A.P. Government and Politics (American& Comparative) Mr. Miller / Mr. Benson

A.P. Government and Politics (American& Comparative)
Mr. Miller / Mr. Benson
Course Description
Today’s increasingly interdependent world has made it become necessary for students to think
globally. We need to understand more than how our own country operates and deals with other countries.
To gain understanding of international events we must examine political structures and perspectives of
other nations and how they compare, affect, and interact with one another. Comparisons assist both in
identifying problems and in analyzing policymaking.
Advanced Placement American Government and Politics along with Advanced Placement
Comparative Government provides a yearlong course on government. Our course prepares students by
developing the skills necessary to gain insight and understanding regarding the structures and functions of
a diversity of governments. We focus on the United States and six core comparative countries (Great
Britain, Russia, China, Mexico, Nigeria, and Iran) during the school year.
The Exam
The AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. It includes a 45-minute
multiple-choice section consisting of 60 questions and a 100-minute free response section consisting of 4
The AP Comparative Politics Exam is 2 hours and 25 minutes long. It includes a 45 minute multiple
choice section consisting of 55 questions and a 100 minute free response section consisting of 5 short
answer concept questions, 1 conceptual analysis question, and 2 country context questions.
Students successfully completing this course will:
 be introduced to the basics of American national government
 develop an analytical perspective toward the conduct of politics in the United States
 be encouraged to get involved in the political process and our government
 be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to U.S. government and politics
 be able to describe and be able to use for analytical purposes the major comparative political
concepts, themes, and generalizations
 be able to describe and analyze the government and politics of China, Great Britain, Iran,
Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia
Text Materials and Resources
Primary Text
James Wilson, John Dilulio Jr. American Government: Institutions and Policies. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Company, 2001.
On-Line Textbook
Mark Kesselman, Joel Krieger. Introduction to Comparative Politics. Boston: Wadsworth. Cengage
Learning, 2010.
Online Resources:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
Foreign Affairs
Grading Policy
AP Government is a course that is taught on a college level with the goal to challenge students in a
rigorous course. The students will be assessed on the following assignments.
Tests- modeled after the AP Exam
Quizzes (announced and unannounced)
Projects and Internet Assignments
Tests and Quizzes will be worth at least 75% of grade, Homework / Class work will be worth at
most 25% of grade.
There will be outside assignments nearly every night. It is possible that a student could spend 3 hours
per week reading for this course. For a complete homework/assignment calendar for this course you
should consult my CMS Web page. No assignment will be given unless posted on the website / unit
Late Work Policy
I do not accept late projects or assignments. If a student misses class they should consult my CMS page/
syllabus to find out what is expected for the next class meeting. For example if you miss class on
Wednesday and return to class on Friday you are responsible for what everyone is doing on Friday’s
class. If a student is absent for an in-class presentation, project, or test alternate assignment may be
required. All make up test will be written responses and in Room 200 at 8:00am.
As a teacher the most efficient way to contact me is through email. The Parent Portal through Clarity
will be available this Fall.
Vision will be used to on-line communication for this class.
I understand and agree to all the class policies put forth in this document and will follow them______
Parent Signature:__________________
Student Signature; ______________________