• AP Gov Blog # 13

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 4/25/2022

    This will be our last blog before we take our exam.  We will use this opportunity to revisit the 1st Amendment and expand our knowledge of the Court's interpretation of the 1st Amendment in relation to prayer in school.. 

    1.  How does this case compare to Engle v. Vitale (1962).  How are they similar and how are they different?

    2. Explain the Court's decision in Engle v. Vitale.

    4.  How do you anticipate the Court deciding Kennedy v. Bremerton School District?  What factors will influence the justices'decision making? 


    Supreme Court revisits prayer in school in football coach case

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  • AP Gov. Blog # 12

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 4/11/2022

    Recently in class we been studying American political ideologies and beliefs. We have learned that American political beliefs are shaped by many factors including the family, founding ideals, core values, political parties, and the changing demographics of citizens.  As we give this further consideration I would like you to read the article and answer the questions below.


    1. How are American political beliefs formed and how do they evolve over time?
    2. The article offers different perspectives regarding the influence of family in reference to our political beliefs. How influential would you say family is when it comes to the development of such beliefs?
    3. How do political ideology and core values influence government policy making?


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  • AP Gov. Blog # 11

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 3/21/2022

    This week we will conclude our study of civil liberties and civil rights. We have learned that civil liberties are basic human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and beyond.  We have also learned that civil rights is the entitlement to equality and fairness to all people regardless of their race, gender, age etc. Many groups historically and currently have engaged in a series of struggles to embrace and protect their rights. Constitutional amendments, executive orders, and countless laws and policies have been passed to help guarantee equality for all.  One such policy example would be affirmative action programs established by government to redress discrimination in the work place. Affirmative action programs were initially introduced by President Kennedy in 1961, but have since dwindled due to the fact that many consider such programs to be an example of reverse discrimination. For this weeks blog I would like for us to learn more about affirmative action programs and consider whether or not such programs are an effective way to prevent discrimination on the work palce. Click on each of the links below and read about affirmative action programs and then respond to the following questions:


    1. What are affirmative action programs?
    2. Is affirmative action best administered according to the degree of inequity? If so, which groups should come first?
    3. Many argue these programs are a form of reverse discrimination, how would you respond to this assretion?
    4. After reading both Court cases, summarize the Court’s position regarding affirmative action in relation to the college admissions process. Explain whether or not you agree or disagree with their position.



    Affirmative Action


     Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)


    University of Michigan Law School in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)


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  • AP Gov. Blog # 10.

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 3/14/2022

    As we end our unit on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I thought it would be a good idea to use this week’s blog as an opportunity to reflect on the struggle that many citizens have endured in order to be treated equally under the law. So for this week’s blog I would like for you to click on the links and answer the questions posted below:


    1. Describe the provisions outlined in both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Who benefits from these acts and in what ways? 
    2. Identify a group that has faced discrimination in the past and, with an example, explain how the Supreme Court has at times allowed the restriction of the civil rights of minority groups and at other times has protected those rights (do not use the Brown decision).
    3. Can you think of any groups who still face discrimination? In what ways are they treated unfairly and what will it take to end this? Are there already laws in place to protect them?


    The Voting Rights Act 1965

    The Civil Rights Act 1964

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  • AP Government Blog # 9

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 2/28/2022

    Last week Russia invaded Ukraine, a sovereign democratic country. This is the largest invasion of a country by a ruthless dictator since WWII and no doubt will produce devastating consequences.  For this week´s blog I would like us to research this situation and consider what our government should do in response to Putin's barbaric actions.


    1. Summarize your understanding of the events unfolding in Ukraine? 


    2.  What actions has our government taken so far regarding this situation? What foreign policy tools has our government used? 

    3.  Moving forward, how should the United States respond to this situation?  What formal and informal powers can the president exercise?  What powers can Congress exercise?

    4.  How do you think this situation will end? What are the broader implications of this conflict?


    Why is Russia invading Ukraine and what does Putin want?





    Comments (13)
  • AP Gov Blog # 8

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 2/7/2022

    As we begin to conclude our study of the Judicial Branch of government, I would like for us to reflect on the role of this branch and the importance of presidential judicial appointments.  

    "During the spring 2020 presidential primaries, days before his set of big wins on Super Tuesday, Biden pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, if elected. Now, with the chance to do so, just over three-quarters of Americans (76%) want Biden to consider "all possible nominees." Just 23% want him to automatically follow through on his history-making commitment that the White House seems keen on seeing through."

    Q1.  How do you feel about President Biden's decision to appoint the first African American female to the U.S. Supreme Court?  Do you stand with the 76% surveyed who would rather the president consider "all possible nominees"? Or, do you stand with the 23% surveyed who want him to follow through with his commitment? Defend your response.  

    Q2.  Describe how ideological changes in the composition of the Supreme Court due to presidential appointments have led to the Court’s establishing new or rejecting existing precedents.  Give at least one example.

    Q3.  Explain how the other branches of government can limit the Supreme Court’s power.


    Supreme Court Vacancy


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  • AP Blog # 7.

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 12/3/2021

    This week we will continue our study of the three branches of government.  As you know the executive branch is headed by the President and the Vice President with their primary role being to enforce laws passed by the U.S. Congress.  In order to do this the president is afforded many powers, some formal and some informal. One such informal power is the power of bargaining and persuasion.  This particular informal power enables the president to secure congressional action. Currently President Biden is using this power to generate support from the U.S. Senate to secure the passage of a massive $2.2 trillion social spending bill. 

