School Improvement in Maryland

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic C. Protecting Rights and Maintaining Order

Indicator 1. Examine the impact of governmental decisions on individual rights and responsibilities in the United States

Objective a. Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens, such as freedom of speech, religion, and press, and explain why these responsibilities are important

Extended Constructed Response (ECR) Item

Have the students write an extended constructed response to this question:

In a democratic system of government, can rights exist without responsibilities? How do events from early U.S. history illustrate this point?


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Selected Response Item

2010 NAEP Civics Item:

At one time, some states required voters to pay a special tax before they could vote. Not every citizen could afford to pay the tax, so those people could not vote.

Which democratic idea does this law go against?

  1. Power in a democracy should be shared equally by people who vote and people who do not vote.
  2. Everyone in a democracy should be able to afford to pay taxes.
  3. Wealthier people often do not understand how democracy works.
  4. All citizens have a right to participate in politics.

Correct Answer:

Selected Response Item

2006 NAEP Civics Item:

The following question refers to the summons below.

Summons letter to report to the Jury Coordinator's office at the Circuit Court for Central County.

Which of the following is the best reason why people should serve on juries when they are called?

  1. People who are on juries earn a lot of money for the services they give the court.
  2. People can protect their right to a trial by jury only if citizens are willing to be on juries.
  3. People on juries have a lot of opportunities to express their political opinions.
  4. Our system of justice only works if people with a lot of legal experience are on juries.

Correct Answer:

Selected Response Item

2010 NAEP Civics Item:

What problem in American politics is the subject of the cartoon above?

  1. Children are not learning enough about what their democratic rights are.
  2. Not enough people in the United States have the right to vote in democratic elections.
  3. People who do not really care about the country are trying to get elected to the government.
  4. People want democratic rights without really caring about their responsibilities to their country.

Correct Answer:

Selected Response Item

2010 NAEP Civics Item:

The following question is about the application for a parade permit shown below.

Which of the following is the best reason why the town has to accept most parade permit applications?

  1. Fees collected from parade permit applications are the main source of money for towns.
  2. The Constitution says that parades are an important part of American democracy.
  3. A majority of citizens support parades and large public gatherings.
  4. The right to assemble peacefully is guaranteed in the United States.

Correct Answer:

Selected Response Item

2010 NAEP Civics Item:

Which of the following is a duty that United States citizens over the age of 18 are usually required by law to perform?

  1. Serve on a jury
  2. Vote in an election
  3. Belong to a political party
  4. Run for political office

Correct Answer:

Resources for Objective 1.C.1.a:
Clarifications | Lesson Seeds | SAMPLE ASSESSMENTS | Resource Links