School Improvement in Maryland

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System

Indicator 1. Analyze the influence of individuals and groups on shaping public policy

Objective d. Explain how the media, interest groups, and public opinion affected elected officials and government policy prior to the Civil War

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Direct the students to select an issue from early U.S. history, such as those listed in the lesson seed above. Then, have the students address the following brief constructed response prompt: “How did outside influences such as the media, interest groups, or public opinion affect the actions of public officials and bring about change as it relates to this issue? Be sure to provide details and examples in your response.”


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Selected Response Item

2010 NAEP Civics Item:

The Sierra Club is a nongovernmental organization that works to preserve and protect the environment.

What is an accurate statement about organizations such as the Sierra Club?

  1. These organizations are not democratic because they only allow certain people to become members.
  2. These organizations can often influence politics more than individuals can.
  3. These organizations are effective because they meet the needs of all members.
  4. These organizations tend to avoid controversial political issues.

Correct Answer:

Resources for Objective 1.B.1.d:
Clarifications | Lesson Seeds | SAMPLE ASSESSMENTS | Resource Links