

    A positive attitude toward learning is essential for academic achievement.  Motivation, interest, enthusiasm, cooperation, courtesy, self-discipline, and personal pride are all factors, which contribute to academic success.

    Student Conferences

             Students who wish to speak with me about material covered in class, assignments, grades, or personal concerns are invited and encouraged to come to the classroom at an appointed time.  If possible please let me know in advance if you wish to meet with me.  As a student in my class, you are important and special.

    Academic Honesty

     Honesty and integrity are core values of the Madison County School District.  Academic and personal honesty are required of all students at Velma Jackson High School.  Standards for student behavior are outlined in the Madison County School District’s Student Code of Conduct.

     Copying or attempting to copy another student's work, the possession of unauthorized notes or aids during written evaluations, talking during written evaluations, any form of communication of quiz or test content to other students, and intentionally aiding the academic dishonesty of another student are some examples of academic dishonesty.

     Consequences for academic dishonesty include a grade of zero on the assignment, quiz, or test.

    Class Structure

     Students will utilize MacBook with Internet capabilities, textbook, outside reading including articles from internet, scholarly journals, newspapers and other respected sources for learning and assignments. Students are expected to behave as young adults and demonstrate a superior intellect in the classroom without constant reprimand for childish and undignified behavior. All students are REQUIRED to receive a passing mark in US Government and Economics in order to graduate from any public high school in Mississippi. Therefore, students please do not jeopardize your academic career with unwise decisions.