Texas

Texas High School Graduation Requirements and Policies:

TEC §39.023-025: Satisfactory performance on the grade 11 exit exam in social studies is a prerequisite for high school graduation.

Texas Education Agency, Graduation Requirements Under Subchapter B of 19 TAC Chapter 14:

19 TAC §74.12 (b)(4) “Social studies—three credits. Two of the credits must consist of United States History Studies Since 1877 (one credit), United States Government (one-half credit), and Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits (one-half credit).”

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies

Grade K

  • History. The student understands that holidays are celebrations of special events. The student is expected to:
    • explain the reasons for national patriotic holidays such as Presidents’ Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day; and
    • identify customs associated with national patriotic holidays such as parades and fireworks on Independence Day.
  • History. The student understands how historical figures, patriots, and good citizens helped shape the community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:
    • identify contributions of historical figures, including Stephen F. Austin, George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and José Antonio Navarro, who helped to shape the state and nation; and
    • identify contributions of patriots and good citizens who have shaped the community.
  • Government. The student understands the purpose of rules. The student is expected to:
    • identify purposes for having rules; and
    • identify rules that provide order, security, and safety in the home and school.
  • Government. The student understands the role of authority figures. The student is expected to:
    • identify authority figures in the home, school, and community; and
    • explain how authority figures make and enforce rules.
  • Citizenship. The student understands important symbols, customs, and responsibilities that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity. The student is expected  to:  o identify the flags of the United States and Texas;
    • recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge to the Texas Flag; and
    • identify Constitution Day as a celebration of American freedom; and use voting as a method for group decision making.

Grade 1

  • History. The student understands the origins of customs, holidays, and celebrations. The student is expected to:
    • describe the origins of customs, holidays, and celebrations of the community, state, and nation such as San Jacinto Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day; and
    • compare the observance of holidays and celebrations, past and present.
  • History. The student understands how historical figures, patriots, and good citizens helped shape the community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:
    • identify contributions of historical figures, including Sam Houston, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., who have influenced the community, state, and nation.
  • Government. The student understands the purpose of rules and laws. The student is expected to:
    • identify rules and laws that establish order, provide security, and manage conflict.
  • Government. The student understands the role of authority figures, public officials, and citizens. The student is expected to:
    • identify and describe the roles of public officials in the community, state, and nation; and
    • identify and describe the role of a good citizen in maintaining a constitutional republic.
  • Citizenship. The student understands characteristics of good citizenship as exemplified by historical figures and other individuals. The student is expected to:
    • identify characteristics of good citizenship, including truthfulness, justice, equality, respect for oneself and others, responsibility in daily life, and participation in government by educating oneself about the issues, respectfully holding public officials to their word, and voting;
    • identify historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Francis Scott Key, and Eleanor Roosevelt who have exemplified good citizenship; and
    • identify other individuals who exemplify good citizenship.
  • Citizenship. The student understands important symbols, customs, and celebrations that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity. The student is expected to: o explain state and national patriotic symbols, including the United States and Texas flags, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, and the Alamo;
    • recite and explain the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge to the Texas Flag;
    • identify anthems and mottoes of Texas and the United States;
    • explain and practice voting as a way of making choices and decisions;
    • explain how patriotic customs and celebrations reflect American individualism and freedom; and
    • identify Constitution Day as a celebration of American freedom.

