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Ann Mushrush


2015 - 2016  Academic Year


 American Government & Politics: Advanced Placement

American Governemnt   2nd Track   




"Everything Psychological is Biological"


Myers, D. G. (2011). Myers’ psychology for AP. New York: Worth Publishers. (Not available online)

Course Description

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Areas covered include: history of psychology; research methods; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; cognitive psychology; physical, social and emotional development; abnormal behavior and therapies; social psychology; and gender differences. This is a rigorous and demanding course requiring students to have a strong work ethic, to read at a rigorous pace, and to complete a variety of writing assignments. Students are expected to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and independent work habits. This course follows the APA guidelines for Advanced Placement Psychology, and all students are expected to take the AP exam in May 2016. 

                                                                                             Course Objectives
Students will:
1. study the fundamental concepts and theories of psychology.
2. learn the basic skills of psychological research.
3. develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and discussion skills.
4. analyze ethical issues and enduring psychological questions.
5. apply psychological principles in their own lives.
6. prepare to earn a passing score on the AP Psychology Exam.

 AP Psychology distribution of quarterly grading components:

Tests  34%  
Quizzes   33%
Unit Essays  33%

Students are required to complete work assigned for summer.  

APA Thesis Paper required as a Final Exam Grade   


Classroom Expectations

Students must respect all people, including themselves, and all property, including their own, at all times.
Come to class each day prepared to learn and work hard.   Bring all required materials daily as well as an enthusiastic, positive, curious and focused attitude.   Take responsibility for your behavior, work, and learning.  Collaboration is an important part of class and learning, however all work on tests must be your own and anything turned in must be in your own words.   Seek extra help if you do not understand a concept or procedure. 








AP Government & Politics 

" We the People of the United States, In Order to Form a More Perfect Union ...."


United States Government and Politicsis an intensive study of the formal and informal structures of government and the processes of the American political system, with an emphasis on policymaking and implementation. This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Exam.



Scoring Components

SC1  The course provides instruction in constitutional underpinnings of United States Government.

SC2  The course provides instruction in Political Beliefs, Political Behaviors, and Elections.

SC3  The course provides instruction in Interest Groups.

SC4  The course provides instruction in Political Parties.

SC5  The course provides instruction in Mass Media.

SC6  The course provides instruction in Institutions of National Government.

SC7  The course provides instruction in Public Policy and Public Policy Areas.

SC8  The course provides instruction in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

SC9  The course provides students with practice analyzing and interpreting data.

SC10  The course provides students with practice analyzing information relevant to US government and politics.

SC11  The course includes supplemental readings, including primary source materials:  The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and Amendments, The Federalists Papers, Significant Court Rulings, Executive Orders, and Acceptance and Inauguration Speeches

SC12  The course includes supplemental readings, including contemporary news analyses that strengthen student understanding of the curriculum.

SC13  The course requires students to answer analytical and interpretive free response questions on a Quarterly basis.



AP Edition  American Government   Roots and Reform  O’Connor, Sabat, and Yanus


Summer Reading

Profiles in Courage   John F. Kennedy


Other Materials Assigned and used in class: Individual subscription to Upfront Magazine, articles from current newspapers and numerous websites.


Grading and Course Requirements

Grades are figured quarterly: Tests 34% (3), Quizzes 33% (5-6),  Essays 33% (2).  Cumulative Exam at end of 1st Semester and Optional Final Exam or Final Project


Writing Requirements

Thirty three percent of Quarter grades are related to Free Response Questions that will offer experience in analyze and interpreting the structure and course of American government and politics.  Essay questions are related to the Units covered in each Quarter with emphasis on interrelating material.



