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American Government

American Government Power Standards

12.1       Students explain the fundamental principles of American Democracy as expressed in the U.S Constitution.

12.1.1    Students explain how view of human nature led directly to a Constitutional system that limited the power of government.

12.1.2    Students describe systems of separation and shared powers, checks and balances, independent judiciary, enumerated powers, rule of law, and federalism as outlined in the Constitution.

12.1.3    Students explain the process through which the Constitution can be amended. 

12.2       Students will analyze the meaning and importance of the Bill of Rights and other Amendments as well as evaluate the change in scope and limits of those liberties and civil rights over time.

12.2.1    Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.

12.2.2    Students understand the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time.

12.2.3    Students will evaluate the controversies that have resulted over changing interpretations of civil rights.

12.2.4    Students explain how the U.S. Constitution reflects a balance between the public good and individual rights, (majority rule and minority rights). 

12.3       Students understand the roles of citizenship and obligations of civic participation.

12.3.1    Students understand the obligations of voting, being informed, serving as a juror, and performing public service.

12.3.2    Students explain the process of becoming a citizen.

12.3.3    Students explain how to participate and influence government in ways other than voting.

12.3.4    Students can identify their current representatives in the legislative branch of the national government.

12.4       Students understand the unique roles and responsibilities of the 3 branches of government.

12.4.1    Students describe the separated and shared powers, and checks and balances of the three branches of government. 

12.4.2    Students understand the process by which a bill becomes a law.

12.4.3    Students explain how public policy is formed and implemented. 

12.4.4    Students understand the formal and informal powers of the executive branch.

12.4.5    Students explain the process of selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices. 

12.4.6    Students will understand the organization of federal, state, and local courts.

12.4.7    Students will understand the process of judicial review and the role of the court in interpreting the Constitution. 

12.4.8    Students explain how conflicts between branches of government are resolved. 

12.5       Students analyze and compare the powers of the national and state governments.

12.5.1    Students identify the major responsibilities of  national, state and local governments. 

12.5.2    Students explain how conflicts between levels of government are resolved.

12.5.3    Students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of federal and unitary systems of government. 

12.6       Students understand the campaign and election process at the state and national level. 

12.6.1    Students analyze the role of political parties and interest groups. 

12.6.2    Students will examine the nomination process for presidential candidates and the role of general elections; and the function of the Electoral College.

12.6.3    Students will evaluate the role of polls, campaign advertising, and campaign funding. 

12.6.4    Students discuss the role of direct democracy as exemplified in the process of initiatives, referendums, and recall elections.