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SOURCES (PDF)

Your city government has decided to close a park. Some people stand at the park holding signs to protest the closing. Which two rights from the First Amendment are they using?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


Write a letter to a newspaper editor explaining why it is important for citizens to pay taxes. Include at least three specific examples to show how you, your family and others benefit from taxes.
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


Why does the legal system in the United States protect a citizen's right to appeal to a higher court?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


Which technique was used by Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States?
(source:Kentucky Department of Education, Sample Released Questions, January 2004)


Which of these principles of government is demonstrated when the governor of a state vetoes a bill?
(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Which of these people make local laws?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


Which of these has the authority to make laws?
(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Which of these explains a difference between political parties and interest groups?
(source:Maryland State Department of Education)


Which of the following types of private information might a school have a legitimate need to know?
(source:Hoge revised Foundations Test Items)


Which of the following practices of student government would be least consistent with representative democracy? The student council
(source:CEDARS)


Which of the following is true about laws in the United States?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


Which of the following is the best example of tension between national security and freedom of press? Newspapers reporting
(source:CEDARS)


Which of the following is most likely to happen if a large publisher buys many of the [smaller] newspapers in a country?
(source:IEA Released Items)


Which of the following is an accurate statement about laws in a democratic country?
(source:IEA Released Items)


Which of the following is a political right? The right
(source:IEA Released Items)


Which of the following is a characteristic of a non-democratic government?
(source:IEA Released Items)


Which of the following has a two-year term of office?
(source:CEDARS)


Which of the following documents describes the powers of the President of the United States?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


Which of the following best summarizes the information presented in the table below?


(source:NAEP 1990)


Which of the following best describes the way in which the United States Constitution assigns governmental power?
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


Which of the following activities is an example of cooperation between state and national governments?
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


Which of the following actions is directly available to citizens as a means of influencing political affairs?
(source:Alberta, Canada, Grade 12 Social Studies 1985)


Which activity is an example of civil society rather than an example of government?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


When flooding occurs, which of the following actions could a governor take immediately to preserve order and ensure the safety of citizens?
(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


What is the purpose of giving federal judges lifetime appointments?
(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


What is the primary source of money to operate the national government?
(source:CEDARS)


What is the President's role in making laws? The President can
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


What is the major purpose of the United Nations?
(source:IEA Released Items)


What is the basic presumption in the United States legal system about a person charged with a crime?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


What is an important reason some people in the United States might agree to have taxes increased?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


What is an essential characteristic of "free elections"?
(source:CEDARS)


What best describes the idea of consent of the governed?
(source:Hoge revised)


What are the three branches of the national government of the United States?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


What American document contains this passage?

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

(source:Illinois ISAT 2001 Social Science Grade 7 Sample)


Under the United States Constitution, the power to tax belongs to the
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


Under the law, United States citizens may work to change government policy by doing all of the following, EXCEPT
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


Under our system of checks and balances, the United States Supreme Court can limit the power of both the Congress and the President by
(source:Kentucky Department of Education)


Traffic congestion is a problem in a large metropolitan region.
*Propose possible actions the government could take to solve this problem.
*Explain why some people would oppose these actions.

(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Three of these statements are opinions and one is a fact. Which of the following is a FACT?
(source:IEA Released Items)


Three of these statements are facts and one is an opinion. Which of the following is an OPINION?
(source:IEA Released Items)


The United States and each of the 50 states have a written constitution. Give two reasons why it is important for the country and each state to have a written constitution.
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


The town of Talbot has clean air and the river provides people with fish. Near the town of Talbot, a large company has decided to open a chemical factory. This factory will be built next to Green River.

Why would the townspeople be happy that the factory is opening up in their town?

(source:1989 British Columbia Assessment of Social Studies)


The statue shown below is a symbol of


(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


The purpose of the system of checks and balances in the United States Constitution is to
(source:Texas Exit Exam)


The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights was to
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


The number of electoral votes each state is allotted is based on the state's
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


The graph shows that


(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


The function of a referendum is to
(source:CEDARS)


The following is an imaginary political leaflet.

