AP® US Government and Politics

With the exam changes becoming part of the exam for the 2018-2019 school year, our week will focus on those new components.  We will analyze new reading requirements, FRQ changes, and topic additions.  Since the bulk of the curriculum remains the same from prior years, lessons and shortcuts will be covered.  Each of the major topics of the course will be reviewed and teachers will receive lesson options for each.  Resources like the Federalist Papers and other historical documents are being added to the course and all will be provided.  Teachers who are new to the AP course and those with experiences are equally welcome.  Questions that might occur prior to the week can be sent to ulrichklein@comcast.net.

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with:

Provide participants lessons and plans for the upcoming changes in the AP government and politics exam including coverage of all major topics of the course.

Participants should bring the following:

All participants will need to bring a lap top.  Most participant materials will be digital. 

Course Outline (Subject to Change):

AP US Government and Politics:  Semester Topics

This will be the general sequence of the course.

College Board’s training update for the consultants will be held in April of 2018

Consultants will receive the updated materials for the course changes at that session.

Modifications will be included in the summer APSI sessions.

 Introductory Topics

Basic forms of governments, Basics of early political philosophies,  Theories of types of governments, Democracy versus Republic, The importance of the Declaration,  Social Contract, Inalienable Rights, Failures of the Articles, Factions at the Convention, Federalists versus Anti-Federalists, Bill of Rights needed, Intro to Federalism concepts,

The Constitution

What is in Articles 1 through 6, Duties of the branches, Separations, Checks, Balances, Duties of States, Citizenship  

Political Beliefs and Behaviors

Voter demographics, Voting patterns in recent elections, Political participation, Political spectrum,

Minority-Majority, Influences of family and media and education levels, Regions, Voting rules, Polls and polling with margins of error, Modern liberalism and conservatism, Mass movements


Support areas, Dominant Issues/Litmus Test Issues, National organizations like the national committees, Dominance of the two party systems, Voting rights issues, Third party movements

Interest Groups

Grassroots movements, Ways of influence, PACs, Super PACs, post Citizens United, 527 groups, Lobbyists and access

Mass Media

Agenda setting, Sound Bite Media, Corporate dominance, Propaganda techniques, Partisanship on the internet, Emphasis on crisis and scandals

The Legislature

Article 1 Section 8, Interstate trade and civil rights issues, Elastic clause, House versus Senate, Powers of leaders and committee chairs, Key committees, Funding and Fiscal Policies, Oversight, Senate Filibuster and Cloture issues, Major laws of history, Why most bills fail, Informal legislative procedures like unanimous consent rules

The Executive

The Electoral College system, Campaigns with primaries and caucuses, Formal powers, Informal strengths, Executive Orders, Controlling the legislative agenda, Budget controls, Making war versus declaring war, Bully pulpit powers, Foreign policy controls

The Judiciary

The Federal Court pyramid, Liberal and Conservative approaches, Listening to the public

The Bureaucracy

Regulate, Interpret, Rule, Controversies of powers, Iron Triangles, Agencies and their powers

Public Policy

The budget process of OMB versus CBO, Gridlock?


Reserved powers, Delegated, Enumerated, Implied powers, Dual Federalism, Cooperative Federalism, Fiscal Federalism, Federal influences via the power of the purse, 10th Amendment versus 14th, Devolution trends, Checks and Balances between the branches, Controls from citizens

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Dual court system, Key terms of the judiciary, Key amendments, Incorporation and Selective Incorporation, Due Process and Equal Protection under the 14th, Stare Decisis precedents and interpretations


Ulrich Kleinschmidt Education:  Master’s Degree, UT Austin I have been teaching government and economics at Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas since 1987 and have presented AP government and AP economics classes since the early 1990s. I also hold the position of department chairperson.