School Improvement in Maryland

Public Release Item: Public Release items have appeared on HSA forms and then are released for public viewing and use. Releasing items is one step to ensuring that schools, districts, and other stakeholders understand how the core learning goals are assessed on the HSA.

Goal 4 Economics

Expectation 4.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of economic principles, institutions, and processes required to formulate government policy.

Indicator 4.1.2 The student will utilize the principles of economic costs and benefits and opportunity cost to analyze the effectiveness of government policy in achieving socio-economic goals.

Assessment Limits:

  • The role of scarcity and opportunity cost in government decision making.
  • Competing socio-economic goals including: economic freedom, growth, stability, equity, security, productivity, national defense, environmental protection, and educational quality.

Selected Response Item - Released in 2004

Read the news article excerpt below.

The benefits of the program in the excerpt are expected to outweigh the costs because

  1. large businesses support technology
  2. this type of business is an important part of the state economy
  3. leaders of this department want to run for political office
  4. private citizens will donate money
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2004_412_gov46.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2004

Which of these would most likely result if Congress increased the minimum wage?

  1. States would receive less tax revenue.
  2. Some companies would raise the price of products.
  3. Interest rates would be lowered to encourage spending.
  4. Some cities would raise property taxes on homes.
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2004_412_gov34.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2004

What is the opportunity cost for state governments that spend state money during natural disasters?

  1. Main highways between states may be blocked.
  2. Prices for snow removal equipment may increase.
  3. Other services offered by the states may have to be cut.
  4. State governments may receive additional highway funds.
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2004_412_gov36.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Selected Response Item - Released in 2005

The federal minimum wage in 2001 was $5.15 an hour.

Which of these best describes why the federal government would raise the minimum wage?

  1. to help workers find employment
  2. to help workers' wages keep up with inflation
  3. to increase the taxes on workers'wages
  4. to make sure all workers receive the same pay
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2005_412_gov05.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2005

Read the news article excerpt below.

The action described in the article above is intended to

  1. support local businesses
  2. generate revenue for the city
  3. promote economic equity in the area
  4. limit support for local businesses
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2005_412_gov30.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Selected Response Item - Released in 2005

Many states require people who receive public assistance to work in exchange for payments.

Which of these statements is most likely a goal of this requirement?

  1. The amount of tax revenue and spending will increase.
  2. The number of people receiving state benefits will increase.
  3. Individuals will have an opportunity to apply for other state benefits.
  4. Individuals will have an opportunity to learn new skills and get jobs.
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2005_412_gov39.xml

Correct Answer:
D

Selected Response Item - Released in 2009

Read the headline below.

Plan to increase Alaskan oil drilling

What is an economic cost most directly associated with the headline?

  1. less undeveloped land
  2. increased fuel prices
  3. decreased tax revenues
  4. greater job opportunities
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2009_412_gov59.xml

Correct Answer:
A

Selected Response Item - Released in 2009

Which of these government actions would most directly promote economic security?

  1. increasing airline safety requirements
  2. increasing benefits for the unemployed
  3. decreasing regulations for factory emissions
  4. decreasing federal gasoline taxes
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2009_412_gov75.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2009

Which of these actions would most likely help workers develop job skills?

  1. providing computer training programs
  2. establishing tax breaks for owners of small businesses
  3. providing union dues for unemployed workers
  4. establishing a government health-care plan for employees
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2009_412_gov77.xml

Correct Answer:
A

Selected Response Item - Released in 2009

The governor of Maryland chose to cut spending on road construction in order to increase spending for school construction.

Which economic principle is best demonstrated by this decision?

  1. economic freedom
  2. opportunity cost
  3. price controls
  4. supply and demand
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2009_412_gov81.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2006

The federal government passed a law reducing the amount of lumber that can be cut from national forests.

Which of these could be a result of this law?

  1. increased production of wood products
  2. higher prices for consumers of wood products
  3. decreased profits for manufacturers of non-wood products
  4. decreased taxes for the non-wood manufacturing industry
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2006_412_gov16.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2006

Which of these is an economic cost of an airport being built near a small town?

  1. lower tax revenue
  2. fewer business opportunities
  3. more unemployment
  4. increased demand on public services
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2006_412_gov20.xml

Correct Answer:
D

Selected Response Item - Released in 2007

Which of these is an economic benefit of lower tax rates?

  1. better public services
  2. more consumer spending
  3. expanded government programs
  4. larger number of government employees
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2007_412_gov05.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2007

A local government has a limited amount of money to spend. It decides to spend the money to support local businesses instead of to remove trash from unused buildings and vacant lots.

Which of these is the opportunity cost of this decision?

  1. tax revenue
  2. jobs for local residents
  3. a clean environment
  4. profits for business owners
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2007_412_gov10.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Selected Response Item - Released in 2007

The federal government allows individuals to take income tax deductions for contributions they make to charities. This practice results in a loss of tax revenue for the government.

Which of these best explains why the government allows this type of tax deduction?

  1. to encourage charities to hire more workers
  2. to encourage people to pay their taxes on time
  3. to increase the benefits provided by charities
  4. to increase the amount of government regulations
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2007_412_gov52.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item - Released in 2008

Read the information below and use it to answer the BRIEF CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE that follows.

In 2002, the Maryland General Assembly voted to purchase undeveloped land on the Chesapeake Bay before a construction company could purchase it. The state plans to use the land as a park for recreational activities.

  • Describe the opportunity costs and the benefits of the purchase.
  • Is it appropriate for the state government to buy undeveloped land? Explain why or why not.
  • Include details and examples to support your answer.

Write your answer on the lines in your Answer Book.

/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2008_412_gov10.xml

View Scoring Information

Selected Response Item - Released in 2008

Which of these is an economic benefit of the federal minimum wage law?

  1. Workers are guaranteed a certain income.
  2. Employers are encouraged to hire more workers.
  3. Employers are required to train more workers.
  4. Workers are allowed to organize into unions.
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2008_412_gov27.xml

Correct Answer:
A

Selected Response Item - Released in 2008

Which of these is the main economic cost of the federal government removing taxes on imported goods?

  1. a decline in the number of people who visit the United States
  2. a reduction in the number of countries willing to trade with the United States
  3. a reduction in the ability of United States businesses to compete with foreign companies
  4. a decline in employment opportunities for United States workers with foreign companies
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2008_412_gov31.xml

Correct Answer:
C

Selected Response Item - Released in 2008

Which of these is an economic benefit of the government providing unemployment payments to people who have lost their jobs?

  1. tax rates decline
  2. consumer spending levels remain stable
  3. job opportunities for younger workers increase
  4. businesses have fewer people to choose from when hiring new employees
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2008_412_gov45.xml

Correct Answer:
B

Selected Response Item - Released in 2006

Which of these is a way the government promotes economic equity and fairness?

  1. redistributing income
  2. increasing interest rates
  3. monitoring tax rates on exports
  4. decreasing the money supply
/share/clg/xml/public_release/government/2006_412_gov04.xml

Correct Answer:
A