ASSESSMENT DATA BANK

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1 ASSESSMENT DATA BANK Assessing Constitutional Knowledge Traditionally, states and schools have measured student knowledge of the U.S. Constitution using a written test on objective facts and principles. These assessments sometimes referred to as objective tests remain an efficient way to gather basic data about student acquisition of knowledge. This form of testing is less effective, however, at measuring students ability to apply knowledge to different circumstances and in different situations. Some students have difficulty with objective tests. Even after students pass the test, teachers may wonder how much they really know about the Constitution and the government that is based on it and whether students knowledge has life. Teachers who have experienced any or all of these situations may find it more informative and fair to use alternative or authentic assessments that are more closely linked to real world experiences. Because the tasks are varied, students with different strengths have the opportunity to succeed. To help teachers measure both student understanding and student application of knowledge, The More Perfect Union Assessment Data Bank features both traditional and alternative assessment instruments. Constitution Test The written Constitution test includes some multiple-choice, short answer, and matching items. These questions have been written with the goal that they require not only student recall but also student understanding of information. In addition, because more insights about the depth of student understanding and growth in critical thinking can be gained through essay items, we have included several essay items. Teachers can pick and choose from among the test items or use them all as desired. An answer key is provided for the objective items, along with scoring checklists for the essay questions. Alternative Assessment Instruments The instructional methods in A More Perfect Union make effective assessment tools. Featured in the Assessment Data Bank are three assessment tasks using instructional methods from the curriculum: 1. Each one/teach one on founding documents and principles. Each student creates a set of cards reflecting what they believe are the most important ideas or facts about a particular topic. On each card, students write one sentence explaining the idea/fact and one sentence explaining why it is important, giving a historic or contemporary example. 2. Constructing a graphic organizer on the branches of government. Each student creates a graphic organizer that shows the powers of the branches of government, the ways in which the branches check each other, and the importance of separation of powers.

2 3. Public service announcements on rights and participation. Students create a series of public service announcements or ads on rights of U.S. citizens. In creating the public service announcements, students must identify important ideas and explain their importance to others, using contemporary examples. For each of these assessments, we provide a scoring guide. Citizen Portfolio and Report Card A portfolio a collection of student work selected carefully to illustrate that the student has attained a specified set of outcomes can be a valuable assessment tool. By requiring students to reflect on what they have learned, portfolios help students recognize their own growth over time and take ownership of their learning. A portfolio project focused on the goals covered in A More Perfect Union is provided. The project could easily be adapted to suit the particular goals of an individual teacher s course or to specifically address state or district standards. Extended-Response Items Many educators are placing a great deal of emphasis on preparing students to be successful with extended-responses items. While such items primarily assess reading and writing skills, we have developed a series of extended-response items in which the reading is related to civic learning and the questions require students to use their civic knowledge and thinking skills in developing answers. A rubric based on Illinois s Grade 8 scoring rubric for extended-response items is provided for each of the extended-response items.

3 CONSTITUTION TEST Pick the one best answer for each question, The Preamble to the Constitution a. Explains the purpose and functions of government. b. Gives the reasons for becoming independent from Britain. c. Is used in deciding many Supreme Court cases. d. Was written by Thomas Jefferson. 2. Federalism is a. The separation of powers between the three branches of government legislative, executive, and judicial. b. The role of the executive branch in working with other countries. c. The division of power between the national government and smaller units of government, such as the states. d. The belief that the national government should be a direct democracy, in which the citizens vote on all issues. 3. The purpose of congressional hearings on proposed laws or big issues facing our nation is a. To speed up the process of enacting new legislation. b. To hear the views of citizens on important issues. c. To meet constitutional requirements set out in Article I. d. To prevent states from acting on these issues. 4. The Framers of the Constitution believed the legislative branch would be the most powerful. What actions did they take to limit that power? a. They created two houses of Congress with members selected in different ways and serving different terms. b. They gave the president the power to veto bills passed by Congress. c. They gave the two houses of Congress somewhat different powers. d. All of the above. 5. Which power does the president NOT have? a. To declare war when our country is attacked. b. To carry out the laws of the United States. c. To entry treaties with other countries, with the advise and consent of the Senate. d. To recommend legislation he/she thinks is important.