Grade 2

  • History. The student understands the historical significance of landmarks and celebrations in the community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:
    • explain the significance of various community, state, and national celebrations such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving; and
    • identify and explain the significance of various community, state, and national landmarks such as monuments and government buildings.
  • History. The student understands how historical figures, patriots, and good citizens helped shape the community, state, and nation. The student is expected to:
    • identify contributions of historical figures, including Thurgood Marshall, Irma Rangel, John Hancock, and Theodore Roosevelt, who have influenced the community, state, and nation; and
    • identify historical figures such as Amelia Earhart, W. E. B. DuBois, Robert Fulton, and George Washington Carver who have exhibited individualism and inventiveness.
  • Government. The student understands the role of public officials. The student is expected to:
    • name current public officials, including mayor, governor, and president;
    • compare the roles of public officials, including mayor, governor, and president; and
    • identify ways that public officials are selected, including election and appointment to office.
  • Citizenship. The student understands characteristics of good citizenship as exemplified by historical figures and other individuals. The student is expected to:
    • identify historical figures such as Paul Revere, Abigail Adams, World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and Navajo Code Talkers, and Sojourner Truth who have exemplified good citizenship.
  • Citizenship. The student identifies customs, symbols, and celebrations that represent American beliefs and principles that contribute to our national identity. The student is expected to:
    • recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge to the Texas Flag; and
    • identify selected patriotic songs, including “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful”;
    • identify selected symbols such as state and national birds and flowers and patriotic symbols such as the U.S. and Texas flags and Uncle Sam; and
    • identify how selected customs, symbols, and celebrations reflect an American love of individualism, inventiveness, and freedom.

Grade 3

  • History. The student understands how individuals, events, and ideas have influenced the history of various communities. The student is expected to:
    • describe how individuals, events, and ideas have changed communities, past and present;
    • identify individuals, including Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, Benjamin Banneker, and Benjamin Franklin, who have helped to shape communities; and
    • describe how individuals, including Daniel Boone, Christopher Columbus, the Founding Fathers, and Juan de Oñate, have contributed to the expansion of existing communities or to the creation of new communities.
  • Government. The student understands the basic structure and functions of various levels of government. The student is expected to:
    • describe the basic structure of government in the local community, state, and nation;
    • identify local, state, and national government officials and explain how they are chosen;
    • identify services commonly provided by local, state, and national governments; and
    • explain how local, state, and national government services are financed.
  • Government. The student understands important ideas in historical documents at various levels of government. The student is expected to:
    • identify the purposes of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights; and
    • describe and explain the importance of the concept of “consent of the governed” as it relates to the functions of local, state, and national government.
  • Citizenship. The student understands characteristics of good citizenship as exemplified by historical and contemporary figures. The student is expected to:
    • identify historical figures such as Helen Keller and Clara Barton and contemporary figures such as Ruby Bridges and military and first responders who exemplify good citizenship; and
    • identify and explain the importance of individual acts of civic responsibility, including obeying laws, serving the community, serving on a jury, and voting.

Grade 4

  • Government. The student understands important ideas in historical documents of Texas and the United States. The student is expected to:
    • identify the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (Celebrate Freedom Week).
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • identify leaders in state, local, and national governments, including the governor, local members of the Texas Legislature, the local mayor, U.S. senators, local U.S. representatives, and Texans who have been president of the United States.

