• Social Studies, Grade 12, Economics

    1.) Explain why productive resources are limited and why individuals, businesses, and governments have to make choices in order to meet needs and wants.

    •  Explaining scarcity as a basic condition that exists when unlimited wants exceed limited productive resources 
    •  Explaining land (an example of a natural resource), labor (an example of a human resource), capital (an example of a physical or human resource), and entrepreneurship to be the factors of production 
    •  Explaining opportunity cost as the next best alternative to relinquish when individuals, businesses, and governments confront scarcity by making choices 
    2.) Explain how rational decision making entails comparing additional costs of alternatives to additional benefits.

    •  Illustrating on a production-possibilities curve how rational decision making involves trade-offs between two options 
    •  Explaining rational decision making as the comparison between marginal benefits and marginal costs of an action 
    3.) Describe different economic systems used to allocate scarce goods and services.

    •  Defining command, market, and mixed economic systems 
    •  Describing how different economic systems answer the three basic economic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce 
    •  Evaluating how each type of system addresses private ownership, profit motive, consumer sovereignty, competition, and government regulation 
    4.) Describe the role of government in a market economy, including promoting and securing competition, protecting private property rights, promoting equity, providing public goods and services, resolving externalities and other market failures, and stabilizing growth in the economy.

    •  Explaining how government regulation and deregulation policies affect consumers and producers 
    5.) Explain that a country's standard of living depends upon its ability to produce goods and services.

    •  Explaining productivity as the amount of outputs, or goods and services, produced from inputs, or factors of production 
    •  Describing how investments in factories, equipment, education, new technology, training, and health improve economic growth and living standards 
    6.) Describe how specialization and voluntary exchange between buyers and sellers lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.

    •  Illustrating on a circular-flow diagram the product market; the factor market; the real flow of goods and services between and among businesses, households, and government; and the flow of money 
    •  Constructing examples of specialization and exchange 
    •  Illustrating on a table and graph the law of supply and demand 
    •  Describing the role of buyers and sellers in determining market clearing price 
    •  Illustrating on a table and graph how supply and demand determine equilibrium price and quantity 
    •  Illustrating on a graph of supply and demand how price movements eliminate shortages and surpluses 
    •  Illustrating on a graph how different factors cause changes in a market supply and demand 
    •  Explaining how prices serve as incentives in a market economy 
    7.) Describe the organization and role of business.

    •  Comparing types of business firms, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations 
    •  Explaining the role of profit as an incentive, including short-term versus long-run decisions, for all firms 
    •  Describing basic characteristics of pure competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly 
    •  Explaining ways firms finance operations, including retained earnings, stocks, and debt, and the advantages and disadvantages of each 
    •  Explaining ways firms engage in price and nonprice competition 
    •  Recognizing the role of economic institutions, including labor unions and nonprofit organizations, in market economies 
    8.) Explain the impact of the labor market on the United States' economy.

    •  Identifying regional characteristics of the labor force of the United States, including gender, race, socioeconomic background, education, age, and regional specialization 
    •  Explaining how supply of and demand for labor affect wages 
    •  Describing characteristics that are most likely to increase wage and nonwage benefits, including skill, productivity, education, occupation, and mobility 
    •  Explaining how unemployment and inflation impose costs on individuals and nations 
    •  Determining the relationship of Alabama and the United States to the global economy regarding current technological innovations and industries (Alabama) 
    Examples: World Wide Web, peanut industry, telecommunications industry, aerospace industry

    •  Tracing the history of labor unions and methods of contract negotiation by labor and management (Alabama) 
    9.) Describe methods used to measure overall economic activity, including the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation, and unemployment.

    •  Explaining how overall levels of income, employment, and prices are determined by spending decisions of households, businesses, and government; net exports in the short run; and production decisions of firms and technology in the long run 
    •  Identifying structural, cyclical, and frictional unemployment 
    •  Describing stages of the business cycle and how employment and inflation change during those stages 
    10.) Explain the structure, role, and functions of the United States Federal Reserve System.

    •  Describing how the United States Federal Reserve System oversees the banking system and regulates the quantity of money in the economy 
    •  Defining monetary policy 
    •  Describing how the central bank uses its tools of monetary policy to promote price stability, full employment, and economic growth 
    11.) Explain how the government uses fiscal policy to promote the economic goals of price stability, full employment, and economic growth.

    •  Defining fiscal policy and the use of taxation and government purchases 
    •  Comparing government deficits and the national debt 
    12.) Explain why individuals, businesses, and governments trade goods and services in the global economy.

    •  Defining absolute advantage and comparative advantage 
    •  Explaining how gains from trade, whether between two individuals or two countries, are based on the principle of comparative advantage 
    •  Defining exchange rates 
    •  Explaining how changes in exchange rates impact purchasing powers of individuals and businesses 
    •  Explaining tariffs, quotas, embargoes, standards, and subsidies as trade barriers 
    •  Explaining why countries sometimes impose trade barriers and sometimes advocate free trade  

    Social Studies, Grade 12, United States Government

    1.) Explain historical and philosophical origins that shaped the government of the United States, including the Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the influence of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean-Jaques Rousseau, and the Great Awakening.

    •  Comparing characteristics of limited and unlimited governments throughout the world, including constitutional, authoritarian, and totalitarian governments 
    Examples: constitutional—United States


    totalitarian—North Korea

    2.) Summarize the significance of the First and Second Continental Congresses, the Declaration of Independence, Shays' Rebellion, and the Articles of Confederation of 1781 on the writing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States of 1787 and the Bill of Rights of 1791.

