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Commencement Key Ideas (links)
Standard 1 Standard 2 Standard 3 Standard 4 Standard 5

Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government Commencement

Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the U.S. and other nations; the U.S. Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation

Key Idea 1:  The study of civics, citizenship, and government involves learning about political systems; the purposes of government and civic life; and the differing assumptions held by people across time and place regarding power, authority, governance, and law. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994) 
Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students 

  • analyze how the values of a nation and international organizations affect the guarantee of human rights and make provisions for human needs
  • consider the nature and evolution of constitutional democracies throughout the world
  • compare various political systems with that of the United States in terms of ideology, structure, function, institutions, decision-making processes, citizenship roles, and political culture
  • identify and analyze advantages and disadvantages of various governmental systems

Key Idea 2:  The state and federal governments established by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York embody basic civic values (such as justice, honesty, self-discipline, due process, equality, majority rule with respect for minority rights, and respect for self, others, and property), principles, and practices and establish a system of shared and limited government. (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994 Performance Indicators:  This is evident when students

Key Idea 3:  Central to civics and citizenship is an understanding of the roles of the citizen within American constitutional democracy and the scope of a citizen’s rights and responsibilities. This is evident when students

  • understand how citizenship includes the exercise of certain personal responsibilities, including voting, considering the rights and interests of others, behaving in a civil manner, and accepting responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)
  • analyze issues at the local, state, and national levels and prescribe responses that promote the public interest or general welfare, such as planning and carrying out a voter registration campaign
  • describe how citizenship is defined by the Constitution and important laws
  • explore how citizens influence public policy in a representative democracy

Key Idea 4: The study of civics and citizenship requires the ability to probe ideas and assumptions, ask and answer analytical questions, take a skeptical attitude toward questionable arguments, evaluate evidence, formulate rational conclusions, and develop and refine participatory skills Performance Indicators:This is evident when students

  • participate as informed citizens in the political justice system and processes of the United States, including voting
  • evaluate, take, and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of American political life are and their importance to the maintenance of constitutional democracy (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1994)
  • take, defend, and evaluate positions about attitudes that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in public affairs
  • consider the need to respect the rights of others, to respect others’ points of view (Adapted from The National Standards for Civics and Government, 1996)
  • participate in school/classroom/ community activities that focus on an issue or problem
  • prepare a plan of action that defines an issue or problem, suggests alternative solutions or courses of action, evaluates the consequences for each alternative solution or course of action, prioritizes the solutions based on established criteria, and proposes an action plan to address the issue or to resolve the problem
  • explain how democratic principles have been used in resolving an issue or problem