Standards of Learning

Standards for Civics and Economics examine the roles citizens play in the political, governmental, and economic systems in the United States. Students will examine the constitutions of Virginia and the United States, will identify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens, and will describe the structure and operation of government at the local, state, and national levels. Students will investigate the process by which decisions are made in the American market economy and explain the government’s role in it. The standards identify personal character traits, such as patriotism, respect for the law, willingness to perform public service, and a sense of civic duty, that facilitate thoughtful and effective active participation in the civic life of an increasingly diverse democratic society. 
 
Civic education also must emphasize the intellectual and practical skills required for responsible citizenship. Students will practice these skills both inside and outside the classroom as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by the standards for Civics and Economics. 
 
CE.1 The student will develop the social studies skills responsible citizenship requires, including the ability to 
a) examine and interpret primary and secondary source documents; 
b) create and explain maps, diagrams, tables, charts, graphs, and spreadsheets; 
c) analyze political cartoons, political advertisements, pictures, and other graphic media; 
d) distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information; 
e) review information for accuracy, separating fact from opinion; 
f) identify a problem, weigh the expected costs and benefits and possible consequences of proposed solutions, and recommend solutions, using a decision-making model; 
g) formulate an informed, carefully reasoned position on a community issue; 
h) select and defend positions in writing, discussion, and debate. 
 
CE.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of American constitutional government by 
a) explaining the fundamental principles of consent of the governed, limited government, rule of law, democracy, and representative government; 
b) explaining the significance of the charters of the Virginia Company of London, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights; 
c) identifying the purposes for the Constitution of the United States as stated in its Preamble; 
d) identifying the procedures for amending the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States. 
 
CE.3 The student will demonstrate knowledge of citizenship and the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens by 
a) describing the processes by which an individual becomes a citizen of the United States; 
b) describing the First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition, and the rights guaranteed by due process and equal protection of the laws; 
c) describing the duties of citizenship, including obeying the laws, paying taxes, defending the nation, and serving in court; 
d) examining the responsibilities of citizenship, including registering and voting, communicating with government officials, participating in political campaigns, keeping informed about current issues, and respecting differing opinions in a diverse society; 
e) evaluating how civic and social duties address community needs and serve the public good. 
 
CE.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of personal character traits that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in civic life by 
a) practicing trustworthiness and honesty; 
b) practicing courtesy and respect for the rights of others; 
c) practicing responsibility, accountability, and self-reliance; 
d) practicing respect for the law; 
e) practicing patriotism; 
f) practicing decision making; 
g) practicing service to the school and/or local community. 
 
CE.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the political process at the local, state, and national levels of government by 
a) describing the functions of political parties; 
b) comparing the similarities and differences of political parties; 
c) analyzing campaigns for elective office, with emphasis on the role of the media; 
d) examining the role of campaign contributions and costs; 
e) describing voter registration and participation; 
f) describing the role of the Electoral College in the election of the president and vice president; 
g) participating in simulated local, state, and/or national elections. 
 
CE.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government at the national level by 
a) describing the structure and powers of the national government; 
b) explaining the principle of separation of powers and the operation of checks and balances; 
c) explaining and/or simulating the lawmaking process; 
d) describing the roles and powers of the executive branch. 
 
CE.7 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government at the state level by 
a) describing the structure and powers of the state government; 
b) explaining the relationship of state governments to the national government in the federal system; 
c) explaining and/or simulating the lawmaking process; 
d) describing the roles and powers of the executive branch and regulatory boards. 
 
CE.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government at the local level by 
a) describing the structure and powers of the local government; 
b) explaining the relationship of local government to the state government; 
c) explaining and/or simulating the lawmaking process. 
 
CE.9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by 
a) examining the impact of the media on public opinion and public policy; 
b) describing how individuals and interest groups influence public policy; 
c) describing the impact of international issues and events on local decision making. 
 
CE.10 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the judicial systems established by the Constitution of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States by 
a) describing the organization of the United States judicial system as consisting of state and federal courts with original and appellate jurisdiction; 
b) describing the exercise of judicial review; 
c) comparing and contrasting civil and criminal cases; 
d) explaining how due process protections seek to ensure justice. 
 
CE.11 The student will demonstrate knowledge of how economic decisions are made in the marketplace by 
a) applying the concepts of scarcity, resources, choice, opportunity cost, price, incentives, supply and demand, production, and consumption; 
b) comparing the differences among traditional, free market, command, and mixed economies; 
c) describing the characteristics of the United States economy, including limited government, private property, profit, and competition. 
 
CE.12 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the structure and operation of the United States economy by 
a) describing the types of business organizations and the role of entrepreneurship; 
b) explaining the circular flow that shows how consumers (households), businesses (producers), and markets interact; 
c) explaining how financial institutions channel funds from savers to borrowers; 
d) examining the relationship of Virginia and the United States to the global economy, with emphasis on the impact of technological innovations. 
 
CE.13 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of government in the United States economy by 
a) examining competition in the marketplace; 
b) explaining how government provides certain goods and services; 
c) describing the impact of taxation, including an understanding of the reasons for the 16th Amendment, spending, and borrowing; 
d) explaining how the Federal Reserve System acts as the nation’s central bank; 
e) describing the protection of consumer rights and property rights; 
f) recognizing that government creates currency and coins and that there are additional forms of money. 
 
CE.14 The student will demonstrate knowledge of personal finance and career opportunities by 
a) identifying talents, interests, and aspirations that influence career choice; 
b) identifying attitudes and behaviors that strengthen the individual work ethic and promote career success; 
c) identifying abilities, skills, and education and the changing supply and demand for them in the economy; 
d) examining the impact of technological change and globalization on career opportunities; 
e) describing the importance of education to lifelong personal finances; 
f) examining the financial responsibilities of citizenship, including evaluating common forms of credit, savings, investments, purchases, contractual agreements, warranties, and guarantees. 
 

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