AP U.S. Government and Politics
On-Line for the 2020-2021 School Year
Teacher: Julia Reed
AP US Government and Politics 2020-21
* Please note I will be limiting this class to 20 students this year
Congratulations to the 2018-19 AP US Government Students! 50% of the class received a 4 or 5 on the exam with a class average of 3.6, well done to everyone! These scores are well above the global averages.
- Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizen in American Politics 8th Edition by Barbour and Wright isbn 978-1-5063-6218-2 NOTE: **There are other editions with VERY similar titles so check the ISBN.
- * You may see feedback that this text has a "liberal leaning" if you read reviews. This is true but the class is taught from a neutral perspective and the supplemental materials balance out any bias in the textbook. The textbook is strong and well organized in its content. It is near impossible to find a text without a bias as political science is often normative in nature. The students hear both arguments and when the text makes a "value judgement," by using loaded languages, (two occasions) we discuss this in class. It is helpful for the students to see the impact language makes (we address this in our media study as well).
- 5 Steps to a 5 AP US Government and Politics, current Edition by Pamela Lamb (PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS UNTIL THE SPRING ON THE YEAR)
- Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments Paperback – January 9, 2013 by Benjamin Franklin (optional can find free on-line)
- The Supreme Court [Paperback] By William Rehnquist (summer reading)
- Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen (summer reading)
- Numerous articles and on-line sources (free)
- Films, available on-line (free)
- Hillsdale College "Constitution" lectures (Free on-line)
- "The Most Successful Revolution" by Irving Kristol (Free)
Class Fees: Early Bird (before July 1st): $675, Regular: $700.00
Tech Needs: hi-speed Internet access, ability to watch DVD’s, email account. I highly recommend a headset with microphone for on-line class discussions
Who Should Apply: Self-motivated 9th-12th grade students. Students should have reliable Internet access and an email account. Students should be prepared for a rigorous curriculum that will challenge them to make critical assessments of world views and their impacts on governments and societies.
Application: Please fill out the application (bottom of the page) and email it to me
This United States Government and Politics course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. We will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality.
This course will involve the study of democratic ideas, balance of powers, and the tension between the practical and ideal in policymaking. We will look at how "ideas have consequences"and how ones "first truths," develop into political positions. Students will analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact citizenship.
The class will be interactive and will have a live meeting each week (though attendance is not required). We will also have opportunities to meet informally to discuss current affairs. We will also have a few guest speakers who will talk to our class throughout the year. Students will be evaluated through tests, quizzes, short essays and threaded discussions. We will use Canvas as our class platform. There will be assignments and reading every week, along with required interaction on the course site (password protected). The students will watch a number of pre-recorded lectures and will have the opportunity to discuss this material. We will also have some class simulations involving the 3 branches of government Youth Leadership Initiative through UVA). These activities will encourage the students to think critically about current events and their own personal political ideals.
Live Component: There is a weekly lecture on Tuesday at 1:00 PM EST. These lectures will also be recorded and attendance in live class is optional .
Goals for the Students:
- Equip students with the ability and desire to become informed, responsible American citizens
- Develop sound reasoning for their political beliefs and a solid understanding of the founding values and principles of our country
- Equip students with the ability to use history to understand current political situations
- Perform well on the AP exam
Grades will be earned by the students, not given by me. I will equip the students with everything they need in order to be successful. I absolutely love the subject and encourage the students to embrace the learning process and actively engage with the material.
The course will be 32 weeks (September 8, 2020 - May 15, 2021) with the following breaks: November 23-27, Dec 21- 1 Jan , March 22-26.
I am a retired Lt Col from the United States Air Force, serving over 20 years on both active duty and the reserve. My duties included both US and overseas locations. I have a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in International Relations from St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX). Additionally I am a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL, and a graduate of the Centurion Program (intensive worldview study led by Chuck Colson now called the Colson Fellows program) in Lansdowne, VA and am a Colson Fellow. I still serve the Air Force Academy as a liaison in the state of PA; as well as serve on a board for our local congressman, nominating students to our federal academies. I have taught numerous courses over the years and am passionate about International Relations and US Government and Politics and love to teach and interact with students. I locally serve in elected positions as well on some non-profit boards. I have worked with educational foundations to improve AP curriculum in the past and this is my ninth year teaching for PA Homeschoolers. I have consulted with a national educational firm and developed curriculum that is currently being used by a national company for this course in public schools. I am a graduate of the Ann Anstine leadership series: Excellence in Public Service in the state of PA (completed in 2018). I have been married for 28 years and Eric and I have four children with one still at home. I feel exceedingly blessed to be teaching the next generation.
Click here to open or download an application to this class (Microsoft Word document)
Click here to read class reviews from past participants
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