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AP US Government

AP US Government

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AP US Government

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  1. AP US Government 2011-12 School Year Methacton High School Mrs. Ladson

  2. Agenda/Topics to Be Covered • Personal Background • Course Goals • Resources (texts, etc.) • What have we done so far this year? • Curriculum Units • Classroom Policies/Grading • Preparation for the AP Test

  3. Personal Background - Education • Methacton School District Grad (1986) • Penn State UniversityUndergraduate degree in Secondary Education Social Studies (1990) • Chestnut Hill College – Master’s Degree in Technology in Education (1998) • Numerous continuing education classes on politics and government

  4. Personal Background – Work Experience • Christina School District, Delaware 1991-1993. • Taught 7th and 8th grade American history and a criminal law elective. • Arcola Intermediate School from 1993-2005. • 7th grade ancient world history. • Chestnut Hill College from 2002-2004 • Taught undergraduate education classes focusing on technology use. • Methacton High School 2005- present • Currently teaching AP US and Honors level Government classes.

  5. Class Goals • Provide an overview of how the US government/democracy functions. • Take part in “political labs” activities to develop a stronger understanding of concepts discussed in class and the text. • Budget simulation • Mock city council • Mock political parties • Mock elections • Mock Congress • Debates and Seminars • Students will further develop their own personal ideology on various topics discussed in class and become a more knowledgeable and active citizen. • Prepare students for the AP US Government exam that takes place in May.

  6. Texts and Readings • American Government • 2 texts that stay at home for homework assignments (1 is brand new this year, other is about 10 years old) • Both are AP College Board approved texts • Lanahan Reader on American Politics • Collection of various articles – recent and classic - that coordinates with our curriculum • AP approved • Various up-to-date articles on topics being discussed in class.

  7. Additional Resources • Annual Editions Reading series • American Government • Local and State government • (2) Mobile labs are shared between 4 government teachers.

  8. What have we done so far this year? • Domestic Policy • Social Security • Medicare • Unemployment • Aid to low income families • Welfare, medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, Head Start, etc. • Education Policy (charters, vouchers, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top) • Environmental Policy

  9. What have we done so far this year? • Economic Policy • Tax revenues for local, state and national governments • Income taxes • Capital gains • Sales • Property tax • Federal government budget process (fiscal policy) • Deficit spending • Budget simulation • How does the government try to regulate the economy in general? (monetary policy) • Federal Reserve (Interest rates, reserves, bond rates) • Economic Theories (Keynesian, Reaganomics, supply-side tax cuts, etc.

  10. What have we done so far this year? • “Super Committee Project” • 40 point group project • Create 3 goals for the country and spend money to meet those goals • Cut 1.5 trillion from deficit (even after increased spending) Federal Budget Challenge – Concord Coalition http://www.federalbudgetchallenge.org/budget_challenge/sim/budget_master.html New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html White House Budget Information 2012

  11. What have we done so far this year? • Currently working on our Constitution unit • Primary documents that influenced the writers of our constitution • Political philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu) • British documents (Magna Carta, British Bill of Rights 1600’s) • Early American documents (Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, state constitutions from 1770s and 1780’s) • Analysis of US Constitution • Articles 1-7 • Amendments • Formal and Informal methods to amend US Constitution

  12. Major Units - Semester 1 • Policy Unit • Economic • Domestic/Social • Constitution • Judicial Branch • Civil Liberties and Rights • Federalism • Political Participation, Ideology, Public Opinion • Political Parties A full class syllabus is available on-line through my teacher website.

  13. Major Units – Semester 2 • Campaigns and Elections • Congress • Interest Groups • Media • Presidency • Bureaucracy (federal departments and agencies) • Intensive AP Test Prep

  14. After the AP Test • Criminal Law • Jury duty • Possible mock trial project • Personal Finance • Credit ratings and borrowing money • Personal investments

  15. Grading Policy • Grading • 80% - quizzes, tests, projects • Tests and quizzes need to be made up within one week. • Late projects lose a letter grade, every day they are late. • 10% Homework • No late work unless student is sick – then only two days per day absent. • 10% Class participation • 5% verbal which is tracked at least 3X a week by teacher. • 5% is written assignments completed in class and handed in to the teacher. • MHS Academic Code will be enforced.

  16. Classroom Policies • Biggest concern is make up work from missed classes. • Two days make up for every day sick. • “Educational travel” includes trips to visit colleges, field trips, etc. – All work needs to be gathered ahead of time and is due when the student returns. • MHS official limit for educational travel is one week. • Will be flexible within reason. • Please be aware of cumulative effect of missed school days.

  17. My teacher website: • Go to Methacton High School web page • Choose teacher sites • Choose Cathy Ladson • Quiz, test, project, and HW dates are posted on-line

  18. Preparation for AP Test • Entire curriculum was approved through a College Board (AP) audit. • Text assignments for most of the chapters in the AP approved text. • Tests and essays are in AP style • Review sessions and practice tests in the spring. • Parents will receive a letter around February from me regarding registering for the test and advice about purchasing additional review books. • March – students must register for test

  19. 2010-2011 AP US GOV Test Results • Students taking the test (Ladson) 47 • Average score was a “4” (4.043) • MHS (Ladson) students % passing (3 or higher) = 96% • MHS students National % • 5’s-22 (47%) not available (around 10%) • 4’s-7 (15%) not available (around 10-15%) • 3’s-16 (34%) not available (around 25%) • 2’s-2 (4%) not available (around 25%) • 1’s-0 not available (around 25%) • 62% of my students earned a 4 or 5 on the test.

  20. 2009-2010 AP US GOV Test Results • Students taking the test – 66 • Average score was a “4” • MHS students % passing (3 or higher) = 93% • MHS students PA % National % • 5’s-23 (35%) 16% 12% • 4’s-15 (23%) 15% 13% • 3’s-23 (35%) 28% 26% • 2’s-5 21% 24% • 1’s-0 19% 25% • 58% of my students earned a 4 or 5

  21. 2008-2009 AP US GOV Test Results Methacton • 5’s— 27 (59%) • 4’s— 15 (33%) • 3’s —3 (7%) • 2’s— 1 (1%) • * 92% of my students earned a 4 or 5 Students taking the test– 46

  22. 2007-2008 AP US GOV Test Results Students taking the test– 56 Methacton Students vs. State Average • 5’s—26 (%46) %15 • 4’s— 4 (%7) %17 • 3’s—22 (39%) %28 • 2’s— 4 (7%) %24