We citizens have had enough!
A vote for the Silver Party means a vote for higher taxes.
It means an end to economic growth and a waste of our nation's resources.
Vote instead for economic growth and free enterprise.
Vote for more money left in everyone's wallet.
Let's not waste another 4 years! VOTE FOR THE GOLD PARTY.

This is an election leaflet which has probably been issued by

(source:IEA Released Items)


The following is an imaginary political leaflet.

We citizens have had enough!
A vote for the Silver Party means a vote for higher taxes.
It means an end to economic growth and a waste of our nation's resources.
Vote instead for economic growth and free enterprise.
Vote for more money left in everyone's wallet.
Let's not waste another 4 years! VOTE FOR THE GOLD PARTY.

The party or group that has issued this leaflet is likely also to be in favor of

(source:IEA Released Items)


The following is an imaginary political leaflet.

We citizens have had enough!
A vote for the Silver Party means a vote for higher taxes.
It means an end to economic growth and a waste of our nation's resources.
Vote instead for economic growth and free enterprise.
Vote for more money left in everyone's wallet.
Let's not waste another 4 years! VOTE FOR THE GOLD PARTY.

The authors of the leaflet think that higher taxes are

(source:IEA Released Items)


The ballot below was used in a general election.


In that election, you could vote for all of the following combinations except

(source:NAEP 1973)


The ability of the United States Supreme Court to declare an act of Congress, or an act of the President, unconstitutional is an example of
(source:Kentucky Department of Education)


Soon after the Constitution of the United States was approved, 10 amendments were added to it. These 10 amendments are known as the
(source:Georgia Department of Education)


Some people believe that the right to voice minority opinions and viewpoints in a society should always be protected. Others believe that the point of view of the majority should prevail over the opinion of minorities in the interest of preserving the stability of society.

To what extent should the right to express minority viewpoints be protected?
Answer in 3-5 sentences.

(source:Released Question: Alberta, Canada 2004)


Should citizens who are younger than the legal voting age have the right to write letters to elected officials about political issues? Please explain your answer.
(source:NAEP 1973)


Should a newspaper be allowed to publish something that criticizes a policy proposed by an elected official? Please give a reason for your answer.
(source:NAEP 1973)


Should a member of Congress pay attention to the opinions and concerns of people whose views are different from those of the majority?

Why or why not?

(source:NAEP 1973)


Recently, a state law has been passed to raise the driving age to 19.

*Describe two ways someone opposed to this law could try to get it changed.
*Explain why each of your choices would be effective.

(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Read the headlines below.

What is the intent of the government actions described in all the headlines?


(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Radio stations in a country are forbidden to play a song because the song criticizes the government. Which civil right is being violated?
(source:CEDARS)


One way a person can become a United States citizen is by
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


One important job of the U.S. Department of State is to
(source:CEDARS)


No freeman shall be seized, imprisoned,...or in any way destroyed; nor will we (the king) proceed against or prosecute him except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. --Magna Carta, 1215

Which democratic principle is based on the excerpt above?

(source:Texas Exit Exam)


Look at the sample ballot below and answer the question following it.


How many people will be elected to the town council?

(source:NAEP 1990)


Look at the diagram below and answer the question.


What power of the Supreme Court is illustrated by the graphic?

(source:Oregon Department of Education, 2003-2005 Sample Test, CIM (Certificate of Initial Mastery) Benchmark)


Look at the diagram below and answer the question.


What action could be taken to reverse any of the court decisions in the graph?

