Grade Twelve

Grade Twelve

History-Social Science Content Standards.

Principles of American Democracy and Economics
Students in grade twelve pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government. They compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretations of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents such as the Federalist Papers. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship.
In addition to studying government in grade twelve, students will also master fundamental economic concepts, applying the tools (graphs, statistics, equations) from other subject areas to the understanding of operations and institutions of economic systems. Studied in a historic context are the basic economic principles of micro- and macroeconomics, international economics, comparative economic systems, measurement, and methods.
Principles of American Democracy
12.1 Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.
1.    Analyze the influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English, and leading European political thinkers such as John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Niccolò Machiavelli, and William Blackstone on the development of American government.
2.    Discuss the character of American democracy and its promise and perils as articulated by Alexis de Tocqueville.
3.    Explain how the U.S. Constitution reflects a balance between the classical republican concern with promotion of the public good and the classical liberal concern with protecting individual rights; and discuss how the basic premises of liberal constitutionalism and democracy are joined in the Declaration of Independence as "self-evident truths."
4.    Explain how the Founding Fathers' realistic view of human nature led directly to the establishment of a constitutional system that limited the power of the governors and the governed as articulated in the Federalist Papers.
5.    Describe the systems of separated and shared powers, the role of organized interests (Federalist Paper Number 10), checks and balances (Federalist Paper Number 51), the importance of an independent judiciary (Federalist Paper Number 78), enumerated powers, rule of law, federalism, and civilian control of the military.
6.    Understand that the Bill of Rights limits the powers of the federal government and state governments.

12.2 Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured.
1.    Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy).
2.    Explain how economic rights are secured and their importance to the individual and to society (e.g., the right to acquire, use, transfer, and dispose of property; right to choose one's work; right to join or not join labor unions; copyright and patent).
3.    Discuss the individual's legal obligations to obey the law, serve as a juror, and pay taxes.
4.    Understand the obligations of civic-mindedness, including voting, being informed on civic issues, volunteering and performing public service, and serving in the military or alternative service.
5.    Describe the reciprocity between rights and obligations; that is, why enjoyment of one's rights entails respect for the rights of others.
6.    Explain how one becomes a citizen of the United States, including the process of naturalization (e.g., literacy, language, and other requirements).
12.3 Students evaluate and take and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of civil society are (i.e., the autonomous sphere of voluntary personal, social, and economic relations that are not part of government), their interdependence, and the meaning and importance of those values and principles for a free society.
1.    Explain how civil society provides opportunities for individuals to associate for social, cultural, religious, economic, and political purposes.
2.    Explain how civil society makes it possible for people, individually or in association with others, to bring their influence to bear on government in ways other than voting and elections.
3.    Discuss the historical role of religion and religious diversity.
4.    Compare the relationship of government and civil society in constitutional democracies to the relationship of government and civil society in authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
12.4 Students analyze the unique roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.
1.    Discuss Article I of the Constitution as it relates to the legislative branch, including eligibility for office and lengths of terms of representatives and senators; election to office; the roles of the House and Senate in impeachment proceedings; the role of the vice president; the enumerated legislative powers; and the process by which a bill becomes a law.
2.    Explain the process through which the Constitution can be amended.
3.    Identify their current representatives in the legislative branch of the national government.
4.    Discuss Article II of the Constitution as it relates to the executive branch, including eligibility for office and length of term, election to and removal from office, the oath of office, and the enumerated executive powers.
5.    Discuss Article III of the Constitution as it relates to judicial power, including the length of terms of judges and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
6.    Explain the processes of selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

12.5 Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.
1.    Understand the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time, including interpretations of the basic freedoms (religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly) articulated in the First Amendment and the due process and equal-protection-of-the-law clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
2.    Analyze judicial activism and judicial restraint and the effects of each policy over the decades (e.g., the Warren and Rehnquist courts).
3.    Evaluate the effects of the Court's interpretations of the Constitution in Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and United States v. Nixon, with emphasis on the arguments espoused by each side in these cases.
4.    Explain the controversies that have resulted over changing interpretations of civil rights, including those in Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, and United States v. Virginia (VMI).
12.6 Students evaluate issues regarding campaigns for national, state, and local elective offices.
1.    Analyze the origin, development, and role of political parties, noting those occasional periods in which there was only one major party or were more than two major parties.
2.    Discuss the history of the nomination process for presidential candidates and the increasing importance of primaries in general elections.
3.    Evaluate the roles of polls, campaign advertising, and the controversies over campaign funding.
4.    Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning, lobbying, filing a legal challenge, demonstrating, petitioning, picketing, running for political office).
5.    Discuss the features of direct democracy in numerous states (e.g., the process of referendums, recall elections).
6.    Analyze trends in voter turnout; the causes and effects of reapportionment and redistricting, with special attention to spatial districting and the rights of minorities; and the function of the Electoral College.
12.7 Students analyze and compare the powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments.
1.    Explain how conflicts between levels of government and branches of government are resolved.
2.    Identify the major responsibilities and sources of revenue for state and local governments.
3.    Discuss reserved powers and concurrent powers of state governments.
4.    Discuss the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and interpretations of the extent of the federal government's power.
5.    Explain how public policy is formed, including the setting of the public agenda and implementation of it through regulations and executive orders.
6.    Compare the processes of lawmaking at each of the three levels of government, including the role of lobbying and the media.
7.    Identify the organization and jurisdiction of federal, state, and local (e.g., California) courts and the interrelationships among them.
8.    Understand the scope of presidential power and decision making through examination of case studies such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, passage of Great Society legislation, War Powers Act, Gulf War, and Bosnia.
12.8 Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the influence of the media on American political life.
1.    Discuss the meaning and importance of a free and responsible press.
2.    Describe the roles of broadcast, print, and electronic media, including the Internet, as means of communication in American politics.
3.    Explain how public officials use the media to communicate with the citizenry and to shape public opinion.
12.9 Students analyze the origins, characteristics, and development of different political systems across time, with emphasis on the quest for political democracy, its advances, and its obstacles.
1.    Explain how the different philosophies and structures of feudalism, mercantilism, socialism, fascism, communism, monarchies, parliamentary systems, and constitutional liberal democracies influence economic policies, social welfare policies, and human rights practices.
2.    Compare the various ways in which power is distributed, shared, and limited in systems of shared powers and in parliamentary systems, including the influence and role of parliamentary leaders (e.g., William Gladstone, Margaret Thatcher).
3.    Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of federal, con federal, and unitary systems of government.
4.    Describe for at least two countries the consequences of conditions that gave rise to tyrannies during certain periods (e.g., Italy, Japan, Haiti, Nigeria, Cambodia).
5.    Identify the forms of illegitimate power that twentieth-century African, Asian, and Latin American dictators used to gain and hold office and the conditions and interests that supported them.
6.    Identify the ideologies, causes, stages, and outcomes of major Mexican, Central American, and South American revolutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
7.    Describe the ideologies that give rise to Communism, methods of maintaining control, and the movements to overthrow such governments in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland, including the roles of individuals (e.g., Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel).
8.    Identify the successes of relatively new democracies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the ideas, leaders, and general societal conditions that have launched and sustained, or failed to sustain, them.
12.10 Students formulate questions about and defend their analyses of tensions within our constitutional democracy and the importance of maintaining a balance between the following concepts: majority rule and individual rights; liberty and equality; state and national authority in a federal system; civil disobedience and the rule of law; freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial; the relationship of religion and government.

