Monday, December 2, 2013

Title IX - 12/3/13

The Impact of Title IX

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
- Title IX, Educational Amendments of 1972

Since it's passage in 1972, Title IX has had a huge impact on high school and college athletics. It's controversial, though. Some say it has done enormous good for both women's and men's athletics, while others say it has gone too far to try to create a level playing field. Check out these videos on YouTube, read the article and answer the journal question in class on Tuesday, and decide for yourself.

The Impact of Title IX on Women's Sports

The Problem With Title IX

Title IX - Visual Argument

Numbers Never Lie - Title IX

Hope Solo on Title IX

Summer Sanders on Title IX

Abby Wambach Talks Title IX

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Women's Rights in America - 11/25/13

We read a series of primary source documents. You can get the document packet HERE:
And to process all those primary sources, there is a worksheet, HERE.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mastery Days are coming!

100 Project - CHECKLIST

Use this checklist to make sure you have all components for your 100 Project. An incomplete project, or a missed step, could mean that you do not get credit for completing the project.

_____ Created the survey OR created the advocacy piece (blog, Instagram account, etc)
_____ Checked in with Mr. Ippolito; took suggestions BEFORE going live
_____ Proof that you reached out to 100 people(100 views on Blogger, on YouTube, 100 petition signatures, 100 surveys returned)

_____ You have shared your presentation with Mr. Ippolito using Google Docs (or another web-based tool such as Prezi, Sliderocket, etc.) OR you made advanced arrangements for sharing with Mr. Ippolito. In other words, we are NOT scrambling in class to find or share your presentation. If you use Google Docs, use the following format:

100P PER# Firstname1 Lastname1 Firstname2 Lastname2

For example:
100P PER1 Jane Smith John Doe
100P PER3 Britney Spears Justin Timberlake
100P PER5 Nicole Polizzi Mike Sorrentino

PRESENTATION - Looking at the Data (only needed if you did a SURVEY)
_____ Let's see the raw data you collected - 5 points - Screenshots are fine if you're including it in a Google Docs Presentation
_____ Analysis of your data - 10 points - Take us through each question and the percentages of each response. What did you expect your results to be? Were your survey results similar to or different from your expectations?

PRESENTATION - Call to Public Action
_____ What is your call to action now?
Based on the information you gathered, what should we the people, through the government, do? This is the "so what" piece. Why should we care? This information I have gathered proves that we need to:
  • Pass a law that . . .
  • Increase funding for . . .
  • Provide more public education about . . .
  • Teach public school students more about . . .
This "call to action" piece should ultimately answer the question(s):
  • What should voters do now?
  • What should we as citizens do now?
  • What should we as Americans do now?
  • What should ask/demand that our elected officials do now?

Judicial Review/100 Project/Creating a Survey in Google Docs - 11/13/13

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Day after Election Day and Supreme Court intro - 11/6/13

Agenda - 11/6/13
1. Warm-Up - Answer these questions. We discussed each of these questions at length. Yesterday wasn't a very exciting Election Day here in Santa Clarita, but in other parts of the country is was very exciting, and for some it portended things to come in the 2016 Presidential election.
Does Chris Christie sound Presidential in his victory speech from last night? Check out these clips from CNN:
2. 100 Project - I explained the project. We will pick topics in our next class.
3. The Supreme Court - We started learning about the Supreme Court. I handed out this packet HERE and then we filled out this worksheet HERE. We began talking SCOTUS in class today, and we will talk more SCOTUS in class next time.

  1. Finish the Supreme Court packet. We will talk about Marbury v. Madison and the concept of judicial review. Want a little sneak preview of a YouTube video we're watching Friday? Check this out:
  2. Get ready for the 100 Project. You will be at a HUGE disadvantage if you didn't fill this out two weeks ago: Controversial Issues. If you didn't do the activity in class (the day I was absent and Ms. Gilpin had you in the computer lab), then make sure you get it done before Friday.
  3. Study for the Civics Test. That's on Friday, too!

The 100 Project - Project Description


Your last project of the semester is all about involvement. You must go out into the community and SURVEY 100 PEOPLE or ENGAGE 100 PEOPLE about a topic related to government, politics, or public policy. Your goal is to answer this question: "Why should we care?"