4 6. What does the term judicial review mean? a. It means that how well judges are doing should be examined regularly. b. It means that the courts have the power to say whether a law is constitutional or not. c. It means that courts should be careful, or judicial, in their review of cases. d. It means that the executive and legislative branches have checks on the power of the judicial branch. 7. Which of the following is NOT a method the framers used to insure limited government? a. Giving people the right to trial by jury and other due process rights. b. Separating powers among the branches of government and levels of government. c. Establishing age requirements for members of Congress and the president. d. Prohibiting Congress from passing certain laws, such as ex post facto laws. 8. A man and a woman are at home when the police arrive. The police ask to search the home. The woman says Yes, but the man says No. The police search the home. What right might the man claim was violated? a. Freedom of speech. b. Right to keep and bear arms. c. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. d. Right to have an attorney. 9. A terrible crime is committed. The newspapers and television have many stories about it. When a suspect is arrested, even more stories appear. The suspect s lawyer is afraid potential jury members will be convinced her client is guilty. She asks the judge to issue a gag order an order to tell everyone involved with the case to stop talking to reporters. What two rights are in conflict? a. Right to trial by jury is in conflict with the right to an attorney. b. Right to a fair trial is in conflict with the right not to testify against yourself. c. Rights of free speech and press are in conflict with the right to an attorney. d. Rights of free speech and press are in conflict with the right to a fair trial. 10. How have voting rights been expanded in the United States? a. The Constitution written in 1787 granted voting rights to all Americans. b. Constitutional amendments and laws were passed to extend voting rights. c. A national election was held to determine who should have voting rights. d. The Supreme Court ruled that all Americans over 18 should have voting rights.

5 Fill in the blank to complete each sentence below. 11. Most decisions in the United States are made by majority rule. This means that. 12. One way that minority rights are protected in the United States is by. 13. One check on the power of the legislative branch is. One check on the power of the executive branch is. One check on the power of the judicial branch is. 14. One advantage of the electoral college is. One problem with the electoral college is. 15. The Supreme Court does not decide guilt or innocence. It deals with and issues. 16. The Constitution of 1787 did not define citizenship. Citizenship was first defined by in the. Match each phrase related to the Bill of Rights with its definition. 18. Separation of church and state 19. Right to petition 20. Right to due process of law 21. Protection from selfincrimination 22. Protection from cruel and unusual punishment 23. Protection from double jeopardy 24. Freedom from unreasonable searches 25. Freedom of the press a. A person cannot be tried for the same crime twice. b. People can complain about a government action or ask government to change a bad policy. c. People can make information available to others through newsletters, books, and so on. d. The government can only search people and their property if they have good reason. e. The government cannot establish an official religion or favor religion. f. A person accused of a crime cannot be forced to testify against him/herself. g. A sentence must fit the crime and not be vicious. h. Fair proceedings must be used when deciding if a person accused of a crime is guilty.

6 26. Read this excerpt from the Declaration of Independence: We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed... Choose one idea about government from this excerpt. How did the Framers address this idea in the Constitution? Why is this idea important? Choose a historic or current example to illustrate your argument about the importance of the idea you selected. Scoring Checklist Accurately identifies one idea about government in the excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. (2 points) Describes how that idea is put into practice in the Constitution. (2 points) Explains why the idea is important to our democracy. (2 points) Effectively uses a historic or current example to illustrate the importance of the idea. (2 points) Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a well-organized answer that is easy to understand. (2 points) 27. Select a controversial issue you have studied in class. Some examples might be a flagburning amendment, the electoral college, immigration and citizenship, students free speech rights, or how to protect minority rights. Write a paragraph describing your position on the issue. Use your knowledge of how the legislative branch works to plan a strategy for influencing Congress. List the steps in your strategy. Write a letter or a speech that would be used as part of your strategy to advance your position on the issue. Scoring Checklist Clearly identifies a controversial issue. (2 points) Shows knowledge of how the legislative branch obtains input from citizens in writing laws about current issues. (2 points) Takes a position on the issue that reflects understanding of the issue and the arguments on both sides. (2 points) Effectively presents arguments for his/her position on the issue. (2 points) Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a well-organized speech or letter that is easy to understand. (2 points)

7 28. Do you think the President is too powerful or not powerful enough? Use your knowledge of the Constitution to answer that question. Cite one historic and one current example to support your argument. Scoring Checklist Cites powers of the presidency listed in the Constitution. (2 points) Takes a position on whether the President is too powerful or not powerful enough. (2 points) Gives a historic example related to the power of the presidency. (2 points) Gives a current example related to the power of the presidency. (2 points) Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a response that is easy to understand. (2 points) 29. Imagine that you have been arrested and accused of a crime. You are innocent. Explain how at least three rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights would be important to you in ensuring that you would experience due process. Scoring Checklist Correctly identifies three rights of the accused guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. (3 points) Demonstrates understanding of the term due process. (2 points) Explains why each of the three rights identified is important to an innocent person accused of a crime. (3 points) Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a response that is easy to understand.

