School Improvement in Maryland
.
.
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE 2000 GOVERNMENT FIELD TESTING
 
SKILLS AND PROCESSES

  • Students need more instruction and guidance in analyzing government related cartoons, graphs, maps, charts, quotes and textual material.
     
  • Students need instruction in using the social studies rubric and practice in writing constructed responses. Peer review using the rubric might provide useful assistance.
     
  • Students need to know that constructed response questions are open ended. For example, students could take either position on the constitutionality of gun control, as long as they support their response.
     
CONTENT

Goal 1 - Political Systems

  • Students need instruction in state and local government as well as national government.
     
  • Students need to be exposed to regional interest topics that involve lobbying and special interest groups.
     
  • Students need more instruction in a broader range of citizen participation: joining interest groups, making appointments with legislatures, giving testimony at hearings, working on a campaign.
     
  • Students need instructional opportunities to apply the decisions of noted Supreme Court cases to subsequent cases.
     
Goal 2 - Peoples of the Nation and World (United States Foreign Relations)

  • Students need additional knowledge of how our government interacts in the world arena. The assessment provides guidelines for instruction in this area.
     
  • Students need additional instruction with the different types of governments and their economic systems.
     
  • Students need additional instruction with the forms of government.
     
  • Students need instruction beyond global cooperation so that they can apply and evaluate topics on world affairs.
     
Goal 3 - Geography

  • Students need instruction on how government-funding decisions are affected by demographic factors at t he national, state and local level. For example: A rural county with a small population has some of the budgetary concerns as a large suburban county, but many other concerns are different.
     
  • Students need instruction on how government at all levels (national, state and local) can affect and can be affected by land use and other environmental issues. They should have knowledge of zoning, Smart Growth, and water/air quality issues.
     
  • Students need to know that regional interests can affect government policy. For example: Many Chesapeake Bay issues require the attention of multiple governments, with decisions made at each level.
     
Goal 4 Economics
  • Students need additional instruction on the role that government (at all levels) plays in the economy. The assessment limits provide guidelines for instruction in this goal.
     
  • Students need additional instruction with the three basic economic questions: what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce.
     
  • Students need instruction that integrates economics with the function of government. For example: teaching fiscal policy while discussing the legislative process for approving executive budget proposals.