School Improvement in Maryland
What do the assessments test? Government

Political Systems | Peoples Of The Nation & World | Geography | Economics |

 
The High School Assessments student's knowledge of Core Learning Goals at the indicator level. Some indicators have assessment limits which indicate more specifically what will be assessed. Assessment items and other instructional resources at the indicator level can be viewed in the CLG Toolkit.

Goal 1 Political Systems

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the historical development and current status of principles, institutions, and processes of political systems.

Expectation

1.1 The student will demonstrate understanding of the structure and functions of government and politics in the United States.

Indicators

1.1.1 The student will analyze historic documents to determine the basic principles of United States government and apply them to real-world situations.

Assessment limits:
  • Documents: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Students are to know which rights/protections are addressed by the first ten amendments. Students are not expected to know the contents of any document by number.
  • Other documents and amendments may be used to assess the principles, but information will be provided.
  • Basic principles: federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, representative democracy, limited government, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, consent of the governed, majority rule, popular sovereignty, equal protection.

1.1.2 The student will evaluate how the principles of government assist or impede the functioning of government.

Assessment limits:
  • Concepts: federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, representative democracy, limited government, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, consent of the governed, majority rule, popular sovereignty, equal protection, and eminent domain.
  • Federal and Maryland state government: Legislative, Executive and Judicial – powers, structure and organization.
  • Local government will be assessed in terms of powers and responsibilities.
  • Selection of National and Maryland state leaders: Electoral College and election/appointment processes.

1.1.3 The student will evaluate roles and policies the government has assumed regarding public issues.

Assessment limits:
  • Public issues:
    • Environment (pollution, land use)
    • Entitlements (Social Security, welfare)
    • Health care and public health (costs, substance abuse, diseases)
    • Censorship (media, technology)
    • Crime (prevention, punishments)
    • Equity (race, ethnicity, region, religion, gender, language, Socioeconomic status, age, and individuals with disabilities)

1.1.4 The student will explain roles and analyze strategies individuals or groups may use to initiate change in governmental policy and institutions.

Assessment limits:
  • Political parties, interest groups, lobbyists, candidates, citizens, and the impact of the media on elections, elected officials and public opinion.
  • Referendum and initiative processes.
Expectation

1.2 The student will evaluate how the United States government has maintained a balance between protecting rights and maintaining order.

Indicators

1.2.1 The student will analyze the impact of landmark Supreme Court decisions on governmental powers, rights, and responsibilities of citizens in our changing society.

Assessment limits:
  • Cases included: Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Gideon v. Wainwright, Tinker v. Des Moines Board of Education, and New Jersey v. T.L.O.
  • Other cases that address the same issues could be used, but information about these cases will be provided in the item.

1.2.2 The student will analyze legislation designed to protect the rights of individuals and groups and to promote equity in American society.

Assessment limits:
  • Legislation that addresses the rights of individuals and groups: minority and women’s rights, civil rights (affirmative action), and Native American rights.
  • Legislation that addresses immigration policies.
  • Information about the legislation will be provided in the item.

1.2.3 The student will evaluate the impact of governmental decisions and actions that have affected the rights of individuals and groups in American society and/or have affected maintaining order and/or safety.

Assessment limits:
  • Presidential use of power and executive orders affecting rights, order, and/or safety.
  • National government agencies’ actions affecting rights, order, and/or safety.
  • State actions affecting rights, order, and/or safety.

1.2.4 The student will evaluate the principle of due process.

Assessment limits:
  • Fifth Amendment due process clause.
  • Fourteenth Amendment due process clause.
  • Procedural due process and the incorporation doctrine under the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Information about due process cases will be provided in the item.

1.2.5 The student will analyze elements, proceedings, and decisions related to criminal and civil law.

Assessment limits:
  • Compare and contrast the elements, proceedings and decisions of civil and criminal law.
  • Civil law: plaintiff, defendant, contract, breach of contract, torts (lawsuits involving negligence), damages, preponderance of evidence, petit jury, and out-of-court settlements.
  • Criminal law: defendant, prosecutor, reasonable doubt, felony, misdemeanor, grand jury, indictment, probable cause, presumption of innocence, plea bargaining, writ of habeas corpus, and subpoena.
Date: 8/2004