Course Plan

Unit 1 Foundations of Government

Content Goals

Students should understand the doctrines and historical background to the

Constitution; key principles, such as federalism and separation of powers; the

ideological and philosophical underpinnings of American government to include the basic tenets of American Democracy and the functions of the American government as deemed by the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution


Sections of the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, The Amendments, and the Federalist Papers;


Unit ll: Institutions of National Government:  Congress

Content Goals

Students should understand the workings of the legislative process; the functions and powers of Congress; the relationship to other branches of government under the Constitution; and the change and evolution of congressional powers as a result of specific events in American history.


The Constitution and the Amendments, Maps and charts of Congressional Districts, Membership, Party affiliation and Voting; Upfront Articles relevant to discussions, Mid Term Election results.


Unit lll: Institutions of National Government: The Presidency & The Federal Bureaucracy.

Content Goals

Students should understand the functions and powers of the executive branch; its relationship to other branches of government under the Constitution; the change and evolution of the executive branch and the bureaucracy as a result of specific events in American history; and the role of the bureaucracy in formulating the federal budget.


The Constitution and the Amendments, Maps and Charts of the Electoral College process, Upfront Articles relevant to discussions.


Unit lV: Institutions of National Government: The Judiciary

Content Goals

Students should understand the workings of the judicial process; the functions and powers of the federal court system; the relationship of the Supreme Court to other branches of government under the Constitution; and the change and evolution of the judiciary as a result of specific events in American history.


review of major cases; chart on rulings of the court.


Unit V:  Federalism

Content Goals: Students should understand the roots and of the Federal system and the growth of the National Government; how national and state  powers are defined; the attempts to balance National and State Power: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments; and Judicial Federalism


Charts organizing National and State Powers, Supreme Court Cases and Rulings, Relevant reading assignments


Unit Vl:  Political Behavior: Public Opinion and Political Socialization; Political Parties

Content Goals:

Students should understand the different historical and ideological beliefs of political parties; demographic groups in the U.S. and their political beliefs; and ways of understanding political beliefs and behavior.


Relevant articles on Political Parties and Political Ideologies


Unit Vll:  Political Behavior:  Elections and Voting; The Campaign Process; The News Media

Content Goals

Students should become familiar with the workings of the electoral process; the role of money and interest groups on campaigns; the laws governing elections; and the way individual campaigns operate on the local, state, and national level.


Maps, charts, and graphs of electoral outcomes and political participation; charts showing the role of money in politics; contemporary news and Internet coverage and analysis of elections and campaigns; discussion of exit poll data. Supreme Court decisions governing elections ; charts on political party

formation and process; charts and graphs on significant elections.


Unit Vlll:  Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Content Goals

Students should understand the institutional guarantees to political and civil rights granted under the Constitution; the rights conferred by the American government system; key Supreme Court cases and arguments regarding constitutional protections; the impact of the Fourteenth Amendment on civil rights at the state level; and the impact of judicial decisions on American society.


Supreme Court decisions on civil rights and civil liberties; current news debates on terrorism and civil liberties.


Unit llX:  Public Policy:  Domestic Policy

Content Goals:  Students will understand the roots of Domestic Policy in the United States; take a closer look at Health, Social Welfare, and Education policy as well as Energy and Environmental policy.


Unit lX:  Public Policy:  Economic Policy

Content Goals:  Students will understand the roots of Economic Policy; compare and contrast Fiscal and Monetary Policies, understand the Federal Reserve System and the Debt; and evaluate the Income Security Programs.


Unit X:  Foreign and Defense Policy

Content Goals:  Students will understand the role the United States plays in the world and its relationship with other nations as we explore U.S. foreign policy – its evolution, historical development, the rise of the U.S. as a global power, and the factors that shape foreign and defense policy decision making, particularly the contemporary foreign and defense policy challenges confronting the U.S. 
















American Government 

Track 2



Text Book - Magruder's American Government

Online Access -   Oharastudent18  cohs2018

Upfront Magazine online access -   cohs2018


Content: American Government & Politics is a Sophomore course ............................   Incorporated into the study of American Government & Politics will be a consistent review of Current Events and their relationship to the past as well as their impact on the future. Students will be issued The New York Times – Upfront Magazine  as a classroom supplement.