(source:Oregon Department of Education, 2003-2005 Sample Test, CIM (Certificate of Initial Mastery) Benchmark)


Licensing for certain occupations is an example of a government regulation that
(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


Leaders discussing how to resolve a conflict between their countries are involved in
(source:CEDARS)


Knowledge of and Connection with Organizations:


(source:Root)


July 4 is a national holiday that celebrates the day when
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


In which of the following situations has the United States Supreme Court ruled that a student's individual freedom can be limited?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


In the United States, what do labor unions, civil rights groups, business associations and environmental organizations all have in common?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


In the United States, people who are arrested have the right to
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


In addition to voting and being a candidate, what are two ways that citizens can be involved in political campaigns and elections?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


In a democratic society, which of the following would make laws and regulations about closing a road through a city park?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


In a democratic political system, which of the following ought to govern the country?
(source:IEA Released Items)


In a democratic country having many organizations for people to join is important because this provides
(source:IEA Released Items)


In a democratic classroom, how would class officers be chosen?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


In a court, which one of the following has the job of making sure that the trial is fair and run according to the rules?
(source:NAEP 1973)


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

What does the sentence "I pledge allegiance to the flag" mean?

(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


How many representatives does each state have in the United States House of Representatives?
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


How is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court selected?
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


How do people in a democracy most directly exercise their rights as citizens?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


How did women in the United States get the right to vote?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


Give two reasons why someone would vote for a candidate who was not from their own political party.
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


Describe an action the federal government has taken to prevent discrimination.
*How effective do you think this action has been?
*Include examples to support your answer.

(source:Maryland State Department of Education)


Dear Editor:

Yesterday, I saw a sign saying that a games arcade is opening in the shopping mall. Arcades are not good places for young people to be. It stops them from doing their homework. Arcade owners don't care about kids.

Sincerely yours,

Concerned Parent

Which statement is a fact found in the letter?

(source:1989 British Columbia Assessment of Social Studies)


Dear Editor:

Yesterday, I saw a sign saying that a games arcade is opening in the shopping mall. Arcades are not good places for young people to be. It stops them from doing their homework. Arcade owners don't care about kids.

Sincerely yours,

Concerned Parent

A student was researching the value of arcades for a report. He included information from this letter because

(source:1989 British Columbia Assessment of Social Studies)


At a public meeting, political candidates running for federal, state and local offices were ready to answer questions from the audience. An audience member asked, "How do members of the panel feel about United States involvement in foreign wars?" This person went on to state his view that "the United States should not worry about others. Let them fight their own battles."

The view of this audience member is an example of

(source:Michigan State Department of Education, Winter 2003 Released Items)


Ann: "People tend to be too critical of the government. How can elected officials ever do their work if people are criticizing them all the time?"
Fran: "I think it's important for people to let their opinions be known. How else will government officials know what we are thinking? Protests are okay as long as they aren't violent."

To further her argument, which additional statement could Fran make?

(source:1989 British Columbia Assessment of Social Studies)


Ann: "People tend to be too critical of the government. How can elected officials ever do their work if people are criticizing them all the time?"
Fran: "I think it's important for people to let their opinions be known. How else will government officials know what we are thinking? Protests are okay as long as they aren't violent."

The values at issue in this situation are

(source:1989 British Columbia Assessment of Social Studies)


An alliance between two nations is usually made
(source:CEDARS)


All of the following are requirements for voting in a national election EXCEPT the need to
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


According to the United States Constitution, which of the following has the power to declare war?
(source:NAEP 1990 Civics Report Card)


According to the Declaration of Independence, who has the power to "alter or abolish their government" if it fails to protect their rights?
(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


A woman who has a young child is interviewed for a job at a travel agency. Which of the following is an example of discrimination? She does not get the job because
(source:IEA Released Items)


A student notices the playground at her school has become littered with trash. How could she best show her civic responsibility?
(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


A police officer arrests a suspected criminal and neglects to inform the suspect of his/her rights.

Which of these best describes the above situation?

