School Improvement in Maryland
Sample Item Scoring Information Return

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 d. Describe the expansion of the powers of the national government in the decision of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Have the students write “friend of the Court” arguments addressing one of the two major constitutional issues raised in the McCulloch case: either the meaning of the “necessary and proper” clause or the notion of federal supremacy. Be sure the students’ arguments either defend or warn against the expansion of federal power that “might” result from the Court ruling in favor of McCulloch over Maryland.