Study Skills will be reviewed and reinforced as a part of the reading, writing, thinking, note-taking, and testing requirements. Critical Thinking Skills will be challenged.  Writing assignments will be required, and special attention must be paid to following directions and writing mechanics.


Grading Policy:  The student’s grade will be compiled per marking period by the average of the following:   Major Chapter Tests and frequent Section and Homework Quizzes, Quarterly Projects, Special Reading and Writing Assignments, Homework,  Participation and Effort.   A cumulative test will be administered at the end of the 1st Semester, and a Final Cumulative Exam will be administered in June.  As a rule, the lowest grade is dropped each Quarter with the exception of Special Assignments but only if there is no more than one grade entry missing within that Quarter.  For instance, if you are absent for a Quiz and it is not possible or you neglect to make it up, you have forfeited loosing your lowest grade.  Quizzes may be made up, but it is not always possible.  It is the student's responsibitlity to contact me regarding a scheduled time to make up a Quiz as soon as it is missed.  Students can not expect to wait until they return to their class period.  If Quizzes are returned to the student body, Quizzes can not be made up.  


Homework:  Homework is specifically designed to reinforce a previous class, prepare for an upcoming class, or to enrich the student; therefore, Homework is an integral part of studying World History.  Reading assignments are homework and essential to understanding the topic covered, the written work assigned and the quizzes and tests administered.  Because only limited reading assignments are given, it is recommended that you read slowly and thoroughly, making notes of the information and marking off anything that is confusing or misunderstood.  Many reading assignments will be in conjunction with a workbook page, and it is recommended that you initially understand the objective of the assignment.  Focusing on the objective of an assignment can create a better understanding of the material reviewed and studied, and the objective will be presented when the assignment is given as well as when it is reviewed.  Missing or late assignments and poorly completed assignments will result in a loss of substantial points from the homework grade.  Loss of points can result in a zero.  An absence can not be an excuse for a missed homework .  Homework assignments will be posted on Grade Connect/Assignments, and unless a worksheet has been distributed that is not available to you, you are responsible for your assignment.  Worksheets and Class Assignments will be available in the class bin.  It is your responsibility to check for your work.  Please make arrangements for missed assignments due to extended sick absences.


Requirements:  You must have your covered text book with you for all classes unless otherwise noted.  A binder or copybook is mandatory and present as well for each class.  A folder is necessary in some form to house the myriad of papers you will need to keep organized.  In addition, you will need an occasional index card and a small supply of loose leaf.  There will be assignments that will need to be word processed, so if a computer is not readily available, please inform. .Class participation will be a necessary part of achieving successful grades in American Government, and engaging in class discussion, asking questions, contributing and thinking critically will only improve your grade as well as your appreciation of American Government, History, and Political Science.


Special Notes:  *Major tests are too important to miss, but should a student be absent on a test day (day 6 or 3), it is the student’s responsibility to make up the test. You must contact me before you return to school and expect to make up the test after school or during your lunch period if possible.  All scheduled tests are given ample notice; therefore, only if a student is absent for more that two class days will consideration be given for additional prep time.  If you know you will be absent, you are required to inform me.

*Quizzes are either random (Homework Quiz) or assigned (Study Quiz) and students may not be able to be make them up. Yet if they can be, you will need to be prepared. *Tests are designed to reflect reading assignments, worksheets, lecture notes, written homework assignments and section quizzes.  It is imperative then that students collate their work in an organized manner in order to achieve the 1st step in studying for a major test.- KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TO STUDY.  Attention will be given to those items of importance before the test.  Should a student be missing an important handout or quiz, additional copies will not be available.  STAY ORGANIZED.


If necessary, Parents will be contacted throughout the year and a conference may be scheduled with the student present.  All grades and assignments will be posted on Grade Connect.  Parents, it is necessary for you to sign up to the Grade Connect Email. 




Important Documents