Module: 302 Item: 4 Descriptor: National Problems National Programs Scoring Criteria



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There are some public needs or problems whose scope is so great that they exceed the resources of individual towns and cities or even states. The resolution of such problems often requires a response on the part of the national government.

(Item#:302-01)

1. What is the division of power between a national government and the individual states called?

      A. Balance of power

      B. Federalism

      C. Limited government

      D. Nationalism

Answer: B

(Item#:302-02)

2. How does the United States Constitution address the issue of the division of power between the national and state governments?

      A. It allows Congress to limit state power

      B. It provides for a Supreme Court to take over state programs.

      C. It allows the national government to preempt most state authority.

      D. It gives specific powers to the national government and reserves others to the states.

Answer: D

(Item#:302-03)

3. The national government exercises more power today than it did during the administration of George Washington. Which of the following is one important reason for this increased role?

      A. Americans demand more services of the national government.

      B. American presidents view their office as an 'imperial presidency.'

      C. Congress has reduced the Constitutional powers of the states.

      D. The Supreme Court has held that the national government is supreme.

Answer: A

(Item#:302-04)

4. Identify two government functions that are carried on by both state and national governments. Explain why both levels should exercise those functions.

Scoring Criteria

Module: 302
Item: 4
Descriptor: National Problems-- National Programs


Scoring Criteria

Scores are based on the student's ability to:



  • Identify two governmental functions exercised by both state and national governments.

  • Explain why both levels of government should exercise those functions.

A proficient response will provide two examples of governmental functions exercised by both state and national governments, and explain why both levels of government should exercise those functions. Examples of functions include:

  • Taxation

  • Education

  • Police powers

  • Health and safety, and environmental regulation

  • Other logical answers should be accepted

The student will indicate that government at the state level is closer and most responsive to the needs of citizens. The provision of services at this level is more efficient. However, the federal government shares in the interests of the states', provides additional resources, and ensures that the states are fulfilling the needs of their citizens. State and federal government must cooperate to ensure that laws are executed and that vital public services are provided.

Score Level Descriptions

NS Not Scorable (blank, off-topic, hostile, etc.)

1 A response at this level demonstrates minimal understanding of functions jointly carried out by state and national government, and why both levels should exercise those functions. The response is incomplete or inaccurate (one or no examples). The explanation of why both levels should exercise those functions, if provided, is ambiguous or seriously flawed. The response is insufficient to demonstrate understanding.

2 A response at this level demonstrates an understanding of functions jointly carried out by state and national government, and why both levels should exercise those functions. Two appropriate examples of shared functions are provided. The explanation of why both levels should exercise those functions is clear and generally accurate. Although minor flaws may be present, the response is sufficient to demonstrate understanding.
Student Work Not Available

(Item#:302-05)

5. The United States interstate highway system stretches from Canada to Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific; yet individual state governments can set different speed limits for different parts of the system. At the same time, there can be a particular product, produced from raw materials and manufactured entirely within one state, over which the national government exercises regulatory powers. Using these examples, or others of your own choosing, explain this apparent inconsistency.

Scoring Criteria



Module: 302
Item: 5
Descriptor: National Problem--National Programs


Scoring Criteria

Scores are based on the student's ability to:



  • Explain the rationale underlying interlocking responsibility and "layers" of power and authority among levels of government.

A proficient response will demonstrate an understanding that, while states have certain expressed and reserved powers, the federal government has regulatory authority over the states. For example, state governments have police powers that allow them to regulate safety matters that affect people within that state, as is the case of people driving vehicles on a highway within a state. The federal government has the authority to oversee the health of citizens or the regulation of the safety of something (for example, a hazardous waste) that will be transported across the country, or even internationally. No single state could enforce health or safety regulations nationwide.

Other examples must be evaluated on their own terms.



Score Level Descriptions

NS Not Scorable (blank, off-topic, hostile, etc.)

1 A response at this level demonstrates minimal understanding of the rationale underlying interlocking levels of governmental regulatory power and authority. The explanation, if provided, are exceedingly vague or inaccurate. Logic and reasoning are very simplistic and/or seriously flawed. The response demonstrates minimal understanding.

2 A response at this level demonstrates some understanding of the rationale underlying interlocking levels of governmental regulatory power and authority. The student will provide a partially accurate response, but the explanation is inadequately developed or incomplete. Evidence of rudimentary logic will be present, but it will contain flaws. The response demonstrates partial understanding.

3 A response at this level demonstrates an adequate understanding of the rationale underlying interlocking levels of governmental regulatory power and authority. The explanation is generally complete and accurate, although minor errors may be present. The logic and reasoning employed are justified, but may contain minor flaws. The response is sufficient to demonstrate understanding.

4 A response at this level demonstrates a superior understanding of rationale underlying interlocking levels of governmental regulatory power and authority. The explanation is detailed, thorough, and accurate, and may go beyond that which is required in the question. The logic and reasoning used are sophisticated. The response demonstrates superior understanding.
Student Work Not Available

(Item#:302-06)

6. Introduction

The nature of the relationship among the federal, state, and local governments has always been an important issue in our nation's political life. 'Federalism' has always meant that the states were available to perform governmental functions that the Constitution delegated to them, did not deny to them, or that Congress did not claim.

The one historical event that caused the greatest change in relationship between state, local, and federal governments was the Great Depression. Until the Great Depression of the 1930s, the responsibility for relieving the misery of the unemployed, assisting the recovery of ailing businesses, and reforming abusive business practices was primarily a task for state and local governments. The Great Depression proved too difficult a challenge for state and local governments, as they had neither the power nor the resources to lift their citizens out of the harsh economic conditions. The federal government took the leadership of guiding the economy by means of a variety of New Deal programs.