8 30. Imagine that you are starting a Citizenship Camp. The camp will prepare young people for citizenship in a democracy. Identify the knowledge and skills that a citizen needs, as well as what a citizen needs to do. Think about the reasons people give for not voting and how you might overcome those reasons. Create a flyer for your camp. The brochure should tell the purpose of the camp. It should list knowledge and skills citizens need. It should also describe at least three activities that will help young people develop the knowledge and skills citizens need. Scoring Checklist Identifies knowledge and skills a citizen of a democracy needs. (2 points) Writes a purpose statement that defines a responsible and active citizen. (2 points) Identifies reasons people do not vote and addresses those reasons via the purpose statement and/or activities described. (2 points) Describes three activities that address the knowledge and skills identified as important to a citizen in a democracy. (3 points) Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in a response that is easy to understand. (1 point)

9 CONSTITUTION TEST: ANSWER KEY Pick the one best answer for each question, The Preamble to the Constitution a. Explains the purpose and functions of government. b. Gives the reasons for becoming independent from Britain. c. Is used in deciding many Supreme Court cases. d. Was written by Thomas Jefferson. 2. Federalism is a. The separation of powers between the three branches of government legislative, executive, and judicial. b. The role of the executive branch in working with other countries. c. The division of power between the national government and smaller units of government, such as the states. d. The belief that the national government should be a direct democracy, in which the citizens vote on all issues. 3. The purpose of congressional hearings on proposed laws or big issues facing our nation is a. To speed up the process of enacting new legislation. b. To hear the views of citizens on important issues. c. To meet constitutional requirements set out in Article I. d. To prevent states from acting on these issues. 4. The Framers of the Constitution believed the legislative branch would be the most powerful. What actions did they take to limit that power? a. They created two houses of Congress with members selected in different ways and serving different terms. b. They gave the president the power to veto bills passed by Congress. c. They gave the two houses of Congress somewhat different powers. d. All of the above. 5. Which power does the president NOT have? a. To declare war when our country is attacked. b. To carry out the laws of the United States. c. To entry treaties with other countries, with the advise and consent of the Senate. d. To recommend legislation he/she thinks is important.

10 6. What does the term judicial review mean? a. It means that how well judges are doing should be examined regularly. b. It means that the courts have the power to say whether a law is constitutional or not. c. It means that courts should be careful, or judicial, in their review of cases. d. It means that the executive and legislative branches have checks on the power of the judicial branch. 7. Which of the following is NOT a method the framers used to insure limited government? a. Giving people the right to trial by jury and other due process rights. b. Separating powers among the branches of government and levels of government. c. Establishing age requirements for members of Congress and the president. d. Prohibiting Congress from passing certain laws, such as ex post facto laws. 8. A man and a woman are at home when the police arrive. The police ask to search the home. The woman says Yes, but the man says No. The police search the home. What right might the man claim was violated? a. Freedom of speech. b. Right to keep and bear arms. c. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. d. Right to have an attorney. 9. A terrible crime is committed. The newspapers and television have many stories about it. When a suspect is arrested, even more stories appear. The suspect s lawyer is afraid potential jury members will be convinced her client is guilty. She asks the judge to issue a gag order an order to tell everyone involved with the case to stop talking to reporters. What two rights are in conflict? a. Right to trial by jury is in conflict with the right to an attorney. b. Right to a fair trial is in conflict with the right not to testify against yourself. c. Rights of free speech and press are in conflict with the right to an attorney. d. Rights of free speech and press are in conflict with the right to a fair trial. 10. How have voting rights been expanded in the United States? a. The Constitution written in 1787 granted voting rights to all Americans. b. Constitutional amendments and laws were passed to extend voting rights. c. A national election was held to determine who should have voting rights. d. The Supreme Court ruled that all Americans over 18 should have voting rights.

11 Fill in the blank to complete each sentence below. 11. Most decisions in the United States are made by majority rule. This means that the position or candidate with the largest number of votes wins and everyone must go along with that decision. 12. One way that minority rights are protected in the United States is by Possible answers (only one required): the protections in the Bill of Rights, special laws passed by Congress, filibuster, or longer terms for Senators (making them less concerned about re-election and the views of the majority). 13. One check on the power of the legislative branch is the Possible answers (only one required): presidential veto, judicial review, constitutional limits on kinds of laws Congress can pass. One check on the power of the executive branch is Possible answers (only one required): congressional override of the veto, judicial review, constitutional limits on actions president can take, Congressional control of the budget. One check on the power of the judicial branch is Possible answers (only one required): power to impeach judges, jurisdictional limits on cases they can take, ability to override Court decisions via constitutional amendment. 14. One advantage of the electoral college is it Possible answers (only one required): gives power to the smaller states so candidates for the presidency cannot ignore them, supports federalism. One problem with the electoral college is Possible answers (only one required): the candidate who receives the most popular votes may not win in the electoral college, it creates the possibility that an election may be thrown into the House of Representatives, it makes it difficult for a third party to be successful. 15. The Supreme Court does not decide guilt or innocence. It deals with legal and constitutional issues. 16. The Constitution of 1787 did not define citizenship. Citizenship was first defined by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case.

