Teacher:Mr. David Clagett
Voicemail:724-941-6251 ext. 5408
Email (to receive a faster response):ClagettD@pt-sd.org
Office Hours: Thurs. 2:30-3:30 pm and by appointment
Course Objectives: By June, students will be able to…
• demonstrate a basic understanding of the American political system.
• analyze the American political system and identify ways in which it could be improved.
• express and justify their individual political beliefs.
• explain the importance of political participation.
• demonstrate the development of the skills and qualities desired by future employers.
Course Description: The course content covers information about: the foundations of government; the United States political system; the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; citizenship rights and responsibilities; the structures and functions of state and local governments; and a global perspective on governmental relationships.
Textbook:United States Government: Democracy in Action
5 Simple Expectations:
#1 – You will arrive on time, properly dressed (see student handbook), and prepared to work.
#2 – You will treat everyone with respect.
#3 – You will use technology appropriately.
#4 – No food or drink.
#5 – No whining!
* I expect you to bring your textbook; your class binder (see below) with paper; and, a pen or pencil.
* You will need to keep a 1” (one inch) 3-Ring Binder for this class. It will be divided into three sections – 1. Warm-up Sheets 2. Notes 3. Handouts. You will keep all of your notes and handouts I distribute in the binder.
* I recommend 3"x5" index cards to create vocabulary flashcards.
1. Repeated unexcused tardiness and absence from class will both jeopardize your grade and lead to disciplinary action.
2. If you miss class, you are entitled to make-up work only if you have an excused absence.
You can get your make-up work before school or after school. Sometimes, you can get make-up work using my website too (listed above). I will not spend class time providing make-up work during class unless time permits.
Class Work: We will have class work every class. Students are required to have the appropriate supplies as well as a positive attitude to complete their class work. Unless indicated otherwise, all assignments must be handwritten.
Homework: Homework is a necessary extension of the learning that takes place in the classroom. Unless indicated otherwise, all assignments must be handwritten. Homework that is submitted late will receive half credit unless it is the result of an excused absence.
Tests and Quizzes: Tests and quizzes will be a mix of multiple choice questions, matching, short answer questions, and essay questions.
IMPORTANT:During testing and quiz sessions, students may not have out any electronic devices (cell phones, pagers, calculators, cameras, iPods, gaming devices, etc.) or non-test materials (books, magazines, newspapers, notebooks, planners, etc.) This policy is in effect during the session from the initial distribution of testing materials to the collection of testing materials from ALL students. Students in violation will receive a ZERO on the assessment NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
Grading:A point system is utilized to determine a student’s grade. Daily homework, classroom activities, assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests are assigned appropriate point values. The total points earned by a student in a report period are divided by the total possible points and a percentage is computed. Total points per report period may vary depending upon the content and activities involved. Grades are updated regularly and are available at -https://powerschool.pt-sd.org/public/
90-100% = A
80-89% = B
70-79% = C
60-69% = D
59-below = F
Final Grade:A student’s final grade for the course is computed using the grade points (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) from each of the four quarters and the final exam using the formula below.
(2xQ1) + (2xQ2) + (2xQ3) + (2xQ4) + (1xExam)
Beginning this school year, Peters Township High School has adopted a new policy on personal technology devices (laptops, tablets, etc.): “Students are permitted to bring their own technology devices to school for educational use as authorized by school administration and as defined by individual classroom teachers.” Students are expected to use the technology responsibly as directed by the teacher. Unauthorized use, off task behavior (games, emailing, tweeting, IM-ing, etc.), classroom disruption, or accessing inappropriate content will be punished with disciplinary action.
Home Access to Technology:
Some homework assignments may require students to access the internet. Students will need to begin thinking about how they will gain access. If the internet is unavailable at home, students need to either make arrangements with friends and relatives or make use of the community or school libraries. Some assignments may also require the use of a printer.
