• Summer Blog Week 2: Congress

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS at 6/18/2017 9:00:00 AM

    This post is the second of five. Please complete them in order, starting with week 1.

    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.  Although Congress passed the 2010 healthcare law, the stimulus packages, and countless deficit budgets that have led to our nearly $20 trillion debt, the American public calls these "Obamacare," the "Obama Recovery," and possibly "Trumpcare."  I am certain James Madison would scratch his head at our misconceptions.  He would not be surprised, though, at the lively two-party system that has emerged.  I am certain he would point to these "factions" (as he called them in the Federalist #10) and be satisfied that there is a balance of power between the two.  With both a Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress, bills are being introduced and supported along party lines. Democrats have turned to the media to drum up support to effectively kill Republican proposals. Democrats see many of their bills as DOA (dead on arrival) once introduced. This polarization between the 2 parties seems as wide as the Pacific Ocean. What to do? What kind of compromise 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 115th Congress

    Gallup Polling Topics A-Z

    Remember, you may only post one comment per week (Sunday-Saturday).  This post will be available for comments through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 27th, 2017.

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  • Summer Blog Week 1: Power

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS at 6/11/2017 11:00:00 PM
    Welcome to the AP Government Blog!  The goal of my blog is to help my students develop a deeper understanding of the topics we will explore this year and to help you take that understanding to make real world connections.  The first topic we will explore in August is power.  All year we will explore the essential questions of Who governs? and To what ends?  We will also explore the ideas of authority and legitimacy in obtaining power.  So, how does one gain power over people?  What or who gives them that power?  How does that person get others to follow?  When atrocities occur, when should the US and other countries intervene? If we do get involved to what extent and what costs? If we don't get involved, do we let other destructive regimes call the shots?
    Before you begin, please sign in to the site in the upper right corner using your student id number and password.  If you cannot get the site to log you in, PLEASE start your post with your name.  Failure to do one of these two will get you no credit because I will have no way to know who posted the comment.
    Here is what I would like you to do in this post:
    1. Click on the following link to read the article.  Read the entire article. Power in North Korea
    2. Analyze the article using the questions below so that I can tell you have read the article and have a thorough understanding of its content.  How do you think someone like Kim Jong-un maintains power? Should the US be alarmed at the persistence of the Kim dynasty? What should our response to this regime be? Should the US do more to end the regime or mind our own business?  Explain your opinion!
    3. In your post, please relate the topic to the article's content. You may also respond to postings by fellow students.  Please use proper rules of grammar, spelling and language.  This blog is not a place to text message!  
    4. Some of you may have strong feelings concerning this article's topic...Please keep all responses appropriate!  If you feel the need to attack, attack the position--NOT THE PERSON.  
    Remember, you may not post more than one comment a week (Sunday-Saturday)!  This post will be available for comments through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2017.
    Comments (6)
  • Week 32: Advice to Rising Seniors

    Posted by SELINA JARVIS at 5/7/2017 3:00:00 PM
    Our year together is quickly winding down...I can't even believe that it is May, let alone the second week!!  The underclassmen have all registered for classes by now and summer work goes live on the social studies website this week.  I know you are all smiling thinking about how you aren't going to miss that ONE BIT! Has this course been all you expected and hoped?  Has it been harder or easier than you imagined?  I want you to be frank in the advice you give to those that have signed up for this course next year.  Let them know what they are in for--both the good and the bad.  Now, just because I waited to have you blog on this topic after the AP exam, I do not want it to be all rainbows and sunshine. We all know those rose-colored comments are not reflective of the stress you felt last week in finishing the course work and preparing for AP exams. So, be honest; be fair; be kind; and don't be just a suck-up (although sucking up makes me smile!) This post will stay up all year, so if I need a dose of the class of 2017, I can come back here to reflect and reminisce about our year together. Here is what I would like you to do in your final post:
    1. Explain to the rising seniors what is the most challenging aspect about AP Government.
    2. Give your best advice for being successful in the course...what do they need to do or not do?
    3. What should they look forward to about the course (besides the obvious DC trip)?  What should they dread?
    No more comments may be posted.
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