    3.) Analyze major features of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights for purposes, organization, functions, and principles, including rule of law, federalism, limited government, popular sovereignty, judicial review, separation of powers, and checks and balances.

    •  Explaining main ideas of the debate over ratification that included the Federalist papers 
    •  Analyzing the Bill of Rights for its application to historical and current issues 
    •  Outlining the formal process of amending the Constitution of the United States 
    4.) Explain how the federal system of the United States divides powers between national and state governments. (Alabama)

    •  Summarizing obligations that the Constitution of the United States places on a nation for the benefit of the states, including admitting new states and cooperative federalism 
    •  Evaluating the role of the national government in interstate relations 
    5.) Compare specific functions, organizations, and purposes of local and state governments, including implementing fiscal and monetary policies, ensuring personal security, and regulating transportation. (Alabama)

    •  Analyzing the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine its impact on local funding and campaign funding (Alabama) 
    •  Describing the influence of special interest groups on state government (Alabama) 
    6.) Analyze the expansion of suffrage for its effect on the political system of the United States, including suffrage for non-property owners, women, African Americans, and persons eighteen years of age.

    •  Describing implications of participation of large numbers of minorities and women in parties and campaigns 
    •  Analyzing the black codes, the Jim Crow laws, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March for their impact on the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Alabama) 
    7.) Describe the process of local, state, and national elections, including the organization, role, and constituency of political parties. (Alabama)

    •  Explaining campaign funding and spending 
    •  Evaluating the impact of reapportionment, redistricting, and voter turnout on elections 
    8.) Describe functions and the development of special interest groups and campaign contributions by political action committees and their impact on state and national elections. (Alabama)

    •  Analyzing rulings by the United States Supreme Court, including Buckley versus Valeo, regarding campaign financing to determine the effect on the election process 
    9.) Trace the impact of the media on the political process and public opinion in the United States, including party press, penny press, print media, yellow journalism, radio, television, and electronic media.

    •  Describing regional differences in public opinion in the United States 
    •  Analyzing television and electronic media for their impact on the election process and campaign spending from the John F. Kennedy-Richard M. Nixon debate to the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States 
    •  Explaining the effect of attack advertisements on voter selection of candidates 
    10.) Evaluate roles political parties play in the functioning of the political system of the United States.

    •  Describing the role of third-party candidates in political elections in the United States 
    •  Explaining major characteristics of contemporary political parties in the United States, including the role of conventions, party leadership, formal and informal memberships, and regional strongholds 
    •  Describing the influence of political parties on individuals and elected officials, including the development of party machines, rise of independent voters, and disillusionment with party systems 
    11.) Evaluate constitutional provisions of the legislative branch of the government of the United States, including checks by the legislative branch on other branches of government.

    •  Comparing rules of operations and hierarchies of Congress, including roles of the Speaker of the House, the Senate President Pro Tempore, majority and minority leaders, and party whips 
    •  Identifying the significance of Congressional committee structure and types of committees 
    •  Tracing the legislative process, including types of votes and committee action, from a bill's presentation to presidential action 
    12.) Evaluate constitutional provisions of the executive branch of the government of the United States, including checks by the executive branch on other branches of government and powers, duties as head of state and head of government, the electoral process, and the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

    •  Critiquing informal powers of the President of the United States, including press conferences, State of the Union addresses, total media access, head of party, and symbolic powers of the Oval Office 
    •  Identifying the influence of White House staff on the President of the United States 
    •  Ranking powers held by the President's Cabinet, including roles of Cabinet secretaries, appropriations by Congress, appointment and confirmation, and operation of organization 
    •  Comparing diverse backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and levels of education of United States' presidents 
    13.) Evaluate constitutional provisions of the judicial branch of government of the United States, including checks by the judicial branch on other branches of government, limits on judicial power, and the process by which cases are argued before the United States Supreme Court.

    •  Explaining the structure and jurisdiction of court systems of the United States, including lower courts and appellate courts 
    •  Identifying the impact of landmark United States Supreme Court cases on constitutional interpretation 
    Examples: Marbury versus Madison, Miranda versus Arizona, Tinker versus Des Moines, Gideon versus Wainwright, Reno versus American Civil Liberties Union, United States versus Nixon, McCulloch versus Maryland, Wallace versus Jaffree, Wyatt versus Stickney, Powell versus Alabama (Alabama)

    •  Describing the shifting political balance of the court system, including the appointment process, the ideology of justices, influences on court decisions regarding executive and legislative opinion, public opinion, and the desire for impartiality 
    •  Contrasting strict and loose constructionist views of the Constitution of the United States 
    14.) Describe the role of citizens in American democracy, including the meaning, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship; due process and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States; and participation in the election process.

    •  Explaining how the balance between individual versus majority rule and state versus national authority is essential to the functioning of the American democratic society (Alabama) 
    Examples: majority rule and minority rights, liberty and equality, state and national authority in a federal system, civil disobedience and rule of law, freedom of the press, right to a fair trial, relationship of religion and government (Alabama)

    15.) Explain the role and consequences of domestic and foreign policy decisions, including scientific and technological advancements and humanitarian, cultural, economic, and political changes.

    Examples: isolationism versus internationalism, policy of containment, policy of détente, multilateralism, war on terrorism

    •  Evaluating financial, political, and social costs of national security