• Thanksgiving Break--No Blog!

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 11/19/2017 6:00:00 PM

    Take this week to reflect on what you have, what you want from the future and where you are in those pursuits. I am so lucky to spend my 2nd bell with you every Monday-Friday. I feel blessed and am so thankful for all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Week 12: Two-Party System Fractures

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 11/12/2017 6:00:00 PM

    This week, we will start our unit on the Influences on our government. We will start this unit with political parties. I think we all may be a bit sick of the whole mess, but alas, we must perservere! With controversies still swirling around 2016's election outcomes, the drama is far from over. Both parties seem to be struggling for very different reasons. The Republican party is being torn in two by the moderate and conservative factions; the Democratic party is divided over the bitter primary that divided the party between Hillary and Bernie. Can both parties heal to tackle their agendas or are we destined to see a viable third party emerge? Here is what I would like you to do this week:

    1. Read both the Newsweek and Politico articles.
    2. Which party's division seems the deepest to you? Explain why.
    3. How would our country benefit from an emerging third party? What danger might there be to an emerging third party?
    4. What do you think it will take to heal each party?

    The last day to post your comments for full credit is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 17th.

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  • Week 11: Voting Demographics

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 11/5/2017 7:30:00 PM
    I really enjoyed your personal stories and insight about your political views & socialization last week. While some of you posted that you don't talk politics at home, I hope you will take time to "pick your parents' brains" and have some lively discussions with them, especially your mothers! Ideology can be shaped by so many factors. How can siblings be so different? Will college change your ideology? Do people choose careers because of ideology or does your career dictate your ideology? Great questions no doubt. This week, I want you to check out some statistics from last year's election and data from across the state and here in Currituck County. Here is what I would like you to do:
    2. Come back and analyze that data relating to voting habits, trends or demographics.
    3. What did you learn? What surprises you? What concerns you?
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 10th.
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  • Week 10: Political Socialization & Ideology

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 10/29/2017 11:00:00 PM
    We will continue our unit on political participation this week with an in-depth study of political socialization and what influences our political ideology and behavior. Two factors we will discuss are how your family and education shape your thinking and thus, your voting behavior. I am going to share two stories with you to illustrate these factors.
    When my oldest son was about twelve, he was solidly convinced that he is a Republican. How did this happen? Well, at the Jarvis dinner table we often talk politics and issues. One night, Tucker asked his father (not his social studies teaching mother), "What is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, Dad?" Without missing a beat, my husband says, "Well, suppose you were given $20. Would you rather spend it yourself or have me tell you how to spend it?" Tucker looked a little confused, but said, "I want to spend it myself." Steve announced to him, "Well, then you are a Republican because Democrats always think they know better than anyone else how to spend everyone else's money." Tucker seems to be solidly in the "RED" camp for now.
    Now for my second story. About 10 years ago we had a teacher at Currituck High named Mr. K. He was and still is a staunch Republican. He taught a class called Current Issues. This was a very popular class because Mr. K knew his stuff and loved to debate with his liberal students about anything and everything. He would get especially riled up when they would defend taxing the rich. So, he devised a diabolical plan. To convince his students that income redistribution was wrong, he began a program called "grade redistribution." The plan worked like this: Students who made 93 or higher would lose 3 points from their grade and these points would be added to the students' scores that were the lowest. Students who made between 85-92 would lose 2 points that would also be added to those students who made low scores. Now, I really don't think I need to tell you much more except that his plan did indeed cause a huge uproar; but more importantly he illustrated his point without ever implementing it.
    So, here is what I want you to do this week. First, take the one or both of ideology quizzes below. Tell me what you found out about your ideology from these quizzes.Then, it is your turn to analyze what factors have shaped that ideology. Tell me a story about how someone, some event, or some conversation has shaped your political beliefs. I can't wait to hear the stories!
    http://www.nolanchart.com/survey-php Great, in depth survey of 10 questions.
    http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_is_your_political_ideology Great choices that are sometimes frustrating!
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is midnight on Friday, November 3rd!
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  • Week 9: The Culture War

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 10/22/2017 7:30:00 PM
    This week we will start our discussions on American political culture. I enjoyed how you all weighed in on last week's blog concerning the gender wage gap. I was thrilled with the detailed comments that many of you posted and the fact that, while there was much agreement on the disclosing pay, there was much disagreement on why the gap exists. We are going to focus this week's blog on the causes of that kind of conflict: the culture war. When you read this section of the textbook, you will understand that the US culture war is not about economics like it is in so many socialist nations. Our culture war is about values between orthodox and progressive beliefs. The topics that this culture war encompasses are too numerous to list, so I am going to let you choose which topic to analyze. Here is what I would like you to do this week:
    1. Go to the following page at Gallup's website:  http://www.gallup.com/poll/trends.aspx
    2. Pick one topic from the list. The date should be from 2016 or 2017.
    3. Read the article that goes with the research & study the trends.
    4. Come back here and outline what the conflict is about between Americans. Which is progressive? Orthodox?
    5. How have the views of Americans changed on the issue over time? Why do you think that is?
    6. You may weigh in on the issue with your opinion, but it is not required.
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 27th.
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  • Week 8: The Gender Wage Gap