Unit 1 – Foundations of American Democracy
Chapter 1: People and Government
m Section 1: Principles of Government
m Section 2: The Formation of Governments
m Section 3: Types of Government
Chapter 2: Origins of American Government
m Section 1: The Colonial Period
m Section 2: Uniting for Independence
m Section 3: The Articles of Confederation
m Section 4: The Constitutional Convention
Chapter 3: The Constitution
m Section 1: Structure and Principles
m Section 2: Three Branches of Government
m Section 3: Amending the Constitution
m Section 4: TheAmendments (11-27)
Chapter 4: The Federal System
m Section 1: National and State Powers
m Section 2: Relations Among the States
m Section 3: Developing Federalism
m Section 4: Federalism and Politics
Unit 2 – The Legislative Branch
Chapter 5: The Organization of Congress
m Section 1: Congressional Membership
m Section 2: The House ofRepresentatives
m Section 3: The Senate
m Section 4: Congressional Committees
Chapter 6: Development of Congressional Powers
m Section 1: Constitutional Powers
m Section 2: Investigation and Oversight
m Section 3: Congress and thePresident
Chapter 7: Congress At Work
m Section 1: How a Bill Becomes a Law
m Section 2: Taxing and Spending Bills
m Section 3: Influencing Congress
Unit 3 – The Executive Branch
Chapter8: The Presidency
m Section 1: President and Vice-President
m Section 2: Electing the President
m Section 3: The Cabinet
Chapter 9: The Powers and Duties of the President
m Section 1: Presidential Powers
m Section 2: Presidential Roles
Unit4 – The Federal Judiciary
Chapter 11: The Federal Court System
m Section 1: Powers of the Federal Courts
m Section 2: Lower Federal Courts
m Section 3: The Supreme Court
Chapter 12: Supreme Court Decision-Making
m Section 1: The Supreme Court at Work
m Section 2: Shaping Public Policy
m Section 3: Influencing Court Decisions
Unit 5 – Liberty and Justice For All
Chapter 13: Constitutional Freedoms
m The Bill of Rights Introduction
m Chapter 13: The First Amendment
o Section 1:The Establishment Clause
o Section 2:Free Exercise Clause
o Section 3:Freedom of Speech
o Section 4:Freedom of Press
m Second Amendment
Chapter 14: Citizenship and Equal Justice
m Section 3: The Rights of the Accused
m Section 4: Equal Protection of the Law
Unit 6 – Participating in Government
Chapter 14: Citizenship and Equal Justice
m Section 1: A Nation of Immigrants
m Section 2: The Basis of Citizenship
Chapter 16: Political Parties
m Chapter 16, Section 1: Political Parties
m Chapter 16, Section 2: Party Organization
m Chapter 16, Section 3: Nominating Candidates
Chapter 17: Elections and Voting
m Chapter 17, Section 1: Election Campaigns
m Chapter 17, Section 2: Expanding Voting Rights
m Chapter 17, Section 3: Influences on Voters
Chapter 18: Interest Groups and Public Opinion
m Chapter 18, Section 1: Interest Group Organization
m Chapter 18, Section 2: Affecting Public Policy
m Chapter 18, Section 3: Shaping Public Opinion
m Chapter 18, Section 4: Measuring Public Opinion
Unit 7 – State and Local Government
Structure and Function of State and Local Government
m Chapter 23, Section 1: State Constitutions
m Chapter 23, Section 2: The Three Branches
m Chapter 24, Section 1: Structure of Local Government
Disclaimer:This syllabus is not a contract, but rather a guide to course procedures on attendance, requirements, grading, and objectives. The instructor reserves the right to amend the syllabus when conflicts, emergencies, or situations arise that necessitate a change.
*My Personal Promise to You*
“I am very excited to work with you this year to see that you achieve the course objectives. I will work to make lessons effective, relevant, and ultimately memorable. I will also do my best to treat you fairly and help you to become a socially responsible, globally-aware citizen.”
- Mr. Clagett