(source:Maryland State Department of Education, Public Release, Fall 2003)


A city had many requests to provide more places for children to play. In response to parents and other voters, the city decided to create a new park for children. The city made a new park with skateboard ramps, outdoor basketball hoops, a baseball diamond and a bicycle track for stunt riding and racing. The city council made a new rule after the park opened: NO GLASS BOTTLES ALLOWED. The city council can make rules for the park because
(source:Michigan Department of Education, Winter 2003 Released Items)


Trust in Government-Related Institutions
(Scale: 1 = Never, 2 = Some of the time, 3 = Most of the time, 4 = Always)

How much of the time can you trust each of the following institutions?

a. The national government in Washington, DC
b. The local council or government in your town or city
c. Courts
d. The police
e. Political parties
f. Congress

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Support for Citizens' norms -- Social-Movement Oriented Citizenship
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

Good citizens should participate in activities to benefit people in the community.
Good citizens should know about organizations in the community that help people.
Good citizens should participate in activities to protect the environment.
Good citizens should participate in activities promoting human rights.

(source:IEA)


Support for Citizens' norms -- Conventional Citizenship
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

Good citizens should vote in every election.
Good citizens should know about the country's history.
Good citizens should follow political issues in the newspaper, radio or TV.
Good citizens should engage in political discussion.

(source:IEA)


Socially Responsible Actions
(Scale: 1 = never, 2 = seldom, 3 = sometimes, 4 = often, 5 = always)

How often do you:

a. try to do what your teacher asks you to do?
b. try to be quiet when others are trying to study?
c. try to keep working even when you are tired?
d. try to keep working even when other kids are goofing off?
e. try to keep promises that you've made to other kids?
f. try to do the things you've told other kids you would do?

(source:Wentzel (1993))


Social Responsibility
Young people can play an important role in making their communities better.
It is good for democracy when young people are obligated to help people in the community.
Young people have a responsibility to help people in their communities.
Young people have a responsibility to help solve environmental problems in their communities.
Young people should be involved in working with community organizations and local government to improve their communities.

(source:Peterson and Seligman, Shiarella, Kahne and IEA (several sources merged, items revised))


Social Problem Solving Skills acquired during a civic-related experience
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 4 = Strongly agree, intermediate points not labeled.)

a. I have learned how to examine social problems.
b. I have learned ways of addressing community problems.
c. I have learned how political action by groups can solve social problems.
d. I have learned about individuals' responsibility to their community.

(source:CEDARS - Wilkenfeld)


Skills for Community Action
Suppose you found out about a problem in your community that you wanted to do something about. Please rate how well you can do each.

(Scale: 1 = Cannot do this, 6 = Can do this very well, intermediate points not labeled.)

___ I would be able to create a plan to address the issue.

___ I would be able to get people to care about the problem.

___ I would be able to organize and run a meeting.

___ I would be able to make a public speech.

___ I would be able to find and examine research related to the issue.

___I would be able to express my views in front of a group of people.

(source:California Civic Index)


Sense of Internal Efficacy at School
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

I am interested in participating in discussions about school problems.
When school problems are being discussed, I usually have something to say.

(source:IEA)


Problem Solving Skills
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 4 = Strongly agree, intermediate points not labeled.)

a. When a problem arises, I try to think about different ways of solving it.
b. When I make a decision, I think about what might happen afterwards.
c. I tend to think before acting.

(source:CASEL)


Positive Attitudes Toward Women's Economic and Political Rights
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Agree, 4 = Strongly agree)

a. Women should run for public office to take part in the government just as men do.
b. Women should have the same rights as men in every way.
c. Men and women should get equal pay when they are in the same jobs.
d. (R) Women should stay out of politics.
e. (R) When jobs are scarce, men have more right to a job than women.
f. (R) Men are better qualified to be political leaders than women.