    Given that we have a unified government, it may be easier for the President to secure the passage of this bill.  However, it may not be plain sailing as many Americans are concerned with the cost of the legislation and the potential future economic ramifications. To help further our understanding of this legislation I would like for you to read the articles below and respond to the questions.


    Q1.  Read the first two articles and summarize the major categories of spending that this bill will cover. 

    Q2.  Click the policy link.  From your reading determine whether this spending bill fits in line with Keynesian economic policy or laissez-faire economic policy. Explain your answer. 

    Q3.  How persuasive will President Biden need to be when it comes to the Senate? Explain your answer. 

    Q4. Should the Senate pass this legislation?  Explain your answer and in doing so site specific pros and cons associated with it. 


    Dems’ $1.7T spending bill clears House, but Senate changes loom.

    How Much Does Biden’s Spending Bill Actually Cost?

    Economic Policy

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  • AP Gov. Blog # 6.

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 11/1/2021

    One topic this course emphasizes is that Congress is the "first branch of government." What that exactly means today is often up for interpretation.  The Framers gave the Congress the power to tax, the power to make laws and the power to fund nation's programs-just to name a few. Most Americans, however, give the President the blame or credit--depending on their ideological point of view. With our two party system, bills are being introduced and supported along party lines. This polarization between the 2 parties sometimes seems as wide as the Pacific Ocean. What to do? What kind of compromises will be hammered out, if any?  Here is what I would like you to do this week:

    1. Click on the first website below. Pick one proposed bill to study. Click on the bill first, then study 3 tabs (overview, summary, details) about the bill. You can also click on the 4th tab, text, if you want to read your chosen bill in detail. Come back here to comment on what you think our course of action should be.  Which side do you most agree with and why? What should we do about this issue?
    2. Next, go to the second link to public opinion polls and find out on what a majority of Americans think.  How do your views stack up? In your post, make it apparent to me that you have studied the trends.

    Bills and Resolutions of the 117th Congress


    Gallup Polling Topics A-Z

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  • AP Gov Blog #5

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 10/24/2021

    Last week we completed our first unit of study and ended it by exploring the concept of federalism.  We looked at the approaches to federalism taken by people like Madison, Roosevelt, and Reagan. We learned that Madison appeared to favor the concept of dual federalism, while Rosselvelt prefered the top down approach, and Reagan the bottom up approach. We also learned that the national government has been able to get involved in various programs traditionally reserved to the states via their ability offer states federal funds which often come with conditions, unless it is an unfunded mandate. Overall I think we have been able to conclude the concept and practice of federalism is something that is not clear cut and can it times become complicated. With that being said, for this week’s blog I would like you to reflect on this unit and draw a conclusion as to what you think federalism should look like. Read the article below and answer the following questions:


    1. Which approach to federalism do you prefer? Do you prefer dual federalism like Madison, the top down approach taken by Rosselvelt, or perhaps the bottom up approach taken by Reagan?
    2. In reference to the unfunded mandates discussed in the article, which of the above presidents would most likely be in support of these and why? Who would most likely oppose and why?
    3. Evaluate the extent to which you believe unfunded mandates are necessary. Select an unfunded mandate not mentioned in the article to help support your argument.


    Unfunded Mandates

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  • AP Gov. Blog # 4.

    Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 10/11/2021

    Chapter 3 looks at the complicated aspect of federalism in our republic.  This principle sets our nation apart from most others. The states created the national republic, but it might be argued that most of the Framers would be appalled at how few true powers the states have retained.  The 10th Amendment was intended to protect the states by reserving to them any power not delegated to the federal government or specifically denied to them. That was 1791! The line between federal and state authority has continued to be erased by the 14th Amendment, federal money and the Commerce Clause's interpretation.  Education, marriage, and elections have all traditionally been viewed as "reserved powers" of the states. This rationale follows the language of the Tenth Amendment...there are no provisions giving the federal government dominion over any of these; nor are the powers denied to the states; so these powers belong to the states, right?  But issues become the federal government's business when, as in the gay marriage debate and the right to vote, they seemingly violate the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. But the issue of education reform is a bit murkier. Education becomes the federal government's business when it is their money being used by the states. We have seen a litany of federal education reform laws that have been vilified by nearly everyone. From No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top and Every Student Succeeds Act. All of this leads us to question the extent of the federal government’s involvement in public education.  With that being said, I would like you to read the article below and respond to the following questions:

    1.  Do you support a 10th or a 14th Amendment view? In other words, who should make decisions about education: local boards, the states or the federal government? Give me some insight about the reasoning of your view
    2. As a student with over 12 years experience in public education, what do you perceive are the biggest problems and how would you solve them?


    “Federal policy makers made serious mistakes during the NCLB years — they chose a flawed approach to raising student achievement, did too little to help states pay for the changes they mandated, and trampled on the authority of state and district leaders to make their own decisions about school reform. But these errors are a good reason to rethink the federal strategy, not diminish the government’s ability to contribute to school improvement. There is both strong precedent and an urgent need for the federal government to continue to play an active role in K-12 education. Certainly, it should try to stay out of decisions that are best left to governors, state legislators, school boards, superintendents, and teachers, but when local leaders are unable or unwilling to provide for all children’s needs, federal policy makers have an obligation to become involved.”


    1. Summarize what you believe should be the federal government's role in public education.  Be specific.  For example, do you think it should be limited to providing funds that states can use at their discretion?  Or, should they be able to mandate how federal funds are used?  


    The Federal Government’s role in K-12 Education

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Last Modified on April 25, 2022