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Civics and Government


The civics and government standards promote knowledge of the historical foundations and principles of American democracy and emphasize productive civic engagement. Additionally, the standards focus on understanding the unique processes of local, state, and national institutions.

Analyze Civic and Political Institutions

SS-Gov.9-12.13. Evaluate the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions, how they interact and the role of government in maintaining order.

SS-Gov.9-12.14. Analyze the role of citizens in the U.S. political system, with attention to the definition of who is a citizen, expansion of that definition over time, and changes in participation over time.

SS-Gov.9-12.15. Analyze the origins of government with attention to the purpose(s) of government, various theories of democracy, rule of law, and alternative models from other nations and groups.

SS-Gov.9-12.16. Evaluate how the U.S. Constitution establishes the Rule of Law, governmental powers and responsibilities, as well as limits to a government.

SS-Gov.9-12.17. Evaluate and explain the relationships among the branches of government, including federalism, separation of powers, the supremacy clause, the necessary and proper clause, judicial review, executive privilege, pocket veto, executive orders, quorum, filibuster, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.18. Critique the influence of intermediary institutions on government and policy such as, interest groups, political parties, the mass media, campaigns, caucuses, elections, PACs, and local, state, tribal, and international organizations.

Apply Civic Virtues and Democratic Principles

SS-Gov.9-12.19. Evaluate the effectiveness of political action in changing government and policy, such as voting, debate, contacting officials, campaign contributions, protest, civil disobedience, and any alternative methods to participation.

SS-Gov.9-12.20. Explain the significance of civic values to a well-functioning democracy including concepts such as conviction vs. compromise, majority rule vs. minority rights, state interests vs. individual interests, rights vs. responsibilities, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.21. Explain the mechanisms of political socialization in American democracy such as the effects of the family, school, community, and media in influencing one’s political decisions.

SS-Gov.9-12.22. Identify and evaluate the contributions of Iowans who have played a role in promoting civic and democratic principles.

Interpret Processes, Rules and Laws

SS-Gov.9-12.23. Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels.

SS-Gov.9-12.24. Analyze how people use and challenge public policies through formal and informal means with attention to important judicial processes and landmark court cases.

SS-Gov.9-12.25. Evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of the implementation of public policy, specifically looking at the bureaucracy, citizen feedback, public opinion polls, interest groups, media coverage, and other related topics.

SS-Gov.9-12.26. Analyze the historical, contemporary, and emerging patterns of political action and activism including voter demographics, party trends over time, polling data, campaign strategies and trends, and alternative means of participating.

Iowa History

SS-Gov.9-12.27. Compare and contrast the institutions and systems of Iowa government and politics that are unique to the state including but not limited to Iowa’s unique role in presidential selection and in the special status of Meskwaki lands as non-reservation lands.

SS-Gov.9-12.28. Identify local and state issues in Iowa and evaluate formal or informal courses of action used to affect policy.