Grade 5

  • History. The student understands the causes and effects of European colonization in the United States beginning in 1565, the founding of St. Augustine. The student is expected to:
    • explain when, where, and why groups of people explored, colonized, and settled in the United States, including the search for religious freedom and economic gain; and
    • describe the accomplishments of significant individuals during the colonial period, including William Bradford, Anne Hutchinson, William Penn, John Smith, John Wise, and Roger Williams.
  • History. The student understands how conflict between the American colonies and Great Britain led to American independence. The student is expected to:
    • identify and analyze the causes and effects of events prior to and during the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War and the Boston Tea Party;
    • identify the Founding Fathers and Patriot heroes, including John Adams, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Hale, Thomas Jefferson, the Sons of Liberty, and George Washington, and their motivations and contributions during the revolutionary period; and
    • summarize the results of the American Revolution, including the establishment of the United States and the development of the U.S. military.
  • History. The student understands the events that led from the Articles of Confederation to the creation of the U.S. Constitution and the government it established. The student is expected to:
    • identify the issues that led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution, including the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation; and
    • identify the contributions of individuals, including James Madison, and others such as George Mason, Charles Pinckney, and Roger Sherman who helped create the U.S. Constitution.
  • History. The student understands political, economic, and social changes that occurred in the United States during the 19th century. The student is expected to:
    • identify the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states’ rights, and slavery, and the effects of the Civil War, including Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  • History. The student understands important issues, events, and individuals in the United States during the 20th and 21st centuries. The student is expected to:
    • analyze various issues and events of the 20th century such as industrialization, urbanization, increased use of oil and gas, the Great Depression, the world wars, the civil rights movement, and military actions; and
    • identify the accomplishments of individuals and groups such as Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who have made contributions to society in the areas of civil rights, women’s rights, military actions, and politics.
  • Government. The student understands the organization of governments in colonial America. The student is expected to:
    • identify and compare the systems of government of early European colonists, including representative government and monarchy; and
    • identify examples of representative government in the American colonies, including the Mayflower Compact and the Virginia House of Burgesses.
  • Government. The student understands important ideas in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The student is expected to:
    • identify the key elements and the purposes and explain the importance of the Declaration of Independence;
    • explain the purposes of the U.S. Constitution as identified in the Preamble; and
    • explain the reasons for the creation of the Bill of Rights and its importance.
  • Government. The student understands the framework of government created by the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The student is expected to:
    • identify and explain the basic functions of the three branches of government;
    • identify the reasons for and describe the system of checks and balances outlined in the U.S. Constitution; and
    • distinguish between national and state governments and compare their responsibilities in the U.S. federal system.
  • Citizenship. The student understands important symbols, customs, celebrations, and landmarks that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity. The student is expected to:
    • explain various patriotic symbols, including Uncle Sam, and political symbols such as the donkey and elephant;
    • sing or recite “The Star-Spangled Banner” and explain its history;
    • recite and explain the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag;
    • describe the origins and significance of national celebrations such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Constitution Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day; and
    • explain the significance of important landmarks, including the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and Mount Rushmore.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • explain the contributions of the Founding Fathers to the development of the national government;
    • identify past and present leaders in the national government, including the president and various members of Congress, and their political parties; and
    • identify and compare leadership qualities of national leaders, past and present.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the fundamental rights of American citizens guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The student is expected to:
    • describe the fundamental rights guaranteed by each amendment in the Bill of Rights, including freedom of religion, speech, and press; the right to assemble and petition the government; the right to keep and bear arms; the right to trial by jury; and the right to an attorney; and
    • describe various amendments to the U.S. Constitution such as those that extended voting rights of U.S. citizens.

Grade 6

  • Government. The student understands the concepts of limited and unlimited governments. The student is expected to:
    • identify and describe examples of limited and unlimited governments such as constitutional (limited) and totalitarian (unlimited);
    • compare the characteristics of limited and unlimited governments; and
    • identify reasons for limiting the power of government.
  • Government. The student understands various ways in which people organize governments. The student is expected to:
    • identify and give examples of governments with rule by one, few, or many; and
    • identify historical origins of democratic forms of government such as Ancient Greece.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the relationship among individual rights, responsibilities, duties, and freedoms in societies with representative governments. The student is expected to:
    • identify and explain the duty of civic participation in societies with representative governments; and
    • explain relationships among rights, responsibilities, and duties in societies with representative governments.

