Advanced Placement course in United States Government and Politics is designed
to give students a critical perspective on politics and government. This course
involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret United States
politics and an examination of the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and
ideas that make up American politics. The course is taught with college-level
texts. Preparation for the A.P. test will be an integral part of the course.
the philosophical underpinnings and pragmatic realities of modern American
how the structure and function of federalism has changed over time and how those
changes have affected policy making at the local, state, and national levels.
the development of political equality and individual in order to formulate
perspectives on contemporary civil rights and civil liberties issues.
how popular sovereignty is exercised in modern American electoral politics
through political parties, interest groups, and public opinion.
how the U.S. government exercises authority through the interaction of the three
separate branches of government.
students with the necessary knowledge and skills to take the A.P. test in U.S.
will be graded using a variety of assessment tools including (but not limited
to) short response papers, longer research papers, in-class speeches and
debates, short quizzes, in-depth unit tests, and homework. Some in-class
assignments will require student attendance for credit. Absences should be
arranged with Mr. Koepping prior to the event if difficulties arise.
will have the opportunity to earn 200-300 points each semester.
The grading scale will be as follows:
Below 60% F
are expected to be in the classroom when the bell rings.
Doing otherwise will result in a tardy. If a student gets four tardies
during one semester, Mr. Koepping will send a referral to the attendance office.
Following school policy, students wishing to get into the class after five
minutes will first need to visit the attendance office.
assignment made prior to a studentís excused absence is due on the day of
their return to class.
tests will be made up within a week of the studentís return during a time
agreed upon with the teacher.
given during an excused absence are usually due one class day for every class
day of absence after the studentís return. So a student missing three periods
will have four class periods to submit make-up work (three periods plus the day
of their initial return). Students who need more time should speak to Mr.
Koepping as soon as they return from the absence.
that are not taken and assignments that are not turned in because of unexcused
absences will not be accepted upon the studentís return. Students will receive
a zero for those assignments and those tests.
into account the vagaries of high school life, Mr. Koepping will accept work one
calendar day late for full credit. If an assignment were due on Monday, he would
accept it on Tuesday (but not Wednesday morning) for full credit.
will lose 10 percent of the value of an assignment for each additional calendar
day (excluding weekends) the work is late. For example an assignment that is due
on a Monday that is turned in on Wednesday will be worth a maximum of 90 percent
of the points possible, on Thursday that would fall to 80 percent, on Friday it
would be worth a maximum of 70 percent. Work that is more than three calendar
days late (excluding weekends) will not be accepted.
makeup tests will also not be accepted after a quarter or semester is completed.
A quarter or semester is considered complete when the students have attended the
final class of that grading period.
can expect to have assigned homework every night.
should be typed or neatly handwritten
student has a serious problem that
may delay their turning in an assignment, they may speak to Mr. Koepping BEFORE
the due date to determine if an extension is possible. To get an extension a
student must make their request before the class when an assignment is due.
J. Lowi and Benjamin Ginsburg, American Goverment: Freedom and Power
(W.W. Norton and Company: New York), 6th edition, 2000
Serow and Everett C. Ladd., eds, The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity,
(Lanahan Publishers, Inc.: Baltimore), 3rd edition, 2003