Since the 1930s there have been efforts to further expand the role and power of the federal government, and there have been attempts to reduce its influence and power. New Deal programs such as Social Security have been expanded to include more people and to encompass Medicare. On the other hand, there have been successful efforts to deregulate businesses such as banking and utilities, which were first regulated during the New Deal period.



Instructions

What is the trend for the federal government today? Will the federal government continue to expand New Deal programs and add new programs? Or, will the federal government continue to deregulate and curtail programs that have been around since the Great Depression?

You will research these two questions and write a persuasive essay in which you take a position and provide evidence to support your position. Your essay must address one of the following points:


  • Explain how the role of the federal government has increased since the 1930s, using specific examples.

  • Explain how the role of the federal government has decreased since the 1930s using, specific examples.

It is necessary for your position be informed by research on one of the questions above. The work will not be judged on the force of its emotion, but rather on the weight of its evidence. The use of specific examples drawn from your research is required, and you must document the your sources of information to make your case.

The audience for your essay will include both your teacher and your classmates.

Scoring Criteria Not Available

Student Work Not Available

The Articles of Confederation, an important first step toward formal self-government, outlined a plan of government that bound the states into a loose union. However, there were serious problems with the new governmental structure, notably the national government's very limited authority to collect taxes. In the absence of this power, and as the costs of the War for Independence mounted, the government was forced to borrow more and more money from other countries.

The burden of repaying the war loans fell to the individual states, each of which possessed the power of taxation. In 1786, amidst a serious economic depression that had resulted from the loss of British markets, Massachusetts voted to raise taxes in an effort to pay off its war debt. The new tax law required payment of taxes in gold or silver. The law hit the state's farmers especially hard. Accustomed to a barter system of trading products and services, farmers seldom handled hard currency. Pressured by the depressed economy and fearing that the state would foreclose on their land mortgages to collect taxes, Daniel Shays led a group of some 2,000 angry farmers to the Springfield Arsenal where they threatened to seize weapons. The farmers rebelled for six months in an effort to shut down the courts and stop the sheriff's auctions of property for unpaid taxes. For many, Shays' Rebellion symbolized the Republic's fragility under the Articles of Confederation.

(Item#:303-01)

7. Which reason best describes the position of those favoring government under the Articles of Confederation?

      A. They believed the French model of government would also work for the U.S.

      B. They did not believe a federation was practical because the country was too large.

      C. They feared a powerful central government would limit state and individual freedom.

      D. They knew that only a confederation could provide a system of checks and balances.

Answer: C

(Item#:303-02)

8. What was a major cause of the economic depression during the period of government under the Articles of Confederation?

      A. Wasteful spending by the newly-formed federal government

      B. Increasing debt and limited federal authority to raise tax revenue

      C. Uneven growth of state economies resulting from increased trade

      D. Hoarding of food and other goods in the hope that prices would rise

Answer: B

(Item#:303-03)

9. Which of the following best describes the relationship between the states and national government under the Articles of Confederation?

      A. The various state governments shared power equally with the national government.

      B. The national government exercised military and financial control over the states.

      C. The states and the national government had little or no relationship with each other.

      D. The national government was dependent on the various state legislatures.

Answer: D

(Item#:303-04)

10. There were several limitations evident in the Articles of Confederation with respect to the structure and authority of the national government. List and explain three of these limitations.

Scoring Criteria



Module: 303
Item: 4
Descriptor: From the Articles to the Constitution


Scoring Criteria

Scores are based on the student's ability to:



  • Identify and explain three limitations to the structure or authority of national government under the Articles of Confederation.

A proficient response should explain three of the following weaknesses:

  • Congress could not collect taxes. There was no money to support a national military or any other federal structure by which defense or social well being could be assured, and the government was always short of money; although states could collect taxes, there was no national authority.

  • Congress could not regulate trade. There were no rules involving the movement of goods, and no money was brought into the federal government from tariffs or duties of any kind.

  • There was no executive branch and no official body to promote revenue laws and therefore, no revenue.

  • There was limited capacity of the national government to provide for the defense of the states.

  • There was no uniform system of currency to facilitate exchange.

  • There was no judicial branch. No judicial body existed to oversee disputes of any kind, even those related to financing.

  • There were disagreements over tariffs between states, and no national branch to settle the dispute.

Score Level Descriptions

NS Not Scorable (blank, off-topic, hostile, etc.)

1 A response at this level demonstrates minimal understanding of the limitations to national government under the Articles of Confederation. The response is largely inaccurate or incomplete. The explanations are exceedingly vague and/or inaccurate. The response demonstrates minimal understanding.

2 A response at this level demonstrates partial understanding of the limitations to national government under the Articles of Confederation. The response is partially accurate but incomplete. The student may provide two or three examples, but the explanations are somewhat unclear and inadequately developed. The response demonstrates partial understanding.

3 A response at this level demonstrates an understanding of the limitations to national government under the Articles of Confederation. The response is complete and accurate, although minor errors may be present. The student will provide three examples, and the explanations are clear and generally complete and accurate. The response exhibits valid logic and reasoning. The response is sufficient to demonstrate understanding.
Student Work

Sample 303-4 #1 of 3



Score 1: This response demonstrates minimal understanding of the limited authority of the national government under the Articles of Confederation. The "facts" presented are exceedingly vague. There is an unconnected reference to taxes, farmers, debts, and war supplies. Ideas are inadequately developed, and fail to directly address the limitations to the structure or authority of national government under the articles of confederation.

Sample 303-4 #2 of 3


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