  • Decide with whom you will work. For this project, you may work alone, or with ONE other partner. Groups of 1 or 2.
  • Choose a topic. Your topic can be anything related to government, politics, or public policy. However, your topic should be one that people can feel PASSIONATE about and have an OPINION about. A great place to start brainstorming topics is Or simply go to any news website (,,, and get inspiration from there. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

TAX THE WEALTHY to help pay down the national debt
  • Let's increase income taxes on the wealthiest one or two percent of Americans.
  • NO! Any increase of any taxes of any income level hurts the economy.
Use MILITARY FORCE AGAINST NORTH KOREA if we are attacked or provoked
  • I would support using military force
  • I would NOT support using military force
WATERBOARDING of terror suspects
  • It's "enhanced interrogation" and a valuable tool in the war on terror
  • It's "torture" and counterproductive, illegal and/or immoral
  • I support increases in the minimum wage. 
  • I oppose increases in the minimum wage. 
  • I support federal expansion of embryonic stem cell research. 
  • I oppose federal expansion of embryonic stem cell research. 
  • I support the pro-choice positions of organizations like NARAL.
  • I support the pro-life positions of organizations like National Right to Life Committee. 
  • I support the death penalty.
  • I oppose the death penalty.
  • I support gun control legislation recommended by groups such as Gabrielle Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions.
  • I oppose gun control legislation, agreeing with groups such as the NRA.
  • I not advocate any sort of legalization of marijuana.
  • I support legalization for medical use of marijuana only. 
  • I support a general decriminalization of marijuana.
  • We should "repeal and replace" the health insurance reform bill signed by Obama (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
  • We should support the health insurance reform bill signed by Obama (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). 
  • I favor positions of environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters. 
  • I support positions of property rights advocating groups like the American Land Rights Association. 
  • I believe we should make it easier for illegal immigrants to find a legal path to citizenship in this country.
  • I believe that everyone should follow the rules, including immigration rules, and should be punished--not rewarded--if they break those rules.
  • I oppose marriage for same sex couples.
  • I support marriage for same sex couples.


  • Figure out your approach. Are you going to try to INFORM the public about your topic or will you try to SURVEY the public to find out how people feel about the issue?
  • If you choose to inform, how will you reach 100 people? Will you use Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Tumblr, stand out in the quad and talk to people? 
  • If you choose to survey, how will you question 100 people?
  • Present your findings. On the day of your presentation, you will share with the class your topic and your method of outreach. More details on this in the coming days when I give you your grading rubric. Good luck!

Tips for Creating a Good Survey

  1. Keep it anonymous, especially if you are asking sensitive questions. If you're asking if they prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream, most people don't care. However, if you're asking questions about abortion, drug and alcohol use, or other sensitive topics, maintaining anonymity means you are more likely to get honest responses.
  2. Get demographic information. Some of your survey questions can ask about age, gender, religious background, political affiliation, or other demographic information. This information may be important, especially if it pertains to your survey. For example, if you are trying to find out people's views on abortion, it might be helpful to know the gender of your respondents. If you are asking only males about abortion, then you might not get a balanced view on the topic.
  3. Ask objective questions, not leading questions. OBJECTIVE: "Should rape be a capital offense (punishable by the death penalty)?" LEADING: "Next to murder, rape is the worst crime anyone could commit. Should we give rapists the death penalty?"
  4. Don't assume your respondents have background knowledge about your topic. Provide a short paragraph at the beginning of the survey to provide background knowledge, especially on topics that the general public might not be familiar with.
  5. Don't ask double-barreled questions. Split them into two different questions. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bong Hits 4 Jesus - 10/3/13

Hey! It was Parent Shadow Day today, and we had a great day of discussion and debate! A couple of notes I should mention about today's agenda that you see above:
  1. We had a great discussion on both our journal prompts (see image at the bottom of this blog post). This got us thinking about and discussing the rights that we all enjoy.
  2. Some classes got to the "Fun Quiz," but not all. It literally was just a fun quiz, designed for review and discussion, not for assessment.
  3. Bong Hits 4 Jesus was awesome! It was a series of Supreme Court cases (we've only just started discussing the cases, so we will continue next week). Every class at least got to discuss the lead case, Frederick v. Morse (the actual "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case). You can download the packet from my Digital File Cabinet, or click here. You can also watch the video clip from CNN here:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Bill of Rights - Part I - 9/25/13

The official title for today's lesson is "The Bill of Rights," but we spent a significant portion of class discussing the looming debt crisis, and the possible shutdown of the government if nothing is done. We watched coverage of Sen. Ted Cruz' 21-hour stand in the Senate overnight. Here is CNN coverage:

And you can check out FOX News coverage here:

We also discussed the root of Sen. Cruz' argument: The Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare). The Kaiser Family Foundation has a great, impartial explanation of how the Affordable Care Act will affect individuals and families when it goes into full effect:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew writes to Speaker of the House

The letter speaks to the looming debt ceiling crisis, which we discussed in class today. Read the letter here.

The Three Branches of Govt - 9/23/13

Monday, September 23, 2013

How the Presidency Ages a President

In Period 4 government today, we talked about how the Presidency ages a President. The Washington Post has a great article. You can can read it on your mobile device or on your computer here:
To check out the photo interactive that we did in class, you must be on your computer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The March

On Tuesday, August 27, PBS premiered "The March," the story of the 1963 march, narrated by Denzel Washington. It will be available to watch online beginning Thursday, August 29, here:

"Tell them about the dream, Martin" - 8/27/13