12 Match each phrase related to the Bill of Rights with its definition. e 18. Separation of church and state b 19. Right to petition h 20. Right to due process of law f 21. Protection from selfincrimination g 22. Protection from cruel and unusual punishment a 23. Protection from double jeopardy d 24. Freedom from unreasonable searches c 25. Freedom of the press a. A person cannot be tried for the same crime twice. b. People can complain about a government action or ask government to change a bad policy. c. People can make information available to others through newsletters, books, and so on. d. The government can only search people and their property if they have good reason. e. The government cannot establish an official religion or favor religion. f. A person accused of a crime cannot be forced to testify against him/herself. g. A sentence must fit the crime and not be vicious. h. Fair proceedings must be used when deciding if a person accused of a crime is guilty.

13 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS Each One Teach One Assessment on Founding Documents and Principles Directions You will be demonstrating what you have learned by creating a packet of cards that your teacher could use in a lesson on founding principles and documents. The cards would be used by students to teach each other about the meaning and importance of the ideas and important papers that are the foundations of democracy in the United States. Your job will be to create five cards. Two cards should be about important documents in U.S. history. These should be documents that establish important ideas about democracy in our nation. Three cards should deal with founding principles, important ideas that are embodied in our nation s constitutional government. Each card should contain three or four sentences. The first sentence should identify the document or explain the principle that is the subject of that card. If possible, put the constitutional language about the principle in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The second sentence should explain why that document or principle is important. Provide one or two examples of the importance of the principle or document. Examples can be historic or current. Excellent cards will include both a historic and a current example. For instance, a card about the First Amendment might say: The First Amendment is an important document because it protects five key rights, including the freedom of speech ( Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech ). Freedom of speech is important to a democracy because citizens must be able to express their views about government. Freedom of speech was important to the Framers because they had experienced government that did not listen to their opinions. Today, people who do not agree with a government policy, such as the war in Iraq, can make their views known. Start by writing the documents and principles you think are important on the planning sheet. Then jot down ideas about the importance of each document or principle. Think of an example that illustrates that importance. Note that as well. Use your notes to create your five cards. Before you turn them in, ask a classmate to review them. Is the information clear? What questions does your classmate have? How can you revise the cards to answer those questions? Turn in your planning sheet, your cards, and any drafts of cards that you created before finishing the final cards.

14 Name Each One Teach One Assessment Planning Sheet 1. Founding document: Why it is important: Example illustrating its importance: 2. Founding document: Why it is important: Example illustrating its importance: 3. Founding principle: Why it is important: Example illustrating its importance:

15 4. Founding principle: Why it is important: Example illustrating its importance: 5. Founding principle: Why it is important: Example illustrating its importance:

16 Cards

17 Each One Teach One Assessment Scoring Guide Each card is worth 18 points and should have the following characteristics: Accurately identifies an important founding document (two cards) or principle foundational to our democracy (three cards) When applicable, cites constitutional language related to each principle Accurately explains why the document or principle is important to our system of government Gives examples of the importance of the document or principle Gives both historic and current examples Is clear, understandable, and written in complete sentences cards x 18 points per card 90 The planning sheet is worth 10 points and should have the following characteristics: All planning steps are complete 5 Shows evidence of revision and refinement of ideas 5 Total Possible Points 100 Outstanding (A) = 90+ points Good (B) = points Satisfactory (C) = points Unsatisfactory = Less than 70 points

18 Graphic Organizer Assessment on the Branches of Government Directions On the next page is the framework for a graphic organizer in which you can show what you have learned about the branches of government. You will do three things to show what you have learned: 1. In each box, list at least three constitutional powers of that branch. You should also list one constitutional limit on that branch s power. 2. On the lines connecting the boxes, write at least one example of how the two branches check each other s power. 3. In the space in the center, summarize how power is separated among the three branches and give a reason why separation of powers is important. Provide an example that illustrates your reason.

