Economics/Government

Course Description:

Welcome to Economics/Government. In keeping with CAST’s philosophy, we will approach your senior year of social studies in a more integrated manner. Instead of learning about Government first and Economics second, we are studying them in conjunction with one another throughout the year. We will actually learn the basics of each first, and then use real world examples to explore how the two function together. With each example, we will delve deeper into the workings of each system and how the two interact. There are two main reasons for studying the topics this way: 1) the economic system and government of the United States are so intertwined that it is difficult to study them separately, and 2) our focus on the larger picture compels us to take into consideration both parts as we look at our real world examples.

 

Our CAST theme for this year is “Context as Content” and so we will be looking at the economic and political systems of the United States have as the “context” that shapes the lives of all who live within them. In particular, we will explore how these systems have influenced and determined our actual selves: our habits, personal beliefs, self-image, and actions. As always, we will use art and media to illuminate our studies. These ideas and questions are the framework for this course. Please expect the kind of academic challenge that befits CAST seniors—more intense and demanding than you’ve ever known. But also expect to have some fun and be creative. This is your last year. Make it shine.

 

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this yearlong course you should know and be able to do the following:

  • Understand the principles and structure of U.S. Capitalism and compare it to other economic systems.
  • Understand the principles and structure of the U.S. Government and articulate how it influences and is influenced by U.S. Capitalism.
  • Articulate the ways in which the U.S. Government serves to regulate, and otherwise perpetuate U.S. Capitalism
  • Be financially, politically, culturally, and environmentally self-aware.
  • Know how to navigate or “work” the economic system in order to achieve economic freedom and control as individuals or as communities.
  • Know how to navigate or “work” the political system in order to obtain a political voice as individuals or as communities.
  • Envision an economic/government system that provides economic freedom and control, as well as an equal political voice for all.
  • Articulate and defend your point of view in written form or in debate.
  • Be able to identify underlying assumptions and biases in others’ points of view as well as your own.

 

Course Expectations:

In order to succeed in this class you must please do the following in addition to the CAST Pathway Expectations:

  • Be on time everyday.
  • Have your textbook(s), binder, and supplies everyday.
  • Complete all of your assignments on time.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility for the success of your fellow classmates, a sense of loyalty for each other and your common struggle.
  • Be respectful, cooperative, and reasonable while being critical.
  • Be open to constructive criticism, new ideas, and activities.
  • Fulfill the course baseline requirements listed below.

 

Course Outline:

Fall Semester

1st Quarter:

  • What is an Economy, what is Economics?
  • Principles and structure of U.S. Capitalism
  • What is a Body Politic? What is a Political Process?
  • Principles and structure of U.S. Government as outlined in the Constitution
  • American Democracy in its context of Capitalism
  • The interconnections between Economics and Government:

Case Study 1: Debate and the Techniques of Persuasion. Focus on the Political    Spectrum

 

2nd Quarter:

Case Study 2: The Immigration Debate. Focus on Microeconomics, Wage Theory, and the Law of Variable Proportions.

Case Study 3: Creating your own business. Focus on business organizations and the        concept of economic freedom/control for individuals and communities.

Case Study 4: The 2012 and past Presidential Elections. Focus on Executive Branch        and the Electoral Process

 

3rd Quarter:

Case Study 5: The Healthcare Reform Debate and past legislative battles. Focus on       Legislative Branch

Case Study 6: Gay Marriage and past judicial rulings on civil rights. Focus on the            Judicial Branch

Case Study 7: The Mortgage Meltdown and Credit Crisis. Focus on Banks and   Macroeconomics

 

Spring Semester

1st Quarter:

Case Study 8: The Bank Bailout and Recession Stimulus Package. Focus on Supply Side   vs. Demand Side government policies, the Deficit and National Debt.

Case Study 9: Climate Change and other environmental issues. Focus on Foreign            Policy.

 

2nd Quarter:

Case Study10: The Capitol Hill Game. Focus on Political voice and control for     individuals and communities.

 

3rd Quarter:

  • Alternative Economic and Political Systems

Case Study 11: The Ohlone Way

Case Study 12: Democratic Socialism and Communism

Case Study 13: Imagined Systems

Evaluation and Grading:

All assignments are given a point value based on difficulty and effort required. Your grade depends what percent of the total points possible you are able to earn.

90—100% = A

80—89%   = B

70—79%   = C

60—69%   = D

59% and below = F

 

Students will be given a grade-sheet once during each quarter and are welcome to check on their status during my designated office hours.

 

All assignments fall under the following categories:

 

Baseline Requirements                                                  60%

Participation                                                                  20%

Other Class Assignments/Homework                             20%

 

Baseline Requirements are assignments that each of you must satisfactorily complete in order to earn a passing grade (You will receive a handout detailing each):

 

1)    Capitol Hill Games Simulation/Project.

2)    Create Your Own Business Project.

3)    Debates

4)    Question Papers

5)    Unit Papers

6)    Final Papers

7)    Notebook

8)    As indicated

 

Participation includes your Do Nows, field trips, class discussions, attendance, and presentations, etc.

 

Other Class Assignments include textbook work, short response papers, worksheets, group-work, simulations, etc.

 

Homework and Late-work Policy:

Most homework will be classified as “other class assignments,” unless indicated otherwise. All must be turned in on the due date, unless an excused absence prevents you from doing so. 10% will be deducted from your score for each day the assignment is late. No assignment from any category will be accepted a week after the due date.

 

Attendance Policy:

All students are expected to come to class prepared everyday. Excessive absences and tardiness will negatively impact your grade. Any combination of three absences or tardies will automatically result in an “unsatisfactory” mark for citizenship for that grading period. Athletes must present excuse slips at least one day before they must miss class for their scheduled games.

Behavioral Policy:

All students are expected to follow Balboa High School’s behavioral expectations.

 

Academic Dishonesty Policy:

All students are subject to Balboa High School’s Academic Dishonesty Policy. All rules and consequences in the policy apply to this course.

 

Office Hours:

Students may see me for additional support in my room during the following times:

Lunchtime: Tuesdays and Thursdays

3:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

School Loop:

Course information, student grades, and attendance may be accessed by students and parents/guardians through School Loop. Students will be given their own usernames and passwords. Parents may register into School Loop through the following steps:

 

1.    Go to School Loop’s homepage: http://bhs-sfusd-ca.schoolloop.com/

 

2.    Click on “Register Now”

 

3.    Click on “Parent Registration”

 

4.    Fill out all fields

 

5.    Click “Register”

 

6.    One of your child’s teachers must verify you through SchoolLoop, and then you will be able to sign on with the login name and password you chose as you registered, at the same website as above.

 

 

E-Mail: conradbenedicto@gmail.com

 

Phone#: 510 541 9252

 

 

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