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Positive Attitudes Toward Ethnic Minorities
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Agree, 4 = Strongly agree)

a. All ethnic groups should have equal chances to get a good education in this country.
b. All ethnic groups should have equal chances to get good jobs in this country.
c. Schools should teach students to respect members of all ethnic groups.
d. Members of all ethnic groups should be encouraged to run in elections for political office.

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Perspective Taking
(Scale: 1 = Not at all like me, 5 = Always like me, intermediate points not labeled.)

a. It is easy for me to understand why other people do the things they do.
b. Sometimes I try to understand my friends by imagining how they think about things.
c. Even when I'm mad at someone, I try to understand how they feel.
d. I try to understand how other kids feel before I decide what to say to them.
e. Even when I know I'm right I listen to what other people think.
f. There are different ways to think about a problem, and I try to look at all of them.

(source:University of British Columbia Project)


Personally Responsible Citizen/Person
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Slightly Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

I think it's important to take care of people who have difficulty caring for themselves.
I think it's important for people to follow the rules and laws.
I try to help when I see people in need.
I am willing to help others without being paid.
I feel personally responsible for keeping the community clean and safe.
I try to be kind to other people.
I always try to tell the truth.

(source:Kahne, Chi and Middaugh)


Personally Responsible Behaviors
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Agree, 4 = Strongly agree)

a. I think it is important for people to follow the rules.
b. It is important for me to follow the rules even if no one is watching.
c. I usually do what I am supposed to do.

(source:Chi)


Participatory Citizen
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Slightly Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

Being actively involved in community issues is my responsibility.
Being concerned about state and local issues is an important responsibility for everybody.
In the next three years, I expect to work on at least one community project that involves a government agency.
Everyone should be involved in working with community organizations and local government on issues that affect the community.
In the next three years, I expect to be involved in improving my community.

(source:Kahne, Chi and Middaugh)


Leadership Skills acquired during a civic-related experience
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 4 = Strongly agree, intermediate points not labeled.)

During this experience (activity), I have:

a. become committed to activities that are important to me.
b. learned to work with others.
c. learned to respect different opinions.
d. become open to new ideas.

(source:CEDARS - Wilkenfeld)


Justice-Oriented Citizen
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Slightly Agree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

When thinking about what needs to be done, I often focus on the root causes of social problems.
In the next three years, I will work to promote justice.
I think it's important to work for positive social change.
In the next three years, I will work with others to evaluate and try to change unjust laws.
By organizing and participating in protests, people make society better.

(source:Kahne, Chi and Middaugh)


Internal Efficacy
(Scale: 1 = Very strongly disagree, 6 = Very strongly agree, intermediate points not labeled.)

How true is each statement?

a. I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the political issues facing this country.
b. When political issues are being discussed, I usually have something to say.
c. I think I am better informed about politics and government than most students.

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


General Participation Skills Measure
(Scale: 1 = Not well, 5 = Extremely well, intermediate points not labeled.)

Listed below are skills that people use in various situations. Please rate how well you can do each skill by placing the corresponding scale number in the blank next to the skill.

___ a. Communicate my ideas to others
___ b. Listen to others' ideas
___ c. Reach a compromise
___ d. Know where to call or whom to contact to get things done
___ e. Weigh pros and cons
___ f. Persuade others
___ g. Deal with conflict when it comes up

(source:Project 540)


Expectations of Political Activities
(Scale: 1 = I will certainly not do this. 2. I will probably not do this. 3. I will probably do this. 4. I will certainly do this.)

When you are an adult, what do you expect that you will do?

Join a political party
Write letters to a newspaper about social or political concerns
Be a candidate for local or city office

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Expectations of Informed Voting
(Scale: 1 = I will certainly not do this. 2. I will probably not do this. 3. I will probably do this. 4. I will certainly do this.)

When you are an adult, what do you expect that you will do?

Vote in national elections
Get information about candidates before voting in an election

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Expectations of Community Participation
(Scale: 1 = I will certainly not do this. 2. I will probably not do this. 3. I will probably do this. 4. I will certainly do this.)