19 Executive Branch Legislative Branch Judicial Branch

20 Graphic Organizer Scoring Guide Good work completing the graphic organizer will reach the goals in the first column below. The items in the second column describe what your teacher will look for in determining whether your work meets the goals. Goals Evidence Points Work demonstrates knowledge of Constitutional powers and limits on the branches of government. Work demonstrates knowledge of checks and balances. Work demonstrates knowledge of the importance of separation of powers. Lists three Constitutional powers of each branch of government. (3 points for each constitutional power) Lists one constitutional limit on the powers of each branch of government. (3 points for each limit on power) Provides one example of how each branch checks the other two branches. (4 points per check) In summary paragraph, explains the separation of powers, defining the role of each branch. (10 points) In summary paragraph, gives reason why separation of powers is important to our democracy. (10 points) Provides example of reason why separation of powers is important. (10 points) Outstanding (A) = 90+ points Good (B) = points Satisfactory (C) = points Unsatisfactory = Less than 70 points

21 Public Service Announcement Assessment on the Rights of U.S. Citizens Directions To show what you have learned about the rights of U.S. citizens, you will be creating a series of three Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The purpose of a PSA is to educate the public. Thus, your PSAs should be designed to teach others about the Bill of Rights and voting rights.. Your planning sheet will be assessed along with your PSAs. Following these steps will help you create a good series of PSAs: 1. Decide what three rights or categories of rights (e.g., voting rights) you think the public most needs to understand. Write the rights you have selected below; note where each right is protected in the Constitution. 2. Look at your list of rights. For each, write two reasons why it is important. Think about why that right was important to the Framers. Also think about why it is still important today how does it affect our lives in the 21 st century? Jot down examples of the impact of each right on our lives today. 3. Decide which ideas you want to convey in your PSAs. Think about how you will convey those ideas you have written above. Remember that a PSA can take several forms. Choose the form you think will work best for educating others about the ideas you have noted above: Television ads Radio ads Full-page ads in the newspaper Billboards 4. Make sketches or storyboards for your PSAs. Have a classmate review your plans to see whether he/she understands the ideas you are trying to convey. Check your sketch or storyboard against the scoring guide for the PSAs to make sure that you are addressing your teacher s requirements. 5. Create your PSAs.

22 PSA Assessment Scoring Guide A good series of PSAs will reach the goals in the first column below. The items in the second column describe what your teacher will look for in determining whether or not your PSAs meet the goals. Goals Evidence Points PSAs and planning sheet demonstrate understanding of rights and where they are protected in the Constitution. PSAs and planning sheet demonstrate understanding of the importance of the identified rights. PSAs communicate information effectively. Planning sheet reflects thoughtful planning. Accurately identifies three important rights or categories of rights. (7 points per right) Accurately identifies where in the Constitution each right is protected. (3 points per right) Accurately explains why each right was important to the Framers. (6 points per right) Accurately explains why each right is still important to Americans today. (7 points per right) Gives examples that show the impact of these rights today. (4 points) Uses vivid language, examples, and visuals to draw the public to the PSAs and keep them interested. (5 points) Uses correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. (4 points) Fully completes all planning steps. (5 points) Shows evidence of revision and refinement of ideas. (5 points) Outstanding (A) = 90+ points Good (B) = points Satisfactory (C) = points Unsatisfactory = Less than 70 points

23 CITIZEN PORTFOLIO AND REPORT CARD* This year, you will be making a portfolio of the work you do as you learn about our Constitution and government. You will organize your work to show that you are learning what you need to know and be able to do in order to take on the important Office of Citizen. For each piece of work you want to include in your portfolio, select one of the six goals listed below. Pick the goal that you think matches your work. Copy the goal at the top of a sheet of paper. Then write several sentences in which you explain how your work shows that you are making progress toward reaching that goal. Staple the sheet of paper to your assignment. Here are the goals: A. Understand the big ideas that provide the foundation for U.S. government. B. Explain the structure and contents of the U.S. Constitution. C. Understand the functions and structures of the three branches of the U.S. government and how they relate to each other. D. Describe the rights of individuals in the United States as well as the limits on rights. E. Know the role of the citizen in a democracy. F. Take and defend a position on a current issue. Example: PSA on the Declaration of Independence (your original assignment) Goal A: Understand the big ideas that provide the foundation for U.S. government. My group s PSA on the Declaration of Independence focused on the idea that the people can change or overthrow the government if it is not protecting their unalienable rights. This is a key idea of U.S. government. Our PSA showed that the Constitution provided four ways people can change the government. They can petition the government, can vote, and, through their elected officials, can impeach a corrupt public official and can amend the Constitution. We used the election of 2008 as an example of the people voting for a change. *Adapted from an assessment created by Jackie Johnson, Associate Director, Center for Education in Law and Democracy, Denver, CO. Jackie developed and used the assessment when she was an eighth-grade teacher at Campus Middle School in Englewood, Colorado.