Grade 8

  • History. The student understands traditional historical points of reference in U.S. history through 1877. The student is expected to:
    • identify the major eras and events in U.S. history through 1877, including colonization, revolution, drafting of the Declaration of Independence, creation and ratification of the Constitution, religious revivals such as the Second Great Awakening, early republic, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion, reform movements, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction, and describe their causes and effects; and
    • explain the significance of the following dates: 1607, founding of Jamestown; 1620, arrival of the Pilgrims and signing of the Mayflower Compact; 1776, adoption of the Declaration of Independence; 1787, writing of the U.S. Constitution; 1803, Louisiana Purchase; and 1861- 1865, Civil War.
  • History. The student understands the causes of exploration and colonization eras. The student is expected to:
    • identify reasons for European exploration and colonization of North America; and
    • compare political, economic, religious, and social reasons for the establishment of the 13 English colonies.
  • History. The student understands the foundations of representative government in the United States. The student is expected to:
    • explain the reasons for the growth of representative government and institutions during the colonial period;
    • analyze the importance of the Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and the Virginia House of Burgesses to the growth of representative government; and
    • describe how religion and virtue contributed to the growth of representative government in the American colonies.
  • History. The student understands significant political and economic issues of the revolutionary era. The student is expected to:
    • analyze causes of the American Revolution, including the Proclamation of 1763, the Intolerable Acts, the Stamp Act, mercantilism, lack of representation in Parliament, and British economic policies following the French and Indian War;
    • explain the roles played by significant individuals during the American Revolution, including Abigail Adams, John Adams, Wentworth Cheswell, Samuel Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, James Armistead, Benjamin Franklin, Bernardo de Gálvez, Crispus Attucks, King George III, Haym Salomon, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Thomas Paine, and George Washington;
    • explain the issues surrounding important events of the American Revolution, including declaring independence; writing the Articles of Confederation; fighting the battles of Lexington, Concord, Saratoga, and Yorktown; enduring the winter at Valley Forge; and signing the Treaty of Paris of 1783;
    • analyze the issues of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, including the Great Compromise and the Three-Fifths Compromise; and
    • analyze the arguments for and against ratification.
  • History. The student understands the challenges confronted by the government and its leaders in the early years of the republic and the Age of Jackson. The student is expected to:
    • describe major domestic problems faced by the leaders of the new republic such as maintaining national security, building a military, creating a stable economic system, setting up the court system, and defining the authority of the central government;
      • summarize arguments regarding protective tariffs, taxation, and the banking system;
      • explain the origin and development of American political parties;
      • explain the impact of the election of Andrew Jackson, including expanded suffrage; and
      • analyze the reasons for the removal and resettlement of Cherokee Indians during the Jacksonian era, including the Indian Removal Act, Worcester v. Georgia, and the Trail of Tears.
  • History. The student understands westward expansion and its effects on the political, economic, and social development of the nation. The student is expected to:
    • explain how the Northwest Ordinance established principles and procedures for orderly expansion of the United States;
    • explain the political, economic, and social roots of Manifest Destiny; and
    • analyze the relationship between the concept of Manifest Destiny and the westward growth of the nation.
  • History. The student understands how political, economic, and social factors led to the growth of sectionalism and the Civil War. The student is expected to:
    • compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks;
    • analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States; and
    • identify the provisions and compare the effects of congressional conflicts and compromises prior to the Civil War, including the roles of John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster.
  • History. The student understands individuals, issues, and events of the Civil War. The student is expected to:
    • explain the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states’ rights, and slavery, and significant events of the Civil War, including the firing on Fort Sumter; the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg; the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation; Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House; and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; and
    • analyze Abraham Lincoln’s ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and contrast them with the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address.
  • History. The student understands the effects of Reconstruction on the political, economic, and social life of the nation. The student is expected to:
    • evaluate legislative reform programs of the Radical Reconstruction Congress and reconstructed state governments; and
    • explain the economic, political, and social problems during Reconstruction and evaluate their impact on different groups.
  • Government. The student understands the American beliefs and principles reflected in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and other important historic documents. The student is expected to:
    • identify the influence of ideas from historic documents, including the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, the Federalist Papers, and selected Anti-Federalist writings, on the U.S. system of government;
    • summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation;
    • identify colonial grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence and explain how those grievances were addressed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and
    • analyze how the U.S. Constitution reflects the principles of limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights.
  • Government. The student understands the process of changing the U.S. Constitution and the impact of amendments on American society. The student is expected to:
    • summarize the purposes for and process of amending the U.S. Constitution; and
    • describe the impact of 19th-century amendments, including the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, on life in the United States.
  • Government. The student understands the dynamic nature of the powers of the national government and state governments in a federal system. The student is expected to:
    • analyze the arguments of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, including those of Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, James Madison, and George Mason; and
    • explain constitutional issues arising over the issue of states’ rights, including the Nullification Crisis and the Civil War.
  • Government. The student understands the impact of landmark Supreme Court cases. The student is expected to:
    • identify the origin of judicial review and analyze examples of congressional and presidential responses;
    • summarize the issues, decisions, and significance of landmark Supreme Court cases, including Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Gibbons v. Ogden; and
    • evaluate the impact of selected landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Dred Scott v. Sandford, on life in the United States.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the rights and responsibilities of citizens of the United States. The student is expected to:
    • define and give examples of unalienable rights;
    • summarize rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights;
    • identify examples of responsible citizenship, including obeying rules and laws, staying informed on public issues, voting, and serving on juries; and
    • explain how the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens reflect our national identity.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of voluntary individual participation in the democratic process. The student is expected to:
    • explain the role of significant individuals such as Thomas Hooker, Charles de Montesquieu, John Locke, William Blackstone, and William Penn in the development of self-government in colonial America;
      • evaluate the contributions of the Founding Fathers as models of civic virtue; and
      • analyze reasons for and the impact of selected examples of civil disobedience in U.S. history such as the Boston Tea Party and Henry David Thoreau’s refusal to pay a tax.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of the expression of different points of view in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • identify different points of view of political parties and interest groups on important historical and contemporary issues; and
    • describe the importance of free speech and press in a constitutional republic.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • analyze the leadership qualities of elected and appointed leaders of the United States such as George Washington, John Marshall, and Abraham Lincoln; and
    • describe the contributions of significant political, social, and military leaders of the United States such as Frederick Douglass, John Paul Jones, James Monroe, Stonewall Jackson, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
  • Culture. The student understands the major reform movements of the 19th century. The student is expected to:
    • describe the historical development of the abolitionist movement; and
    • evaluate the impact of reform movements, including educational reform, temperance, the women’s rights movement, prison reform, abolition, the labor reform movement, and care of the disabled.