Principles of Economics
12.1 Students understand common economic terms and concepts and economic reasoning.
1.    Examine the causal relationship between scarcity and the need for choices.
2.    Explain opportunity cost and marginal benefit and marginal cost.
3.    Identify the difference between monetary and non monetary incentives and how changes in incentives cause changes in behavior.
4.    Evaluate the role of private property as an incentive in conserving and improving scarce resources, including renewable and nonrenewable natural resources.
5.    Analyze the role of a market economy in establishing and preserving political and personal liberty (e.g., through the works of Adam Smith).
12.2 Students analyze the elements of America's market economy in a global setting.
1.    Understand the relationship of the concept of incentives to the law of supply and the relationship of the concept of incentives and substitutes to the law of demand.
2.    Discuss the effects of changes in supply and/ or demand on the relative scarcity, price, and quantity of particular products.
3.    Explain the roles of property rights, competition, and profit in a market economy.
4.    Explain how prices reflect the relative scarcity of goods and services and perform the allocative function in a market economy.
5.    Understand the process by which competition among buyers and sellers determines a market price.
6.    Describe the effect of price controls on buyers and sellers.
7.    Analyze how domestic and international competition in a market economy affects goods and services produced and the quality, quantity, and price of those products.
8.    Explain the role of profit as the incentive to entrepreneurs in a market economy.
9.    Describe the functions of the financial markets.
10.    Discuss the economic principles that guide the location of agricultural production and industry and the spatial distribution of transportation and retail facilities.
12.3 Students analyze the influence of the federal government on the American economy.
1.    Understand how the role of government in a market economy often includes providing for national defense, addressing environmental concerns, defining and enforcing property rights, attempting to make markets more competitive, and protecting consumers' rights.
2.    Identify the factors that may cause the costs of government actions to outweigh the benefits.
3.    Describe the aims of government fiscal policies (taxation, borrowing, spending) and their influence on production, employment, and price levels.
4.    Understand the aims and tools of monetary policy and their influence on economic activity (e.g., the Federal Reserve).




History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools


12.4 Students analyze the elements of the U.S. labor market in a global setting.
1.    Understand the operations of the labor market, including the circumstances surrounding the establishment of principal American labor unions, procedures that unions use to gain benefits for their members, the effects of unionization, the mini-mum wage, and unemployment insurance.
2.    Describe the current economy and labor market, including the types of goods and services produced, the types of skills workers need, the effects of rapid technological change, and the impact of international competition.
3.    Discuss wage differences among jobs and professions, using the laws of demand and supply and the concept of productivity.
4.    Explain the effects of international mobility of capital and labor on the U.S. economy.
12.5 Students analyze the aggregate economic behavior of the U.S. economy.
1.    Distinguish between nominal and real data.
2.    Define, calculate, and explain the significance of an unemployment rate, the number of new jobs created monthly, an inflation or deflation rate, and a rate of economic growth.
3.    Distinguish between short-term and long-term interest rates and explain their relative significance.
12.6 Students analyze issues of international trade and explain how the U.S. economy affects, and is affected by, economic forces beyond the United States's borders.
1.    Identify the gains in consumption and production efficiency from trade, with emphasis on the main products and changing geographic patterns of twentieth-century trade among countries in the Western Hemisphere.
2.    Compare the reasons for and the effects of trade restrictions during the Great Depression compared with present-day arguments among labor, business, and political leaders over the effects of free trade on the economic and social interests of various groups of Americans.
3.    Understand the changing role of international political borders and territorial sovereignty in a global economy.
4.    Explain foreign exchange, the manner in which exchange rates are determined, and the effects of the dollar's gaining (or losing) value relative to other currencies.

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