24 At the end of the year, you will create a report card showing that you are qualified to take on the Office of Citizen. Reviewing your portfolio will help you decide what to highlight. Your report card should list knowledge and skills that a citizen needs. For each item, your report card should list one piece of evidence that you have that knowledge or skill. In the comments section of the report card, summarize how your experiences this year qualify you for the Office of Citizen. Sample format for Citizen Report Card Citizen Report Card Knowledge: A. Evidence: B. Evidence: C. Evidence: Skills A. Evidence B. Evidence C. Evidence Comments:

25 Rubric for Citizen Portfolio and Report Card Goals Evidence Points Portfolio links student work to goals. Report card summarizes student qualifications for the office of citizen. Work reflects thoughtful planning and execution. Provides at least two pieces of work that show progress toward achieving each goal. Explains how the work relates to the goal. When applicable, cites Constitutional language and principles related to the goals. Identifies knowledge and skills important to citizenship. Provides evidence of attainment of listed knowledge and skills. Links experiences to requirements of citizenship. Fully completes all aspects of assignment. Presents a neat and well-written product. Shows evidence of reflection on the importance of learning how to be a citizen

26 EXTENDED-RESPONSE ITEMS Unit 1: The Federalist Papers Just days after the new Constitution was signed in 1787, New York newspapers began to attack it. They said the new Constitution took away the rights Americans had won in the Revolution. Alexander Hamilton Takes Action New Yorker Alexander Hamilton had helped write the Constitution. He was the only New York delegate to the constitutional convention who signed the document. Hamilton feared New York might not ratify the Constitution. He decided to write essays arguing with the critics. Hamilton wanted a strong central government. In October 1787, he published his first essay defending the Constitution. He signed it using the Roman name Publius. (Political writers of the time often used pen names.) Hamilton soon asked two other men, James Madison and John Jay, to write articles. They also used the name Publius. James Madison is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. He played a major role at the Constitutional Convention. As a delegate from Virginia, he kept notes of the talks and wrote much of the Constitution. John Jay had not helped write the Constitution. He was serving as a diplomat when Hamilton asked him to help. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay wrote 85 essays for the New York papers. The essays drew much praise. Many people outside of New York wanted to read the essays. One New York newspaper printed the essays as a book called The Federalist. They were also called the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers helped convince New Yorkers that the Constitution was a good model for a new government. Today, the Federalist Papers help us understand what the writers of the Constitution had in mind when they drafted that amazing document 200 years ago. What The Federalist Said The Federalist Papers addressed issues about the Constitution. In Federalist #23, Hamilton listed the main goals of government. One was common defense. This meant keeping law and order at home and protecting the nation from external attacks. Another goal was to control trade between states and with other nations. A third was dealing with foreign countries. In Federalist #51, Madison said, If men were angels, no government would be necessary. He then explained why government needs checks on it. He said that for a government controlled by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first let government control the Adapted from Project History: U.S. History for Middle School (Los Angeles: Constitutional Rights Foundation, 2003.

27 people and then make it control itself. In other words, government had to have power, but not too much power. The Federalist Papers explained how the Constitution set up such a government. Much of the Federalist Papers explained three basic ideas behind the Constitution: separation of powers, federalism, and republican government. Separation of Powers The Constitution puts many checks on government. One is called the separation of powers. Congress, the president, and the courts have separate powers. Congress makes laws. The President carries them out. The courts interpret the laws and apply them to particular cases. In Federalist #47, Madison told why the powers of government should be separated. He said: Putting all powers... in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many is tyranny. In other words, giving one person or group all the power will stop people from being free. Federalism Another check on government is federalism, the division of power between different levels of government. The Constitution lists the powers of the national government. It reserves all other powers for the states. As Madison explained in Federalist #46, the federal system lets state governments, which are closer to the people, meet the personal interests of the people. The states also serve to check the power of the federal government. A Republic The Federalist Papers emphasized that the Constitution created a republic. A republic is a representative democracy. People elect those who govern them. A republic relies on the consent of the governed. In Federalist #39, Madison defined a republic as a government that gets its powers from the people and is run by persons holding their offices... for a limited period, or during good behavior. Many thinkers believed a republic could not work in a large country. They thought it could only work in states or cities where people knew the community and could work for the common good. In a large country, they argued, the government is far from the people, and special interests, or factions, would take over. Madison in Federalist #10 responded that large republics actually prevented factions from taking over. Madison said that in a large republic, you take in a greater variety of... interests; you make it less probable that a majority... will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. In other words, in a large republic, special interests balance one another. The Federalist Papers stressed that the Constitution was setting up a government that would preserve freedom. The new government would be strong enough to protect the nation. But it would not be too strong and take away people s freedom. Its powers would be limited and checked through federalism and the separation of powers. It would be a republic, based on the consent of the governed.