Grades 9-12: United States History Since 1877

  • History. The student understands the principles included in the Celebrate Freedom Week program. The student is expected to:
    • analyze and evaluate the text, intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and identify the full text of the first three paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence;
    • analyze and evaluate the application of these founding principles to historical events in U.S. history; and
    • explain the contributions of the Founding Fathers such as Benjamin Rush, John Hancock, John Jay, John Witherspoon, John Peter Muhlenberg, Charles Carroll, and Jonathan Trumbull Sr.
  • History. The student understands the effects of reform and third-party movements in the early 20th century. The student is expected to:
    • evaluate the impact of Progressive Era reforms, including initiative, referendum, recall, and the passage of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th amendments.
  • History. The student understands significant events, social issues, and individuals of the 1920s. The student is expected to:
    • analyze causes and effects of events and social issues such as immigration, Social Darwinism, eugenics, race relations, nativism, the Red Scare, Prohibition, and the changing role of women.
  • History. The student understands the impact of the American civil rights movement. The student is expected to:
    • trace the historical development of the civil rights movement in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments;
    • describe the roles of political organizations that promoted civil rights, including ones from African American, Chicano, American Indian, women’s, and other civil rights movements;
    • describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights acts of 1957 and 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;
    • describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo;
    • evaluate changes and events in the United States that have resulted from the civil rights movement, including increased participation of minorities in the political process; and
    • describe how litigation such as the landmark cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminster, Hernandez v. Texas, Delgado v. Bastrop I.S.D., Edgewood I.S.D. v. Kirby, and Sweatt v. Painter played a role in protecting the rights of the minority during the civil rights movement.
  • Government. The student understands the changing relationships among the three branches of the federal government. The student is expected to:
    • describe the impact of events such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the War Powers Act on the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government; and
    • evaluate the impact of relationships among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, including Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempt to increase the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices and the presidential election of 2000.
  • Government. The student understands the impact of constitutional issues on American society. The student is expected to:
    • analyze the effects of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education, and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Plessy v. Ferguson, Hernandez v. Texas, Tinker v. Des Moines, Wisconsin v. Yoder, and White v. Regester;
    • discuss historical reasons why the constitution has been amended; and
    • evaluate constitutional change in terms of strict construction versus judicial interpretation.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the concept of American exceptionalism. The student is expected to:
    • discuss Alexis de Tocqueville’s five values crucial to America’s success as a constitutional republic: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire;
    • describe how the American values identified by Alexis de Tocqueville are different and unique from those of other nations; and
    • describe U.S. citizens as people from numerous places throughout the world who hold a common bond in standing for certain self-evident truths.
  • Citizenship. The student understands efforts to expand the democratic process. The student is expected to:
    • identify and analyze methods of expanding the right to participate in the democratic process, including lobbying, non-violent protesting, litigation, and amendments to the U.S. Constitution;
    • evaluate various means of achieving equality of political rights, including the 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments and congressional acts such as the American Indian Citizenship Act of 1924; and
    • explain how participation in the democratic process reflects our national ethos, patriotism, and civic responsibility as well as our progress to build a “more perfect union.”
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • evaluate the contributions of significant political and social leaders in the United States such as Andrew Carnegie, Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Hillary Clinton.

