The GED Ready Practice Test Social Studies Extended Response Prompts and Source Texts

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1 2014 GED Test Resources The GED Ready Practice Test Social Studies Extended Response Prompts and Source Texts The enclosed source texts are drawn directly from the Extended Response (ER) tasks on the GED Ready practice test - Social Studies. In those ER tasks, students are asked to analyze the relationship between a quotation and a passage in an essay-length response. We provide these source texts so that you may refer to them as your score your students responses. Use these source texts in conjunction with other Social Studies Extended Response scoring resources for educators, including the: Educator Scoring Tool for GED Ready - Social Studies Extended Response Resource Guide for Educators - Social Studies Both tools are available at: Things to keep in mind when using these materials: 1. The stimulus materials for the A, B, C, and D versions of the GED Ready practice test - Social Studies are included. You can determine which version of the test your students took by reviewing their written responses. 2. Students written responses are available in each student s Enhanced Score Report under the Review My Written Answers section. Ask each student to print out his or her score report and give you a copy, which you can then use to score the response. 3. Only use these source texts for the purpose of scoring student GED Ready practice test responses. If you give students these source texts before taking the GED Ready practice test, it may compromise the accuracy of their scores and the ability of the GED Ready practice test to predict their scores on the operational GED test. IMPORTANT! Before using these materials you must visit to review and accept the terms of use. GED and GED Testing Service are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education ( ACE ). They may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of ACE or GED Testing Service. The GED and GED Testing Service brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education.

2 Stimulus Material: GED Ready - Social Studies Version A Quotation Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. John Milton, 1644 Speech In this excerpt from a 1917 speech, given six months after the United States entered World War I, Senator Robert M. La Follette defends his right to speak out against the war. More than in times of peace it is necessary that the channels for free public discussion of governmental policies shall be open and unclogged. I believe, Mr. President, that I am now touching upon the most important question in this country today -- and that is the right of the citizens of this country and their representatives in Congress to discuss in an orderly way, frankly and publicly and without fear about every important phase of this war; its causes, and manner in which it should be conducted, and the terms upon which peace should be made [O]ur Government, above all others, is founded on the right of the people freely to discuss all matters pertaining to their Government, in war not less than in peace. It is true, sir, that Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two years, the President for four years, and the Members of the Senate for six years, and during their temporary official terms these officers constitute what is called the Government. But back of them always is the controlling, sovereign power of the People, and when the people can make their will known, the faithful officer will obey that will. Though the right of the People to express their will by ballot is suspended during the term office of the elected official, nevertheless the duty of the official to obey the popular will shall continue throughout his entire term of office. How can that popular will express itself between elections except by meetings, by speeches, by publications, by petitions, and by addresses to the representatives of the people? Any man who seeks to set a limit upon those rights, whether in war or peace, aims a blow at the most vital part of our Government GED Testing Service 2

3 Prompt In your response, develop an argument about how Senator La Follette s position in his speech reflects the enduring issue expressed in the quotation from Milton. Incorporate relevant and specific evidence from the quotation, the speech, and your own knowledge of the enduring issue and the circumstances surrounding U.S. entry into World War I to support your analysis. GED Testing Service 3