28 Questions 1. Why was James Madison called the Father of the Constitution? a. Because he, along with Hamilton and Jay, wrote many of the Federalist Papers. b. Because he presided over the constitutional convention. c. Because he wrote much of the Constitution and kept records of the convention. d. Because he was one of the oldest delegates to the convention. 2. According to the reading, which was NOT one of the ideas about government on which the Federalist Papers focused? a. Separation of powers. b. The electoral college. c. Federalism. d. Republican form of government. 3. What are the key aspects of a republic, as described in Federalist #39? a. In a republic, the people hold the power and elect officials to represent them. The officials serve for a limited time or during good behavior, depending on their job. b. All of the people living in a republic have the right to vote on issues that come before the nation. c. Special interest groups, acting on behalf of the citizens, hold much of the power in a republic. d. Power is split between differing levels of government, with the Constitution clearly telling which powers belong to each level. 4. Why do you think Madison compared men to angels in Federalist #51? a. To make the point that people who run for public office are a lot like angels because they put others needs before their own. b. To make the point that, unlike angels, people have flaws and those flaws must be acknowledged when designing a government. c. To encourage citizens in our new republic to act more like angels so that governing them would be easier. d. To illustrate that the people who wrote the Constitution were religious men and considered religious ideas in writing the Constitution. 5. Basic Prompt: The opponents of the new Constitution feared that it would create a national government that was too strong and would take away the people s rights. Use the reading above to answer the following questions: How did the writers of the Federalist Papers address the fears of the Constitution s opponents? How effective were their arguments? 5b. Scaffolded Prompt: The opponents of the new Constitution feared that it would create a national government that was too strong and would take away the people s rights. Use the

29 reading above to answer the following questions: How did the writers of the Federalist Papers address the fears of the Constitution s opponents? How effective were their arguments? From the reading, identify the key ideas stressed by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. Use references to the text to support what you write. Make connections to the Constitution and what you have learned about protections of individual rights. Extend the ideas in the reading by thinking of concrete examples of the key ideas mentioned in the reading. Do these examples support the authors of the Federalist Papers or their opponents?

30 Unit 1: The Federalist Papers Extended-Response Key 1. Why was James Madison called the Father of the Constitution? a. Because he, along with Hamilton and Jay, wrote many of the Federalist Papers. b. Because he presided over the constitutional convention. c. Because he wrote much of the Constitution and kept records of the convention. d. Because he was one of the oldest delegates to the convention. 2. According to the reading, which was NOT one of the ideas about government on which the Federalist Papers focused? a. Separation of powers. b. The electoral college. c. Federalism. d. Republican form of government. 3. What are the key aspects of a republic, as described in Federalist #39? a. In a republic, the people hold the power and elect officials to represent them. The officials serve for a limited time or during good behavior, depending on their job. b. All of the people living in a republic have the right to vote on issues that come before the nation. c. Special interest groups, acting on behalf of the citizens, hold much of the power in a republic. d. Power is split between differing levels of government, with the Constitution clearly telling which powers belong to each level. 4. Why do you think Madison compared men to angels in Federalist #51? a. To make the point that people who run for public office are a lot like angels because they put others needs before their own. b. To make the point that, unlike angels, people have flaws and those flaws must be acknowledged when designing a government. c. To encourage citizens in our new republic to act more like angels so that governing them would be easier. d. To illustrate that the people who wrote the Constitution were religious men and considered religious ideas in writing the Constitution. 5. The opponents of the new Constitution feared that it would create a national government that was too strong and would take away the people s rights. Use the reading above to answer the following questions: How did the writers of the Federalist Papers address the fears of the Constitution s opponents? How effective were their arguments? The reading and writing aspects of student answers to this item can be evaluated using your district or state s standard rubric for extended-responses items. To evaluate the civic learning, look for the following:

