High School American Government

Overview of Framework

High School American government provides Maryland students with the opportunity to learn the Constitutional framework and democratic process that structure the State and national political system. American Government establishes a knowledge base which supports the development of skills needed for citizens in a participatory democracy. Effective citizens possess a clear understanding of government: its structure, its purposes, and its processes. They gather, communicate, and utilize information in order to evaluate the competing goals and varying points of view related to public issues. Utilizing their knowledge and skills, effective citizens purposely choose to be involved in their political system and exert influence in a participatory democracy. To assist students in acquiring these skills, the content of the course is arranged around five of the six state social studies standards:


American Government Framework – A detailed framework that supports the teaching of American Government in high school. The framework uses the inquiry arc to connect the Enduring Understanding and Unit Questions to the essential questions, topics, indicators, objectives, and assessment limits.

Framework Instructional Supports

The following resources are designed to support instruction in American Government.

Street Law - Maryland
​Instructional materials for the court cases that are cited in the American Government course.
​Standard 1.0
Maryland Item Bank
MSDE iTem/pra is the item bank which houses released practice items for instructional and formative assessment uses.
​Standards: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 6.0
Content CR Scoring Rubric
​Four-point scoring rubric will be used to score content CRs.
Standards: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0

Source Work Crosswalks

The crosswalks illustrate the connection between Maryland’s 6.0 Skills and Processes and commonly used source analysis approaches.
SHEG Crosswalk
Crosswalk between Maryland’s 6.0 Skills and Processes and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) Approach.
​Standard 6.0
APPARTS Crosswalk
Crosswalk with College Board’s Pre-AP APPARTS Document Analysis Method.
Standard 6.0
​Crosswalk with College Board’s Advanced Placement SOAPSTONE Document Analysis Method.
​Standard 6.0

Evidence Based Argument Sets (EBAS)

The EBAS assess three social studies skills and processes from Maryland Social Studies Standard 6.0: Skills and Processes. These skills were selected by the Local School System social studies supervisors and a teacher workgroup. These skills are:

  • Evaluate the credibility of the sources by considering the authority, origin, type, context, and corroborative value of each source.
  • Identify credible, relevant information contained in the sources.
  • Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.

The EBAS are organized around a compelling question and provide students 4-5 sources that allow for the development of an answer to the compelling question.
​​Five Point EBAS Rubric
​​The EBAS has a five-point rubric used to score the assessment: 5-point Rubric for EBAS CR.
​Standard 6.0

Assessment Resources

Please visit the Division of Assessment MCAP Government page for specific assessment information, including additionally released sample items.