Grades 9-12: World History Studies

  • History. The student understands the causes and effects of major political revolutions between 1750 and 1914. The student is expected to:
    • compare the causes, characteristics, and consequences of the American and French revolutions, emphasizing the role of the Enlightenment, the Glorious Revolution, and religion;
    • trace the influence of the American and French revolutions on Latin America, including the role of Simón Bolivar; and
    • identify the influence of ideas such as separation of powers, checks and balances, liberty, equality, democracy, popular sovereignty, human rights, constitutionalism, and nationalism on political revolutions.
  • Government. The student understands the characteristics of major political systems throughout history. The student is expected to:
    • identify the characteristics of monarchies and theocracies as forms of government in early civilizations; and
    • identify the characteristics of the following political systems: theocracy, absolute monarchy, democracy, republic, oligarchy, limited monarchy, and totalitarianism.
  • Government. The student understands how contemporary political systems have developed from earlier systems of government. The student is expected to:
    • explain the development of democratic-republican government from its beginnings in the Judeo- Christian legal tradition and classical Greece and Rome through the English Civil War and the Enlightenment;
    • identify the impact of political and legal ideas contained in the following documents: Hammurabi’s Code, the Jewish Ten Commandments, Justinian’s Code of Laws, Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen; and
    • explain the political philosophies of individuals such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Thomas Jefferson, and William Blackstone.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the historical development of significant legal and political concepts related to the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The student is expected to:
    • summarize the development of the rule of law from ancient to modern times;
    • identify the influence of ideas regarding the right to a “trial by a jury of your peers” and the concepts of “innocent until proven guilty” and “equality before the law” that originated from the Judeo-Christian legal tradition and in Greece and Rome; and
    • assess the degree to which American ideals have advanced human rights and democratic ideas throughout the world.
  • History. The student understands how constitutional government, as developed in America and expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution, has been influenced by ideas, people, and historical documents. The student is expected to:
    • explain major political ideas in history, including the laws of nature and nature’s God, unalienable rights, divine right of kings, social contract theory, and the rights of resistance to illegitimate government;
    • identify major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the American founding, including Judeo-Christian (especially biblical law), English common law and constitutionalism, Enlightenment, and republicanism, as they address issues of liberty, rights, and responsibilities of individuals;
    • identify the individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents, including those of Moses, William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu;
    • identify the contributions of the political philosophies of the Founding Fathers, including John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, George Mason, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson, on the development of the U.S. government;
    • examine debates and compromises that impacted the creation of the founding documents; and
    • identify significant individuals in the field of government and politics, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan.
  • Government. The student understands the American beliefs and principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution and why these are significant. The student is expected to:
    • explain the importance of a written constitution;
    • evaluate how the federal government serves the purposes set forth in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution;