31 Exemplary Performance Student identifies the three key ideas from the text (separation of powers, federalism, and republicanism) and links them to opponents of the Constitution s fear of a strong national government that would violate people s rights. For each key idea from the text, the student cites specific provisions of the Constitution that relate to that key idea (separation of powers various provisions in Articles I, II, and III; federalism Article I, Section, Article V, and Amendment X; republicanism the Preamble, provision for election of public officials in Articles I and II). The student describes how the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as a way to address objections of opponents. The student gives two or more concrete examples of key ideas from the text and explains whether they support the authors of the Federalist or their opponents. For instance, the student might mention national and state efforts to solve the problem of immigration as an example of federalism supporting the authors of the Federalist Papers. Satisfactory Performance Student identifies the three key ideas from the text (separation of powers, federalism, and republicanism) and links two of them to fear of a strong national government. For two key ideas from the text, the student cites specific provisions of the Constitution that relate to that key idea (separation of powers various provisions in Articles I, II, and III; federalism Article I, Section, Article V, and Amendment X; republicanism the Preamble, provision for election of public officials in Articles I and II). The student provides at least one concrete example of a key idea from the text and explains whether it supports the authors of the Federalist or their opponents. Basic Performance Student identifies at least two of the key ideas from the text and links one or two to fear of a strong national government. For one key idea from the text, the student cites specific provisions of the Constitution that relate to that key idea (separation of powers various provisions in Articles I, II, and III; federalism Article I, Section, Article V, and Amendment X; republicanism the Preamble, provision for election of public officials in Articles I and II). The student provides at least one concrete example of a key idea from the text. Unsatisfactory Performance Student identifies one or none of the key ideas from the text and fails to link it to fear of a strong national government. Student cites no specific provisions of the Constitution that relate to key ideas from the text. The student provides no concrete examples of key ideas from the text.

32 Unit 2: The Legislative Branch The legislative branch of government has the authority to make laws for the nation. It was established in Article I of the Constitution with the creation of Congress. Agencies such as the Government Printing Office, Library of Congress, Congressional Budget Office, and the Government Accountability Office, which provide support services for the Congress, are also part of the legislative branch. Congress is bicameral, that is, it is made up of two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This system was created by the Founding Fathers after much debate. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention from larger and more populated states wanted congressional representation to be based upon population. Fearing domination, delegates from smaller states wanted equal representation. The Great Compromise resulted in the creation of two houses, with representation based on population in one and with equal representation in the other. Now members of Congress are elected by a direct vote of the people of the state they represent. It has not always been this way for the Senate. Prior to 1913 and the 17 th Amendment to the Constitution, Senators were chosen by their state legislatures. The Senate was viewed as representative of state governments, not of the people. It was the responsibility of Senators to ensure that their state was treated equally in legislation. The primary duty of Congress is to write, debate, and pass bills, which are then passed on to the president for approval. The Constitution grants Congress all legislative powers in the national government. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution lists a wide range of congressional powers, including: Coining money. Maintaining a military. Declaring war on other countries. Regulating interstate and foreign commerce. Congress also controls federal taxing and spending policies one of the most important sources of power in the government. The Constitution also gives Congress the authority to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper, an implied source of power sometimes called the Elastic Clause. One of the most important implied powers is Congress s authority to investigate and oversee the executive branch and its agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. Congress also holds hearings on matters of general public concern. Sometimes members of Congress conduct these hearings to identify problems that create a need for new laws. In other cases Congress holds hearings to raise public awareness about an issue. There are, however, some congressional powers that are rarely used such as the ability to impeach an official and amending the Constitution. From The Legislative Branch, Ben s Guide to U.S. Government (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office),

33 In addition to the power described above, Congress shares powers with the president in matters such as framing U.S. foreign policy and control over the military. For example, while the president negotiates treaties, they are only put into effect once the Senate approves them. Also, while Congress can declare war and approve funds for the military, the president is the commander-in-chief of the military. A new Congress begins in January every two years following congressional elections, in which voters choose all representatives and a third of the senators. The entire House membership faces re-election every two years, but the Senate is a continuing body because there is never an entirely new Senate. Since the First Congress, which met from 1789 to 1791, all Congresses have been numbered in order. For the most part, the House and Senate each meet in their respective chamber in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. However, on rare occasions, they will meet together for a joint session of Congress in the House chamber. For example, a joint session will be called to count electoral votes for presidential elections Questions 1. Why did the smaller states want equal representation in the Congress? a. Because they believed in equality as a principle. b. Because they did not want the large states to have too much power. c. Because they wanted to pattern Congress after the British Parliament. d. Because there were more large states than small states. 2. Which is NOT a power of Congress? a. Passing laws. b. Declaring war. c. Enforcing laws. d. Regulating trade. 3. Which is NOT an example of Congress ability to check the power of another branch? a. Impeachment of judges b. Oversight of the executive agencies c. The Senate s power to ratify treaties d. The Elastic Clause 4. Basic Prompt: The founders thought the legislative branch would be the most powerful. Do you agree? Why or why not? 4a. Scaffolded Prompt: The founders thought the legislative branch would be the most powerful. Do you agree? Why or why not? Find the key ideas in the reading about the powers of the legislative branch. Also make references to the text about checks on the legislative branch. Make connections to other things you have learned about the legislative branch, including the people s relationship to that branch. Extend your response by thinking about current events that may shed light on the question. Use evidence from the reading and your own knowledge to formulate and support your position on the question.

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