Listed below are several types of action that you as a young person could take over the next few years. What do you expect that you will do?

a. Volunteer time to help people in the community
b. Collect money for a social cause
c. Collect signatures for a petition

(source:IEA/CEDARS)


Expectations for Future Political Voice
(Scale: 1 = Will certainly not do this, 6 = Will certainly do this, intermediate points not labeled.)

Below is a list of activities. In the future, what do you expect that you will do?

a. Write to a newspaper or magazine to express your opinion on an issue
b. Sign a written or e-mail petition about a political or social issue
c. NOT buy something because of the conditions under which it was made
d. Call in to a radio or television talk show to express your opinion

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


Expectations for Future Electoral Action
(Scale: 1 = Will certainly not do this, 6 = Will certainly do this, intermediate points not labeled.)

Below is a list of activities. In the future, what do you expect that you will do?

a. Vote in local elections
b. Vote in national elections
c. Work for a candidate's election campaign
d. Put a candidate's sticker on your car or place a sign in front of your house

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project as adapted from Keeter)


Engagement in Solving Problems in School
Suppose you found out about a problem in your school that you wanted to do something about. Please rate how well you can do each.

(Scale: 1 = Cannot do this, 6 = Can do this very well, intermediate points not labeled.)

___ I would be able to create a plan to address the issue.

___ I would be able to get people to care about the problem.

___ I would be able to organize and run a meeting.

___ I would be able to make a public speech.

___ I would be able to find and examine research related to the issue.

___ I would be able to express my views in front of a group of people.

(source:California Civic Index)


Empathy
(Scale: 1 = Not at all like me, 5 = Always like me, intermediate points not labeled.)

a. I often feel sorry for people who don't have the things I have.
b. Sometimes I feel very sorry for other people when they are having problems.
c. When I see someone being picked on, I feel kind of sorry for them.
d. I often feel sorry for other children who are sad or in trouble.
e. When I see someone being treated mean, it bothers me.
f. I am a person who cares about the feelings of others.

(source:Schonert-Reichl)


Efficacy in Political Institutions
(Scale: 1 = Impossible to get this done, 6 = Easy to get this done, intermediate points not labeled.)

Working with other young people and adults, how hard would it be for you to accomplish these goals?

a. Getting the town government to build an addition to the local youth center
b. Influencing a policy or budget decision of your local school board
c. Influencing the outcome of a local election

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


Efficacy in Community Contexts
(Scale: 1 = Impossible to get this done, 6 = Easy to get this done, intermediate points not labeled.)

Working with other young people and adults, how hard would it be for you to accomplish these goals?

a. Organizing an event to benefit a charity
b. Starting an after school program for students whose parents work
c. Organizing an annual clean-up program for a city park

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


Connection to Community
(Scale: 1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Agree, 4 = Strongly agree)

a. I spend time on projects with other people to help the community.
b. I have done things to help people in my community.
c. I believe that I can make a difference in my community.
d. I think it is imortant to change things that are unfair in my community.

(source:Chi)


Confidence in the Value of School Participation
(Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree)

Electing student representatives to suggest changes in how the school is run makes schools better.
Lots of positive changes happen in this school when students work together.
Organizing groups of students to state their opinions could help solve problems in this school.
Students acting together can have more influence on what happens in this school than students acting alone.

(source:IEA)


Community Connection
(3-point scale for elementary, 6-point scale for middle school, from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree)

I feel like I am part of a community.
I pay attention to news events that affect the community.
I know a lot of people in the community, and they know me.
Everyone should pay attention to the news about their community.

(source:The UC Berkeley Service-Learning Center)


Community Awareness
(3 point scale for elementary, 6 point scale for middle school, from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree)

Doing something that helps others is important to me.
I like to help other people, even if it is hard work.
Helping other people is something everyone should do, including myself.