Grades 9-12: United States Government

    • analyze how the Federalist Papers such as Number 10, Number 39, and Number 51 explain the principles of the American constitutional system of government;
    • evaluate constitutional provisions for limiting the role of government, including republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights;
    • describe the constitutionally prescribed procedures by which the U.S. Constitution can be changed and analyze the role of the amendment process in a constitutional government;
    • identify how the American beliefs and principles reflected in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution contribute to both a national identity and federal identity and are embodied in the United States today; and
    • examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America and guaranteed its free exercise by saying that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and compare and contrast this to the phrase, “separation of church and state.”
  • Government. The student understands the structure and functions of the government created by the U.S. Constitution. The student is expected to:
    • analyze the structure and functions of the legislative branch of government, including the bicameral structure of Congress, the role of committees, and the procedure for enacting laws;
    • analyze the structure and functions of the executive branch of government, including the constitutional powers of the president, the growth of presidential power, and the role of the Cabinet and executive departments;
    • analyze the structure and functions of the judicial branch of government, including the federal court system, types of jurisdiction, and judicial review;
    • explain how certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution provide for checks and balances among the three branches of government;
    • analyze selected issues raised by judicial activism and judicial restraint;
    • explain the major responsibilities of the federal government for domestic and foreign policy such as national defense; and
    • compare the structures, functions, and processes of national, state, and local governments in the U.S. federal system.
  • Government. The student understands the concept of federalism. The student is expected to:
    • explain why the Founding Fathers created a distinctly new form of federalism and adopted a federal system of government instead of a unitary system;
    • categorize government powers as national, state, or shared;
    • analyze historical and contemporary conflicts over the respective roles of national and state governments; and
    • understand the limits on the national and state governments in the U.S. federal system of government.
  • Government. The student understands the processes for filling public offices in the U.S. system of government. The student is expected to:
    • compare different methods of filling public offices, including elected and appointed offices at the local, state, and national levels;
    • explain the process of electing the president of the United States and analyze the Electoral College; and
    • analyze the impact of the passage of the 17th Amendment.
  • Government. The student understands the similarities and differences that exist among the U.S. system of government and other political systems. The student is expected to:
    • compare the U.S. constitutional republic to historical and contemporary forms of government such as monarchy, a classical republic, authoritarian, socialist, direct democracy, theocracy, tribal, and other republics;
    • analyze advantages and disadvantages of federal, confederate, and unitary systems of government; and
    • analyze advantages and disadvantages of presidential and parliamentary systems of government.
  • Citizenship. The student understands rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The student is expected to:
    • understand the roles of limited government and the rule of law in the protection of individual rights;
    • identify and define the unalienable rights;
    • identify the freedoms and rights guaranteed by each amendment in the Bill of Rights;
    • analyze U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution in selected cases, including Engel v. Vitale, Schenck v. United States, Texas v. Johnson, Miranda v. Arizona, Gideon v. Wainwright, Mapp v. Ohio, and Roe v. Wade;
    • explain the importance of due process rights to the protection of individual rights and in limiting the powers of government; and
    • recall the conditions that produced the 14th Amendment and describe subsequent efforts to selectively extend some of the Bill of Rights to the states, including the Blaine Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and analyze the impact on the scope of fundamental rights and federalism.
  • Citizenship. The student understands the importance of the expression of different points of view in a constitutional republic. The student is expected to:
    • examine different points of view of political parties and interest groups such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on important contemporary issues; and
    • analyze the importance of the First Amendment rights of petition, assembly, speech, and press and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
  • Culture. The student understands the relationship between government policies and the culture of the United States. The student is expected to:
    • evaluate a U.S. government policy or court decision that has affected a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the U.S. Supreme Court cases of Hernandez v. Texas and Grutter v. Bollinger; and
    • explain changes in American culture brought about by government policies such as voting rights, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (GI Bill of Rights), the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, affirmative action, and racial integration.