Monday, April 22, 2013

Government: Public Participation

Changes in public policy in the United States have often been the result of changes in American culture and values. New laws and policies have been written as a result of changes in attitudes toward voting rights, segregation, prohibition, affirmative action, citizenship and immigration, and minority rights, etc.

It is sometimes the Supreme Court that mandates changes in public policy. One such case is the case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, which required the nation to integrate its public schools and ended the long-held doctrine of separate, but equal facilities for blacks and whites in the public schools.

Please read the handouts on Racial Inequality (Public Education, Affirmative Action, & In the Courtroom). Answer the questions for each section.

Some vocabulary to familiarize yourself with before the reading...
  • plaintiff – person who brings a lawsuit against another
  • respondent – person who is being sued
  • separate but equal doctrine – laws allowing separate facilities for blacks and whites as long as the facilities were equal; established in the case of Plessy  v. Ferguson (1896)
  • objective factors (in measuring segregation’s effect in schools) – things which can be measured, such as number of books, condition of buildings, number of teachers
  • subjective factors – things which are difficult to measure such as reputation of faculty, prestige of a degree from a particular school, reputation of graduates, networking
  • affirmative action - policies that required active measures be taken to ensure that blacks and other minorities enjoyed the same opportunities for promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid that had been the nearly exclusive province of whites

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Government: Comparative Government research project

This project is designed to have you research and report on the basic governmental system of an existing foreign nation. The information will be used by you and the class to compare and contrast governmental systems worldwide, and to draw conclusions about the purpose of government in general.  

Directions:1.  Pick a foreign country.  Get Teacher approval.
3   Identify the type of government your country has. 
  • Find out if it has a constitution. If it does not, find out how it functions without one.
  • Identify the structure of the government based on its constitution (or other framework):
    • Does it have one or several branches? 
    • What are they? 
    • What are they called?
    • What are their functions?
4.  Identify political parties:
  •   How many are there?
  •   What are they called (translate into English)?
  •   What do the major ones represent (i.e., business, farming, military, socialism,
       communism, etc.)?
  • How do these parties shape government outcomes?
  • Do they have seats in a congress (or a representative body) & how many?
5.  Gather any related information about your country -- its population, economic
     productivity, social structures, etc., that would help to explain your country's
     government, its governmental functions and its parties.
6.  Identify the type of government
     your country has -- is it a democracy or a dictatorship? Is it unitary, federal,
     parliamentary, presidential, or what?
7.  Lastly, find an article that indicates how this government works in actual practice.
     Many governments look good on paper, but are different in practice.


Prepare a short (10-15 minute per group) oral report based on your research and present to the class.  Your job is to teach the class.  Your presentation should include a Display Poster (or optional PowerPoint presentation) that includes: map of country, diagram of governmental structure, number of political parties, list of main parties and what they represent, basic population structure of country, main industries and occupations, plus a current event exhibit or document that demonstrates some aspect of government in action.  Make your display and oral report clear (and large) enough so that the rest of the class can take notes easily and use your information on a future test.

Your grade will be based on the quality of your information, your understanding of the information, the clarity of your presentation, as well as sother hand-in requirements.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Economics: Jack & The Beanstalk

Fairy tales have always been used to give lessons about life. The story of Jack and the Bean Stalk is a good lesson about the importance of knowing about money and banks. 

In this lesson you will list the roles and functions of money, apply the definition of money to various alternatives to money, and describe the role of banks.

Lesson Link- EconEd Jack & The Beanstalk
Story Link- Jack & The Beanstalk Task #1-
Read through the assignment, answer all the questions, be sure and print your responses as well.

Task #2-
Using the answers to the questions above write a short paper on how the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk is related to money and banks.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Government: Path to citizenship

Let's take a look at one of the hottest topics out there, Immigration. What does it take to become a U.S. citizen? Is illegal immigration a problem  and why? What are the factors of immigration? and tons more...!

Today in my absence you will be starting a webquest on Immigration.

Task #1-

iCivics: Immigration

As you work your way through the webquest read each of the 9 web "pages" and visit each link provided.

Be sure to log into your iCivics account to record you visit to the page today. When on the iCivics webpage it records for me how long you're on the page, what games you played (like when you played the Counties work game).

When finished, you may play any games on the iCivics website as well. If you have not finished the Counties Work game, please do that as well.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Government: Counties Work Game

Link for Game

  1. Create a login for your game (Class Registration code is "Roberts18220")
  2. Select, New Game
  3. Choose a County Name (an appropriate one of your choice or a random one)
  4. Choose an Avatar
  5. Choose a City Seal
  6. Start Game
  7. Read the tutorial instructions prior to starting your game
  8. Play your Game! :)
  9. I will ask you to log in later to check your progress, score and achievements in the game. Have Fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Economics: How to go to college debt free

Task #1-

It is possible to gain a higher education debt free. Here are some thoughts on just how to do that...

Video: How to survive college without a loan

After watching the video...

Task #2-

Even if you are not considering a higher education after high school. You should still take a look at what college or program may be right for you. Search for the right higher education place for you...
Big Future Link

Select each filter on the left side and choose your preferences for each. You can even use the slider on the left to indicate how important certain characteristics are to you. If there is a characteristic that is not important to you, simply do not make a selection. If there is a characteristic you are unsure of, view the details on the right hand side for more information before you make your choice.

When you have completed the "survey" post your results below in the comments section...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Economics: To Debt or not to Debt...

With student loan debt now nearing $1 trillion, "Need to Know" looks at the dilemma facing young people:
go to college and likely accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in debt or more, or skip it and risk never qualifying for a higher paying job.

Task #1-
Watch the following video... Video Link

Task #2-
On your own paper write a minimum of two paragraphs. One paragraph summarizing what you learned in the video. Then a second paragraph stating what you feel your financial situation will lead you to decide in your choice of higher education.