Additional items on awareness used with high school students:

It is my responsibility to help improve the community.
I am aware of important needs in the community.
Helping other people is something that I am personally responsible for.

(source:The UC Berkeley Service-Learning Center)


Civility
(Scale: 1 = Disagree a lot, 5 = Agree a lot, intermediate points not labeled)

a. I can always find a way to help people end arguments.
b. I'm good at taking turns and sharing things with others.
c. It's easy for me to make suggestions without being bossy.
d. I'm very good at working with other students.
e. I know how to disagree without starting a fight or argument.
f. I'm good at finding fair ways to solve problems.

(source:Developmental Studies Center)


Civic Presentation Skills
(Scale: 1 = Cannot do this, 6 = Can do this very well, intermediate points not labeled)
These are some skills that people have. Please rate how well you can do each.

Explain my ideas about politics to others.
Weigh the pros and cons of different political positions.
Gather information about political issues from different sources.
Understand articles in the newspaper about politics.
Recognize the difference between facts and opinions.

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


Civic Organization Skills in the Community
(Scale: 1 = Cannot do this, 6 = Can do this very well, intermediate points not labeled)
These are some skills that people have. Please rate how well you can do each.

Organize other students to take action on a problem in the community.
Develop ideas about how to take action on a problem in the community.
Know who to contact to get something done about a problem in the community.
Persuade other people that a problem in the community needs to be solved.

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Study of Teaching Political Engagement Project)


Civic Organization Skills at School
(Scale: 1 = Cannot do this, 6 = Can do this very well, intermediate points not labeled)
These are some skills that people have. Please rate how well you can do each.

Organize other students to take action on a school problem.
Develop ideas about how to take action on a problem in the school.
Know who to contact to get something done about a problem in the school.
Persuade other students that a problem in the school needs to be solved.

(source:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Political Engagement Project (Revised for the high school level))


Civic Efficacy
(3-point scale for elementary, 6-point scale for middle school and high school, from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree)

Elementary and middle school:

I know what I can do to help make the community a better place.
I feel like I can make a difference in the community.
I try to think of ways to help other people.

High school:

I participate in political or social causes to improve the community.
I feel I have the power to make a difference in the community.
I try to encourage others to participate in the community.
I believe I have enough influence to impact community decisions.

(source:The UC Berkeley Service-Learning Center)


Citizens in a Democracy
(4-point scale using large and small stars; here with revisions)

Problems in the community like pollution and hunger
Are something no one needs to know about......Are something everyone should know about.

Giving up something to help my community
Is something no one has to do......Is something everyone should do.

Being willing to change their mind to help the group get its work done
Is something no one has to do......Is something everyone should do.

Keeping the environment clean
Is something no one has to do......Is something everyone should do.

Making a city or town a better place
Is not something most people can do......Is something that anyone can do.

(source:CART)


Altruism
(Scale: 1 = Never, 2 = Once or twice, 3 = 3-5 times, 4 = 6-10 times, 5 = More than 10 times)

During the past year, about how often:

a. have you helped or gotten help for someone who was hurt?
b. have you stood up for someone who was being picked on?
c. have you comforted someone who was hurt or feeling sad?
d. have you donated money, toys, clothes or other things to a charity?
e. have you helped a classmate with homework?

(source:Developmental Studies Center)


"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." -- Preamble to the United States Constitution

Which of the following principles does the Preamble set forth?

(source:CCSSO CSSAP)


"I often wondered whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it." -- Judge Learned Hand, 1941

Which of the following best summarizes Judge Hand's argument about constitutional democracy in the United States?

(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


"Absolute arbitrary power, or governing without settled laws, can neither of them be consistent with the ends of society and government." -- John Locke

Which of the following statements is most consistent with the Locke quotation above?

(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


"... there are two types of laws: There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws ..." --Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," 1963

What response to an unjust law is most consistent with the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr.?

(source:NAEP NQT v2.0)


 
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