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 10/15/2017 5:30:00 PM
    gender pay gap
    We will continue our discussions on the Civil Rights Movement this week and end the week by comparing this movement to the women's movement. The debate today does not center largely on "equal political rights," but primarily on equal pay. The gender wage/pay gap is dicey for many reasons. Some say it exists out of career choice, others that it is due to discrimination. While the truth may be somewhere in between, the gap is certainly there, but it is closing slowly. Some of the information in the articles may surprise you and I hope make you think. So, what, if anything, do we do to solve the problem of pay inequality between men and women? Do the articles give you hope or make you angry? Here is what I would like you to do this week:
    2. What do you see as the root of pay inequality? In other words, what do you feel causes men and women to be paid differently?
    3. What should the US government do, if anything, to decrease the gender pay gaps? EXPLAIN!
    I am anxious to her the perspectives of both the women and men on this issue...tread lightly:)
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is midnight on October 20, 2017. 
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  • Week 7: Free Expression

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 10/8/2017 7:00:00 PM
    I really enjoyed your comments last week on the dilemmas of immigration that face our country. I also enjoyed our debates over the four immigration options. From that debate, we will begin framing our conversations on civil liberties. We will look at what they are, how they have been defined and interpreted by the courts, and finally, who is entitled to them when rights come into conflict with other rights and American values. That last part is the tricky one. When, if ever, should speech be limited? Should hate speech be allowed? Who should determine if unpopular speech should be limited or banned?  That very dilemma is at the crux of this week's blog. So, here is what I would like you to do this week:
    1. Read the links below. The last link is from a case decided on the last day of the SCOTUS term in June.
    2. What are the dangers and what are the benefits of curtailing offensive speech and actions?
    3. Which author do you agree with most, Phillips or Nielsen? Which arguments are most convincing?
    4. Explain when, if ever, you think offensive speech should be limited.
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is midnight on Friday, October 13th. 
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  • Week 6: Immigration and Citizenship

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 10/1/2017 4:20:00 PM
    Image result for powder kegNow that you have the test on the Foundations unit under your belts, we have officially jumped right into Civil Liberties and Civil Rights-My favorite unit!  This unit offers no shortage of controversial topics to debate, that is for sure.  We will start with a powder keg-IMMIGRATION.  Yes, yes, that topic is surely going to get some blood boiling and veins popping out at the temples.  Many proposals have been offered as to what should be done about the problem, if anything.  You are going to read some controversial options this week and we will culminate the topic with a debate towards the end of the week.  The topic is now on the political "front burner" again thanks to Donald Trump. The wall's construction has begun, DACA will soon be ended, and the 2 parties in Congress have each floated solution that the other party abhors. The RAISE Act and DACA are 2 very different laws. Below are links to two very different immigration interest groups. Explore the sites and look over their proposals. 
    After reading and perusing the sites, tell me your initial thoughts on the subject.
    1. What should our nation's immigration policy be?
    2. Which group's site is more in line with what your views are? Explain your answer.
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 6th. 
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  • Week 5: Fiscal Federalism

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 9/24/2017 6:30:00 PM

    money When it comes to money, there are so many cliches that seem apropos to this week's topic that to choose one leaves me in a conundrum! I will start by saying that one of the reasons our Constitution was "born" was over the issue of money (or lack thereof). Today, the federal government has scads of money at its disposal mostly from taxes and borrowing. With all that money, everyone wants their piece...especially the states. Long gone are the days when the federal government just gave their money to the states to spend at their discretion. Today, states are increasingly more dependent on that money to cover their ballooning budgets. This week I want you to read the article below and study the data to answer the following questions:

    1. What geographical or political trends do you see when it comes to federal money flowing into the states?
    2. Should Federal resources be allocated to states according to how much they pay in federal taxes or should some states subsidize others?
    3. What is the fairest way to redistribute federal resources back to the states?


    The last day to post a comment for full credit is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 29th.

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  • Week 4: Federalism Today

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS on 9/17/2017 1:30:00 PM
    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 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 that good ol' 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, the names seem innocuous. Now both the US House and the US Senate have passed new legislation to empower Secretary Betsy DeVos to return the control to the states (or so it would seem). Here is what I would like you to do this week:
    Read the article below and respond to each of the following:
    1. What problems in education do you think this legislation may solve? What problems might it create?
    2. 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.
    3. 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?
    I am really excited to hear your ideas!
    The last day to post a comment for full credit is 11:59 pm on Friday, September 22rd. 
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