4 Stimulus Material: GED Ready - Social Studies Version B Quotation No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will. Thomas Jefferson, 1792 Editorial In 1971, the Justice Department of the United States tried to prevent the New York Times from publishing The Pentagon Papers a collection of secret documents that revealed deceptions in what presidents had told Americans about the Vietnam War. The Washington Sentinel Morning Edition June 26, 1971 An open letter to our readers and the American Public: Today the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in the case of New York Times Co. v. United States. It is the opinion of this newspaper that the Court s ruling will determine the future of First Amendment freedoms in the United States. For the first time since our Republic was founded, the federal courts are being asked to rule that the American press is not truly free and that the government can halt the publication of news that is critically important to its citizens. Our Founders protected the press precisely so it could expose the secrets of government and inform the people. It is obvious that chief among the responsibilities of a free press is revealing deception in cases where the country is sending its young people overseas to die. By pulling back the curtain on the workings of government that brought us further and further into Vietnam s civil war, the press has performed its most important function. The Pentagon Papers include information about the deceptions of the government over four administrations from 1945 to Government embarrassment over its actions and the wish to continue to cover up does not constitute a threat to national security. Rather, what is a threat to our nation s citizens and our country s future is the possibility that is being considered in court this very day. Should the Court rule that the government can order newspapers to stop publishing portions of its report, it will no longer be possible to have a fully enlightened citizenry. The first of many important rights will have been compromised and the vision our Founders had for this nation will be no more. Lance A. Matthews Editor-in-chief GED Testing Service 4

5 Prompt In your response, develop an argument about how the author s position in his editorial reflects the enduring issue expressed in the quotation from Jefferson. Incorporate relevant and specific evidence from the quotation, the editorial, and your own knowledge of the enduring issue and the circumstances surrounding the Pentagon Papers and their publication to support your analysis. GED Testing Service 5

6 Stimulus Material: GED Ready - Social Studies Version C Quotation [T]here will be cases clearly within the power of the national government; others, clearly without its powers; and a third class, which will leave room for controversy and difference of opinion, and concerning which a reasonable latitude of judgment must be allowed. Alexander Hamilton, 1791 Editorial January 3, 1974 Yesterday the President took a brave step toward helping all Americans become less dependent on oil when he signed the groundbreaking Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. By encouraging states to lower their maximum speed limits to 55 miles per hour (mph), the president hopes to save 200,000 barrels of fuel each day. As we confront the growing threat of an energy crisis in America, we must embrace every opportunity to lower our oil consumption. Sadly, some Americans have complained that the act violates the authority of the individual states to regulate their own highways. These critics fail to appreciate the fact that the looming energy crisis affects all Americans in every state. Any solution to the energy crisis requires shared sacrifice. Should drivers in some states bear the burden of energy conservation, while drivers in other states enjoy the luxury of faster travel? To anyone who values the ideals of equality and fairness, the answer is clearly No! Where the interest of the entire nation is at stake, the federal government has a duty to step in and to encourage us to make decisions that will have the greatest benefit for the most people. Some defenders of states rights have argued that however noble the motivation to conserve energy, the federal government has exceeded its authority with this act. Yet the act itself does not force states to set the maximum speed limit at 55 mph; it only encourages them to do so. Those states that share in the sacrifice necessary to limit energy consumption can enjoy generous highway funding. However, any state is free to set its own maximum speed limit, and in doing so, should forgo receiving federal highway funds. Theresa Johnston Editor, The Beacon News GED Testing Service 6

7 Prompt In your response, develop an argument about how the position in the newspaper editorial reflects the enduring issue expressed in the quotation from Alexander Hamilton. Incorporate relevant and specific evidence from the quotation and the editorial, as well as your own knowledge of the enduring issue and the circumstances surrounding the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, to support your analysis. GED Testing Service 7

8 Stimulus Material: GED Ready - Social Studies Version D Quotation No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1868 Editorial This excerpt from the majority opinion in the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka explains the Court s decision to overturn the separate but equal precedent set by an earlier case, Plessy v. Ferguson. In approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back to , when Plessy v. Ferguson was written. We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.... Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [delay] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system. Whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson, this finding is amply supported by modern authority. Any language in Plessy v. Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected. We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. This disposition makes unnecessary any discussion whether such segregation also violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. GED Testing Service 8

9 Prompt In your response, develop an argument about how the position of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision reflects the enduring issue expressed in the quotation. Incorporate relevant and specific evidence from the quotation and the excerpt, as well as your own knowledge of the enduring issue and the circumstances surrounding school segregation, to support your analysis. GED Testing Service 9

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